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Register For In My Mind: A LGBTQ Peoples of Color Mental Health Conference

Wednesday Aug 9, 2017

DBGM, Inc. hosts its third-annual "In My Mind: An LGBTQ Peoples of Color Mental Health Conference - Navigating Mental Health Care: Concerns, Developments, and Promises" on Oct 5 & 6 at The Stewart Hotel, 371 Seventh Ave (opposite Madison Square Gardens), NYC.

The Conference examines concerns, acknowledges developments and looks to the future for LGBTQ peoples of color, especially in the current political climate, which rhetoric threatens, beyond race and homophobia, to further destabilize the mental well-being of members of these communities.

To establish common starting points, the two days will begin with a plenary, including NY City Councilmember Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx); Earl Fowlkes, Jr., Center for Black Equity, DNC LGBT Caucus; Kenyon Farrow, Treatment Action Group (TAG); Johanne Morne and Kraig Pannel, NYS AIDS Institute; and Hansel Arroyo, M.D., Mt. Sinai, and will be followed by concurrent sessions, some geared for clinicians and others for community members.

At the end of the second day, there will be an opportunity for conference participants to have their "say" on additional ways of addressing the mental health of LGBTQ people of color and the necessary next steps for improving the conference.

Following an abstract submissions process, the conference received an overwhelming response from the NY region, across the country and internationally. The schedule with more than 25 different presentations, will include a yoga and meditation session (those interested should come prepared in loose fitting and relaxed clothing, and their mats), and mental health screenings.

Partnering with the conference, the National Association of Social Workers, New York Chapter, will provide continuing education credits/units on qualifying presentations to mental health professionals requiring units for their licenses.

On Wednesday, Oct 4, there will be a welcome/networking reception; on Thursday, Oct 5, a performance by representatives of Native American tribes (who will be opening and closing the conference and presenting a workshop), and on Thursday evening "Our View," a LGBTQ Film Forum curated by Trevite Willis of Southern Fried Filmworks.

Conference co-chair, "America's Psychologist," Jeffery Gardere, Ph.D., commenting on the conference opined that despite addressing inequalities in our society, LGBTQ communities continue to face both micro and macro aggressions on a daily basis.

"It is incumbent that LGBTQ people, especially those of color (and who suffer double discrimination), attend the 'In My Mind' Conference, which will provide the most up to date information on the current state of the nation and its perceptions and interactions with the LGBTQ community," said Gardere. "But just as importantly, this conference will be a celebration of the ongoing work and achievements of LGBTQ warriors and advocates to bring to the world the reality 'that unless we are all free, none of us can be free.'"

"Personally, I've lost dozens of young black and brown gay friends and colleagues over recent years, who were HIV-positive [and] who've died young -- not because they didn't have access to treatment, but because of depression related to homophobia and internalized stigma," said Farrow. "I think the 'In My Mind' conference is a critical intervention for community-based organizations, activists and service providers to come together and plan strategies to create more supportive environments for LGBTQ people of color nationwide, and mobilize, to ensure we don't lose ground on critical supportive services, given the threats to health care by the Trump Administration and Congress."

One of the independent abstract review team members, Western Connecticut State University Professor Donald Gagnon, Ph.D., said, "This conference is an attempt to transcend emotional, social and psychological challenges by encouraging the root of the challenges, naming them and confronting them in meaningful ways."

Conference planning team member, Daton Haywood, the founder of the Copper Complex, said, "I am excited to have a platform to discuss barriers to progress, as well as to create opportunities for healing. This conference provides a safe space to educate and advocate for experiences unique to both race and sexuality and sexually marginalized communities."

To register for the conference, visit


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