Liberating Black Women’s Mental Wellness Conference
Atlanta, GA | 13 October 2023
Historic Academy of Medicine
GA Institute of Technology
875 W Peachtree St NW
Atlanta, GA 30309 9-4pm
The Must Attend Conference for ALL Mental Health Professional Working with Black Women. If you have one Black woman on your caseload – This conference is for you. If you will ever work with a Black woman – This conference is for you. If you train and supervise Black women – This conference is for you.
Black women are deserving of mental health services that empower and honor them, that challenge internalized and externalized oppression, and that fosters individual and collective growth. The Freedom Movement Conference offers mental health professionals decolonization strategies, culturally affirming healing practices, and social justice and advocacy skills to liberate mental wellness for Black women. Liberation psychology promotes the redefinition of health and wellness, seeks knowledge and wisdom through participatory practice, and engages in resistance efforts to eradicate oppression within psychology. Award-winning psychologists and experts in Black women's wellness will present three workshops and a panel discussion.
Who This Conference is For:
The Counseling Black Women Conference is designed for all mental health professionals who serve Black women. This includes psychologists, counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, students, coaches, psychiatrists and medical doctors treating mental health, psychiatric nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, behavioral health administrators, and auxiliary personnel. Black women are treated by mental health professionals of all genders and ethnic backgrounds; as such, mental health professionals of all backgrounds will benefit from this conference.
CE Hours Pending
2022 Worthiness, Womanness, Blackness: Counseling Black Women Virtual Conference This empowerment-focused conference was attended by 100 participants from 4 different countries. Workshops focused on Cultural Competence, Strong Black Woman Schema, Working with Queer and Trans Black Folx, and Black Therapist Healing.
"I greatly appreciated reminders of the historical context behind why this is such an important topic. I also appreciated learning ways to decolonize therapy." 2022 Conference Participant
"This was a powerful program and yes I feel highly impacted. This served to deepen my commitment as a white psychologist to continue increasing my knowledge and skills in providing competent services to individuals of color." 2022 Conference Participant
"The sound bath was an amazing experience. Relaxation, of any type, is such a rare occurrence for me. Hence, my psyche was initially taken a bit "off guard" by the opportunity to simply slow down... The instruments and the cadences touched a place in me that arose feelings of being connected with my African roots, my heritage, the essence of my real self. Wonderful experience!!!!" 2022 Conference Participant
Freedom Movement Schedule
Morning Program A
Title: A Neuroscientific Approach to Understanding Black Women’s Mental Health
Presenter: Dr. Ebony Glover
There are well documented disparities in mental health in this country based on the social status categories that individuals belong to. Gender and racial/ethnic statuses are critical determinants of mental health, with each of these social status categories predicting greater overall risk for developing and maintaining various forms of psychiatric illnesses. Dr. Glover examines sex differences in mental health and highlight neurobiological variables related to the female reproductive system. She also explores the intersections of sex factors – such as menstrual cycle characteristics and gonadal hormone dynamics – and race in mental health disparities. She presents evidence linking racial differences in reproductive hormones, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, uterine fibroids, and menopause to mental health outcomes that disproportionately harm Black women. Research on the impact of Black women’s reproductive cycle on mental health functioning could provide important insight into treatment approaches tailored specifically for this high-risk group.
Morning Program B
Title: Applying Critical Race Theory to Create Antiracist Counseling Practices
Presenter: Dr. Devona Stalnaker-Shofner
This presentation seeks to engage participants in practical ways to revamp counseling practice using a paradigmatic and philosophical shift aligning with antiracism. At the core of this presentation is introducing and utilizing Critical Race Theory (CRT). CRT is a theoretical and interpretive model that examines the appearance of race and racism across dominant cultural modes of expression. In adopting this approach, CRT can be used to understand how victims of systemic racism are affected by cultural perceptions of race and how they can represent themselves to counter prejudice. This presentation will discuss Critical Race Theory (CRT) as an approach to address race, racism, power, and privilege in counseling practices and systems that may work to silence the voices of historically marginalized populations. It will identify the key tenets of CRT, and ways to ethically incorporate CRT into the development of antiracist counseling practice which would in turn offer more culturally appropriate interventions with Black women and other minoritized populations so as to enhance overall treatment outcomes for clients and multicultural competence for practitioners.
Afternoon Program A
Title: Boundaries for Black Women: A Reclamation of Our Physical, Emotional and Social Power Towards Generational Healing
Presenter: Dr. Ayanna Abrams
For this interactive workshop, Dr. Abrams will use research, anecdotes, vignettes and group activities to teach attendees the importance of boundary setting as a skillset, a protective wellbeing practice and an offering to themselves and each relationship they are a part of. Rooted in the art of vulnerability and self-awareness, attendees will leave this workshop with a plan of action for themselves to improve imbalanced or unfulfilling relationships in their lives.
Afternoon Program B
Title: No One is Liberated Until We Are All Liberated – Panel Discussion
Moderator: Dr. LaTonya Summers
Panelists: Dr. Kimber Shelton, Dr. Michelle Lyn, & Dr. Mahlet Endale
In 2021, along with other associations, the American Psychological Association released a formal apology acknowledging psychology’s participation in racism and perpetuation of harm to Black Americans. Prior to these acknowledgments, all major psychological associations had already codified that mental health practitioners engage in practices that counter oppression and bias in mental health treatment (i.e., APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, 2017; ACA Code of Ethics, 2014). Some Ethical codes and guidelines, such as the 2021 National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and APA’s 2017 Multicultural Guidelines, go further by encouraging helping professionals to address systemic and environmental oppression, which negatively impacts the mental wellness of their clients. While codes and guidelines exist, mental health professionals continue to report being undertrained in working with Black clients and treating their specific concerns such as racial trauma and gendered racism (cite). In this panel discussion, participants will explore how current psychological models benefit or detriment Black women’s therapy experiences. The panel moderator will define liberation psychology and decolonization and their connection to Black women’s mental health treatment. Panelists will discuss how liberation principles of worthiness, humanity, and connection are used to benefit Black women’s mental wellness. Finally, the panel with facilitate a discussion to assist participants in creating a liberated psychological practice plan.
Early Registration Rates – Before 8/20
Early 1: Conference Participant without Continuing Education (CE) - $100
Early 2: Conference Participant with Continuing Education (CE) - $135
General Registration Rate
Option 1: Conference Participant without Continuing Education (CE) - $115
Option 2: Conference Participant with Continuing Education (CE) - $150
Option 3: Student Rate - $65
Required: Full Name, email address, credentials/professional degree, license number and state (if applicable for CE)
Grievance Procedure & Refund Policy
Conference Sponsors Information
Sponsor and Vendor Opportunities Available
Sponsor the Movement
Sponsor to support mental health professional's ability to create spaces of healing, honor, and humility for Black women. Sponsor to empower Black women's wellness, worthiness, and wholeness.
**Sponsors will receive a Sponsorship form to complete after registration fees are paid.
Be a Vendor at the Movement
Our Mission is to improve the quality of mental health services provided to Black Women. As a vendor, you'll have the opportunity to showcase your business to a diverse audience of mental health professionals and community members. Benefits
Increase brand visibility and reach to target demographic
Generate revenue and new client leads
Share your business' commitment to Black women's wellness
Each vendor receives one 6 ft table and social media promotion
Early Bird Vendor Registration - $400
After 8/1/23 - $500
**Vendors must be approved by Counseling Black Women Team before application is accepted. Vendor products must be aligned with mental health and wellness and/or Black women empowerment. You will receive a vendor form to complete after registration fees are paid.