The Alameda County Everyone Counts Campaign will be focused on reducing mental health stigma and providing services to the African American Community for 2018-2020. Happy Black History Month 2018!

On the last day of February, many PEERS staff and community members attended the 2018 ACBHCS and POCC Annual Black History Month Celebration and Training. This event took place inside the elegant African American Museum and Library in vibrant downtown Oakland, where more 100 attendees gathered to celebration the contributions of African Americans to history, mental health, and our East Bay community. Breakfast and lunch were provided to all; guests were treated to many inspiring speeches and performances. Music for the event was provided by Tacuma King and his ensemble, Camille Safiya, and Futurelic Records. The keynote address was by Wade Nobles, PhD., who discussed the essential role of Black Psychology in empowering Americans of African descent. Dr. Nobels’ work concentrates on situating Black Psychology within the context of “classical African philosophy and traditional African wisdom traditions.”

PEERS’ own Program Manager Bre Williams presented on African American History 101, taking listeners on a whirlwind tour through hundreds of years of history. Her talk centered on resilience and social, political, and technological innovation by Africans and African Americans alike. One particular point of interest was Williams’ own personal connections to the Black Panther Party, founded right here in Oakland during the 1960s. Bre is a passionate and respected advocate for ending mental health stigma within the African American Community, especially in Alameda County.

The 2018 iteration of the Black History Month Celebration paid tribute to Joseph L. White, PhD., known as the “godfather” of the field of Black Psychology. Dr. White, last year’s keynote speaker, passed away last November at the age of 84. The official title of this year’s event was: “Finding Black Psychology – Toward a New Mental Health Paradigm: A Tribute to Dr. Joesph L. White.