Our 2018 Recap

The 2018 Central Texas African American Family Support Conference (CTAAFSC) brought together nearly 500 presenters, exhibitors, health professionals, individuals and families impacted by mental illness, substance use disorder or intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Over two dynamic days, we explored health challenges and answers for our community.

Vicky Coffee, Program Manager for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas and longtime CTAAFSC Planning Committee member, served as Emcee. Keynote speakers were Trina “TiTi Ladette” Cleveland, a successful poet with lived experience of bipolar disorder and substance use disorder and Ryan Sutton, Ph.D., a psychologist with special expertise in the area of juvenile justice and mental health among black males. Nicole Conway, plus size model, image consultant and motivational speaker also shared her inspiring message of living in wellness with a mental health condition.


As always, the 2018 conference was a remarkable opportunity to come together and lift one another up as we move towards a healthier, more resilient future.


“I cannot express how grateful I am to participate in the conference this year. The seminars that I attended are not only going to be applied at work but in my personal life. The conference has empowered me”.

– Conference attendee and AISD employee


View the conference photo gallery here. (Day One) (Day Two)

View the full conference program and select presentations here.


Conference Highlights

This year we had 40 exhibitors, 20 interactive workshops and 3 poster presentations.

Representative Garnet F. Coleman was present to deliver a legislative update and to recognize this year’s Eternal Flame Award winner: Judge Nancy Hohengarten.


Richard E Hopkins Torch Awards Recipients

  • Reggie Smith – Consumer
  • Gladdie P. Fowler – Community Leader
  • Jill Fiorillo – Professional


Scholarship Winners

  • Karen Causey and Dominique Jones – The Wood Group Educational Scholarship
  • Tracy Green – RR Coleman-Calahan Lodging Scholarship
  • Tracey Moore – The Michele Bibby Educational and Lodging Scholarship
  • Annie and Joe Powell – The Austin Area Mental Health Consumer Lodging Scholarship


CTAAFSC 2018 Sponsors

The conference was made possible through the generous support from our sponsors:

  • Austin Independent School District
  • Austin Public Health
  • Central Health
  • Integral Care
  • NAMI Austin
  • New Milestones Foundation
  • Sendero Health Plans
  • Seton Ascension
  • St. David’s Foundation
  • Texas Health and Human Services – Office of Minority Health Statistics and Engagement
  • The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School
  • The Wood Group


Special Thanks

We want to recognize a few key individuals who helped make this year’s conference memorable:

  • Council Member Ora Houston and Shannon Jones for their welcome remarks
  • Our keynotes Trina “Titi Ladette” Cleveland and Dr. Ryan Sutton
  • Special guest and motivational speaker Nicole Conway
  • Pastor AJ Quinton, for sharing his words of wisdom
  • Pastor H. Ed Calahan, Assistant Pastor Granyon Perry-Wooden, and Pastor Noah Diggs for leading us in prayer
  • Brother James McCreary and his choir companion on their striking rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
  • Our Entertainers – Smooth and EZ Dance Troop and Touch of Class
  • The Planning Committee members for creating an outstanding program