The conference is hosted by Integral Care, the Local Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority for Travis County. The Conference Planning Committee is a diverse group of mostly African American health professionals, advocates and people with lived experience of mental health challenges. Our sponsors are public and private community partners. The conference supports the African American community and embraces all members of the community regardless of race.
The conference provides opportunities to learn more about mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use disorder and physical health challenges and solutions. It’s a place to discover health services and how to help yourself and others get the care you need.
The conference mission is to strengthen awareness of available mental and physical healthcare services through culturally sensitive education, support and partnerships. The conference strives to reduce stigma and eliminate health disparities.
The inaugural conference, held in November 2000, was the first conference in Texas and only the third in the United States to focus on the healthcare needs of African Americans. The conference was born from a desire to confront the systems and cultural bias that have resulted in Africa Americans facing barriers to health care access. Tools and resources that build well-being have often been out of reach for this community. The belief that when people have a strong foundation of physical and mental health, they can reach their full potential drove the creation of the conference.
Integral Care brought together a Conference Planning Committee that included some of the brightest thinkers, community leaders and healthcare professionals in the Austin area. The goal was and continues to be to produce a culturally relevant conference that dispels myths about mental illness and brings an end to health disparities.
Keynote Speakers: Trina “Titi Ladette” Cleveland and Dr. Ryan Sutton. Special Guest Speaker: Nicole Conway
Award Recipients: Judge Nancy Hohengarten, Reggie Smith, Jill Fiorillo and Gladdie Fowler
See a full recap of 2018 here.
Keynote Speakers: Tamu Lewis, co-founder of the Lee Thompson Young Foundation, and Dr. Rebera Foston M.D. MPH, MATS, D Min.
Award Recipients: Deborah Duncan, Stephany Bryan, Meredith Stacy Jones, Karen Ranus and Courtney Bailey.
See a full recap of 2017 here.
Keynote Speakers: Terrie M. Williams, Psychotherapist, Author, Advocate; Hakeem Rahim, NAMI In Your Own Voice Speaker, Let’s Talk Mental Illness Presenter; and Dr. Napoleon Higgins, JR., Psychiatrist, Medical Director of Hold My Hand Residential Treatment Center
Award Recipient: Marva Overton, Executive Director of the Alliance for African American Health in Central Texas
See a full recap of 2016 here.
Keynote Speakers: Allen Lipscomb, USC Lecturer and Social Worker and Former US Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin.
Award Recipient: Shannon Jones, III, Director of Austin Travis County Health and Human Services
Keynote Speakers: Tonier Cain, CEO and Founder of Healing Neen INC.; Courtney Jones, Social Worker and Founder, Change 1; and O’Brien Wilkerson
Award Recipient: Sherri E. Fleming, Travis County Executive for Health and Human Services and Veteran Services
Keynote Speakers: Reverend Robert Gilmore, Ph.D.; Jinneh Dyson, Senior Manager for NAMI Houston; and Dr. William July, Ph.D
Award Recipient: Dr. Exalton Delco, Board of Trustees, Austin Travis County Integral Care
Keynote Speakers: Certified School Psychologist, Dr. Umar Abdullah-Johnson and Joyce James, Associate Deputy Commissioner for the Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Award Recipient: Anthony Haley from the New Milestones Foundation Board of Directors