Registration Now Open


The 2019 conference will be held on February 26-27, 2019 at the Palmer Events Center.

Join faith leaders, health professionals, advocates, people living with mental health challenges and their families to learn, connect and grow. Learn more about mental and physical health solutions. Build new relationships. Find out about health services and how to help yourself and others get the care you need. Together we can grow healthier and stronger.  

$15 Consumer/Family Members
$50 Community Members
$150 Professionals seeking CEUs

Register using a Credit/Debit Card

Register with Purchase Order or Check

If you are in need of financial assistance to cover the conference registration fee, please email

Continuing Education Units
Professional and Peer Support Continuing Education (CEU) will be available. Only Certified Peer Support Specialist CEU’s are free of charge.

Save the Date – February 26-27, 2019

Don’t miss the next Central Texas African American Family Support Conference on February 26th and 27th, 2019.


Learn · Connect · Grow


· Interactive Workshops         · Inspirational Speakers

· Community Resource Fair         ·Continuing Education


The conference – hosted by Integral Care – supports the African American community and embraces all members of the community regardless of race.



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


With Special Guest Nicole Conway

Nicole R. Conway is a mother, grandmother, wife and a new author. By looking at her no one would ever know that she is an over comer & survivor of a chiari malformation that threatened to paralyze her at the age of 40.

Nicole is a native of Seattle, WA and relocated to Austin with her family when she was 10 years old. She and her husband currently live in Austin, Texas and they have five children between them and two beautiful granddaughters. Nicole currently is a property manager for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and has more than 17 years of state service. Outside of her years of state service, Nicole is also a plus size model, wardrobe stylist/image consultant and a motivational speaker.

Her recently published book: Coco’s Chronicles: A Daily Dose of Inspiration is one of the many tools she uses to help others conquer mental health challenges that often times rob us of our dignity and confidence. Nicole says, “This book was written for those who have experienced valley lows as well as the mountain top. A book designed for those who have made bad choices, who have overcome obstacles that in turn have made them stronger. It’s one of triumphs, defeats and victories. Many times we are faced with distractions and difficult situations that throw us off track…these things were designed to make it hard to reach a place of safety. We are bruised but not broken.”

Mrs. Conway is a person with a lived experience of a debilitating mental health condition who is now living in continued wellness. She is very personable, transparent and always open to sharing her story in hopes of helping others.

Our 2018 Keynote Speakers

We’re thrilled to announce our 2018 keynotes.

Trina “TiTi Ladette” Cleveland

TiTi LadetteTrina “TiTi Ladette” Cleveland has found a new way to live through writing and poetry. Her gift was hidden for years as she struggled with addiction and mental illness. After 14- years in prison and more than 25-years in active drug addiction, TiTi has managed to become more than a survivor. She has become a success.

As a professional, performance Spoken Word poet, her poetry is real and relevant and her books are as well. She is the author of the best-selling memoir “The Pink Elephant in the Middle of the Getto” that has sold more than 70,000 copies to date. She is also the author “The Pink Elephant in the Middle of the Getto INSTITUTIONAL VERSION edited to adhere to censorship guidelines for prisons and treatment facilities. “The Pink Elephant in the Middle of the Getto WORKBOOK” is a companion for either version and has been utilized by more than 17 psychiatrists, professional counselors, and adopted into the curriculum of one of the largest Integrated Behavioral Health Centers in Hackensack, NJ.

TiTi is the President and Founder of her nonprofit and a full-time student working towards her degree in Community Advocacy and Social Policy with a concentration in Forensic Social Work. As a nonprofit, TiTi is an advocate for parents who are involved with the Child Protective Services Process and have been affected by substance abuse, mental health disorders, post-trauma, and/or have a previous criminal history/background that limits access to social benefits and prevents effective parenting.

To date, TiTi has written five books. She is an entrepreneur with two publishing houses, the founder of Christian Women At The Well Entrepreneur Group, co-founder of Sisterhood of Writers and Authors of Texas (SWAT), and the host of her podcast talk show “The Uncut Truth”. She has recently added the title Playwright and Songwriter to her name as she not only wrote The Pink Elephant Stage Play but all the songs for the play as well.

Trina “TiTi Ladette” Cleveland has been featured in several newspaper articles, radio talk shows, and is the Spoken Word Slam Champ of the 2014 National Black Book Festival. She is also a celebrated Inspirational and Motivational Speaker. Some of her Keynote Speaker assignments include 2016 Travis County Reentry Summit, Austin, TX, Team Management 2K Annual Christmas Party, Hackensack, NJ, the Define U Women Conference, Gonzales, LA and The Black Women and Girls Rock Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and substance abuse, being able to successfully manage life with a dual diagnosis has gained TiTi a huge social media following which is her platform to help transform the lives of others. She maintains her recovery by attending 12 step meetings, sponsoring other women, being of service to her community and is fully engaged in her mental health care.

TiTi is a powerful, engaging, and inspirational motivating speaker who conveys her message with passion, transparency, and tact. TiTi is living proof that no matter what life throws at you, you can get back up….again and again.


Ryan Sutton, Ph.D.

RyanSuttonSutton earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Howard University, in the field of Counseling Psychology. He received clinical experience at Tree of Life Public Charter School, D.C. Jail, Howard University Counseling Services, and various community-based mental health centers. While at Howard, Ryan was a student of Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, who was recently named deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Ryan has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at numerous national conferences on the areas of academic achievement, juvenile justice and mental health among Black males. He completed his doctoral internship at the District of Columbia Superior Court, Child Guidance Clinic, where he was responsible for forensic psychological testing, therapy and research.

Sutton earned his B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in African-American Studies, at Xavier University in Louisiana. While at Xavier, he worked with Tulane University’s Upward Bound and Young Scholars program as director of tutoring services and college readiness.

Sutton’s dissertation was entitled, “The Relationship between Personal Values and Mental Health Functioning among African American Youth in the Juvenile Justice System.”

Registration Now Open

DSC_8051The 2018 conference will be held on February 27-28, 2018 at the Palmer Events Center.

The Central Texas African American Family Support Conference provides information and educational opportunities about mental health, substance use disorder, co-occurring disorders and physical health issues. Topics range from health integration to mental health issues resulting from racial bias.

Continuing Education Units

Professional and Peer Support Continuing Education (CEU) will be available. Only Certified Peer Support Specialist CEU’s are free of charge.


$10 for consumers and family members
$129 for professionals/CEUs

Registration is now open

Please note: We respect your privacy, we do not sell or share your information with anyone.

Keynote Speakers

We’re thrilled to announce our 2017 keynotes.


Tamu Lewis

Tamu is co-founder of the Lee Thompson Young Foundation, a foundation dedicated to erasing the stigma associated with mental illness and providing mental health and wellness education in schools, organizations and communities. Along with her mother, Dr. Velma Love, Tamu created the Foundation in 2013 after losing her brother, actor Lee Thompson Young, to suicide. The Lee Thompson Young Foundation has directly served over 1,500 people since its operations began in 2014. Tamu earned a Bachelors degree in Finance from the University of South Carolina and a Masters degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is a Member of the Atlanta Area Compensation Association (AACA), WorldatWork and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),  hold numerous professional certifications and is a Life and Career Coach. Tamu is also the founder of People Solutions Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm.



Dr. Rebera Foston

Rebera Elliott Foston, M.D. MPH, MATS, DMin. Drawing from the wealth of knowledge she has accumulated while becoming a doctor of medicine, a doctor of  social  crisis ministry, a master of public health, and a master of theological studies, Dr. Foston manages to weave her entire message through her powerful poetry.  Dr. Foston uses all of her gifts to tell of the “addiction to hopelessness” that affects so many of our young people.

A Phi Beta Kappa , Magna Cum Laude graduate of Fisk University, she is the author of 24 published books, and has produced two full length feature movies. Dr. Foston is currently the Executive Director  and chief Trainer for the Foston Institute for Holistic Mentoring in Clarksville, TN.

Holistic Mentoring, the treatment for the addiction to hopelessness, improves  traditional mentoring  by making it more therapeutic , helps rebuild community, and begins with the tenet ” you must be more whole than the child you are trying to help.