Register – February 11-12, 2020 at the Palmer Events Center

Join us for the 20th Annual Central Texas African American Family Support Conference on February 11 – 12, 2020 at Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Springs Road).

The event includes breakfast and lunch, keynote speakers, poster presentations and breakout sessions.

Registration fees:

  • Individual with Lived Experience/Family Member – $15
  • Community Member – $50
  • Professional Seeking CEU – $150

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Be a Sponsor

20th Anniversary Sponsorship Opportunities

Our sponsors, through a variety of giving levels, have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Your sponsorship makes it possible for us to offer a nominal $15 registration fee to consumers and family members for this 2-day conference, and help get them connected to local support and resources.

Sign up to be a 2020 Sponsor today

For inquiries regarding all forms of sponsorship opportunities, please email Jodie Eldridge.

Everything You Need to Know About the Conference

The 19th Annual Central Texas African American Family Support Conference is just days away. We can’t wait to see you next week at the Palmer Events Center, located at 900 Barton Springs Blvd (78704). It is going to be an amazing conference! Check out the program here.

Below you will find important information to help you prepare.

  • Artboard 2@4xRegistration and breakfast begin at 7:30 AM both days.
  • Parking is free in the Palmer Events Center garage, use of the Parking Code on this page. We will not be able to cover the cost of your parking if you self-pay.
  • The Palmer Events Center parking garage opens at 7:30 AM. You must enter the garage from the Barton Springs Rd. entrance only. Please don’t enter on the Riverside Dr/Long Center entrance. Please see map below.
  • If you have any problems with the Parking Code, conference staff will be available near the Barton Springs parking attendant booth to help you.
  • Golf carts will be available if you need help getting from the garage to Exhibit Hall 2.
  • After you arrive, visit Registration in Exhibit Hall 2 to get your name tag and program.
  • The conference program is in session from 9:00 AM to 5:15 PM on Tuesday, and 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Wednesday.
  • Don’t forget to join us Tuesday evening for our Reception from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at Zax Restaurant.

Questions? Please email us at or call (512) 440-4098.

Artboard 3@4x

We’re thrilled to announce our 2019 keynotes.

Yashi Brown

Yashi Brown is a writer, poet, spoken word artist and passionate mental health advocate. After a rare disappearance at 24 years old, she was found by Los Angeles law enforcement skipping along Ventura Boulevard in a psychotic, manic state. From then on, Yashi, daughter of Rebbie Jackson, eldest member of the high-profile musical Jackson family, vowed to keep her condition a secret as doctors diagnosed her with schizoaffective disorder, which was later confirmed as bipolar disorder type I. Today, she’s a passionate advocate for individuals with serious mental illness and openly shares her resilient story of recovery across multiple media outlets including the TODAY Show, Huffington Post, CBS, ABC News and Ebony/Jet. She was invited by President Obama’s office to participate in the National Dialogue on Mental Illness and was a recipient of SAMHSA’s Special Recognition Award at the 2016 Voice Awards. She also conducts poetry workshops for patients at California State Psychiatric facilities through her foundation project, People of Poetry (POP).

Ronald Chisom

Ronald Chisom is co-founder of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and a senior fellow of Ashoka’s Global Academy, a program for men and women seeking solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. He has organized workers and poor people throughout the South for over thirty-five years. In the 1990s, he co-founded and was associate director of the Treme Community Improvement Association, which won several significant Louisiana victories in New Orleans. His legal suit, Ronald Chisom v. Charles E. Roemer, Governor of Louisiana et al., challenged the Louisiana Supreme Court to achieve equal representation for the predominantly black city of New Orleans. Ron has served as an organizer, advisor, lecturer and consultant to a wide variety of community, legal, and church groups. He has led numerous workshops around the country on Undoing Racism®, community organizing, and leadership and strategy development. His many prestigious awards include: the Bannerman Fellowship, the Petra Foundation Award, the Pax Christi Bread & Roses Award, and the Tenant Resource Center Achievement Award.

Barbara Major

Barbara Major, a native of New Orleans and Franklinton Louisiana, is a community organizer and trainer with over forty years of experience in local, national, and international community development efforts. Her work includes everything from nurturing leadership development efforts within local communities to assisting institutions in developing strategies to de-institutionalize racism. In particular, her contribution has been instrumental in developing The Peoples’ Institute for Survival and Beyond as well as the St. Thomas Community Health Center. Barbara’s expertise allows her to speak candidly from a grassroots and administrative view. Her leadership at the St. Thomas Community Health Center, has directed their work toward becoming an antiracist institution as well as increasing the voice of the community related to environmental and social issues with an analysis of institutional racism as it impacts health/mental health disparities. She has received numerous awards and citations for her achievements, but says “her family” is the greatest award that God has given her.

Do you know someone working hard to improve the lives of individuals affected by mental illness? Nominate them for an award.

Do you know someone working hard to improve the lives of individuals affected by mental illness? If so, consider recognizing their efforts by nominating them for an award. You’ll find information about each award below.


Garnet F. Coleman ‘Eternal Flame’ Award

This award was created to honor Texas State Representative Garnet F. Coleman and acknowledges his life-long local and national work and achievements in health and human services

Award nominations are now closed.


This award will be given based upon the extent to which the nominee meets the following three criteria:

Involved in State, Local Government, and Community

  • This person may be employed by any governmental entity or active in the local community that affects the Central Texas area.
  • This person is a highly respected person in the community.
  • A person who is/has been a volunteer on a board or in the community.
  • This person demonstrates commitment and dedication to the African American community.

Committed to expanding health care access to all

  • Has changed attitudes and enhanced the perception of the value of quality contributions of people with disabilities.
  • This candidate develops activities that are new and exciting in ways that will draw community interest and participation of the target audience.
  • Acts as a team player and encourages teamwork in others

Works on reducing health disparities in mental health

  • Those that advocate for mental health and wellness in the Central Texas Area.
  • Shares personal knowledge and skills with others in an effort to promote the positive welfare of others with mental health challenges.
  • Serves on committees that promote mental wellness in our community.
  • They have created an original idea or adapted an existing program which resulted in a long-term benefit to African Americans.

Please complete this application to submit your nominee.

Richard E. Hopkins ‘Torch’ Awards

The “Torch” Awards acknowledges individuals who work to improve the lives of those affected by mental health or other health-related issues within the Central Texas Community.  These awards honor the work and advocacy of Richard E. Hopkins, past Vice –Chair of the Integral Care Board of Trustees and longtime conference supporter.

This award will be given based upon the extent to which the nominee meets the following three criteria:


  • Fosters the mission of people with mental health that have lived experiences.
  • Fights for the rights of people with mental health challenges in planning, participating or presenting in health-related issues in the Austin community.
  • A known supporter of the Central Texas African American Family Support Conference.
  • Demonstrates wisdom, courage, and compassion.


  • Demonstrated ambassadorship. Courageous.
  • Willing to make decisions based on community values, and skills that may affect the consumers and their families.
  • Works well with individuals with mental health challenges.
  • Persistent in identifying and developing lucrative avenues that yield positive results for Central Texas African American Family Support Conference.

Role Model

  • Those who serve as a positive source of inspiration for the African-American community.
  • They demonstrate a high commitment to ethics.
  • A trustworthy person in the community.
  • Knowledgeable about the needs of individuals with mental health challenges.

Please complete this application to submit your nominee.

These individuals can be nominated in the following categories:

  • Consumer: An individual with a mental illness, substance use disorder or intellectual developmental disability who works to help others affected by similar issues.
  • Family Member: An individual with a family member or friend with a mental illness, substance use disorder or intellectual developmental disability and who advocates or works to help everyone affected by mental illness or other health problems or disparities.
  • Professional: A clinician, social worker or other individuals who work in a professional capacity to raise awareness and help all people affected by mental illness or other health problems or disparities.
  • Community Leader: An elected official, faith leader or other community leaders who use his or her position to help people affected by mental illness or other health problems or disparities.

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.



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.”