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 Expert Panelists Kenneth Braswell, Terrie M. Williams, Dr. Janet Taylor, Dr. Sidney Hankerson and Dr. Jeff Gardere to Lead Enlightening Discussion on Depression: Faith, Family and Fatherhood


New York, NY (BlackNews.com) — Kenneth Braswell, award-winning community activist, author and executive director of Fathers Incorporated (FI) has teamed up with the country’s leading experts on mental health and depression to host Code Blue: A Call For Community Healing on Friday, November 16, 2012, at St. Paul Community Baptist Church, located at 859 Hendrix Street in Brooklyn, NY, from 6:30 – 9:00pm. This community event is free and open to the public.

Co-chaired by Terrie M. Williams, best-selling author, award-winning community activist and national mental health advocate, FI’s Code Blue: A Call for Community Healing aims to examine the too-often taboo topics affecting the African American family and community en masse – mental health and depression. The purpose is to create open dialogue that brings together men, women, youth, faith-based institutions, resources and services.

“It’s time to TALK,” states Braswell. “It has become clear the more and more we engage in responsible fatherhood work, that it is having a profound impact on our families, including their mental health. It’s time to address how the myriad of social ills we face are being perpetuated by our failing to initiate a serious community dialog.”

The recent alleged suicides of hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty and Soul Train legend Don Cornelius have brought national attention to the issue of mental health and depression among African American men. Conversely, it cannot be ignored that many of the social ills experienced by Black men/fathers have an adverse impact on the mental health of both women and children.

“It is my personal mission to educate everyone, and in particular the African Americans, about depression and its impact on our communities. Not knowing what depression looks like, feels like, and sounds like is killing us,” says Williams. “Every day, we wear the ‘mask’ of wellness that seemingly hides our pain from the world. Now is the time to identify and name our pain — minus the myths and the stigma that are destroying our community. We need help — like yesterday.”

“The psyches of the Black man, woman and child weigh heavy with the 
atrocities borne by our ancestors and, are alive through the injustices we experience in 2012 – stop & frisk, elevated interest rates, cut rate educational opportunities, substandard food choices in our communities; the list is endless,” states Rev. Brawley. “With these burdens to bear daily, there is little need to wonder why our mental health not only suffers, but spirals sadly out of control at times. As a community we must collectively acknowledge where we are, why we are where we are and work together to bring about healing. That is why the Code Blue forum is so important.”

The crux of the program’s mission is to promote healing, examine the state of the family unit, and create quality mental health awareness. Expert panelists to speak on “Faith, Family and Fatherhood” include: Co-chair Kenneth Braswell; co-chair Terrie M. Williams; Dr. Janet Taylor of The Jeremy Kyle Show; Dr. Sidney Hankerson of New York State Psychiatric Institute; Dr. Jeff Gardere of the Love & Hip-Hop show; and Drs. Derek and Darcel Suite of Full Circle Life Enrichment Center. Hosted by Senior Pastor Rev. David K. Brawley of St. Paul Community Baptist Church, the evening’s event will kick off in the spirit of gospel, with performances by the Empire Christian Center Praise Team. David Miller, co-founder of the Urban Leadership Institute will serve as the program’s moderator.

Terrie M. Williams, one of Ebony magazine’s “Power 150” for Activism and Woman’s Day magazine “50 Women On A Mission To Change The World,” is an advocate for change and empowerment. For more than 30 years, she has used her influence and communications expertise to educate and engage audiences in various causes.

A licensed psychotherapist by training, Terrie is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting. The book recounts her personal struggle with depression and the impact of the stigma of mental illness particularly on the African American community. Her creation of a mental health advocacy campaign led to a collaboration with the Ad Council and SAMHSA on a national initiative of mental health recovery. The campaign garnered $2.5 million in donated national advertising and 11 million media impressions to significantly heighten the awareness and exposure. She has been the recipient of numerous honors to acknowledge bringing the issue into the forefront of our community.

For additional information, like Terrie on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TerrieMWilliams; and on Twitter at @TerrieWilliams.
About Fathers Incorporated:
Established in 2004, Fathers Incorporated (FI), a national not-for-profit organization based in New York, is committed to eliminating fatherlessness and increasing the commitment of men to become mentors. Over the last several months, the campaign has garnered international attention and is supported by the White House and several major urban cities. Currently, FI is the contractor for the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For additional information, visit www.fathersincorporated.com; like on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FathersIncorporated; and follow on Twitter at @Fathersincorp.

Photo Caption: Kenneth Braswell, executive director of Fathers Incorporated

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