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2024 Agenda

If you never heal from what hurt you, You’ll bleed on people that didn’t cut you! - Unknown

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Whats Happening Brother - Unknown Artist

Day One
Thursday, June 20th

9 am to 4:30 pm

“From Hurt to Hope: Fostering Healing for Black Men and the Black Family”

Dr. Deadric T. Williams is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville


The Black family has long served as a source of strength and resilience in the face of systemic oppression. However, the historical and ongoing challenges faced by Black men take a toll on their well-being and can create ripples of hurt throughout the family unit. This presentation explores the concept of healing for Black men and its profound impact on the Black family. I will delve into the unique sources of pain experienced, such as racism and social pressures. I will then explore pathways to healing, examining the importance of creating safe spaces for vulnerability, fostering positive self-identity, and building strong support networks within the family. By prioritizing Black men's healing, we can empower them to become stronger fathers, partners, and role models, ultimately fostering a more hopeful future for Black families

Morning Workshops

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Jimmie L. Heags, Jr., MA, LSC, LPCC, LADC, ACS, Counselors & Therapists
“Thriving African American communities enhance overall societal health and well-being."

The presentation will be delivered with a focus on cultural competence and sensitivity, acknowledging the unique experiences and challenges faced by African American men and their families.


Throughout the session, there will be an emphasis on the exploration of healing practices based on healthy, non-violent relationships. Specific attention will be given to Marshall Rosenburg’s Nonviolent Communication approach to healthy communication.

The objectives of the training are to explore healthy and nonviolent communication by exploring the following topics:


  • Socio-economic Disparities and the impact on the Black Family

  • Historical Trauma and Intergenerational Effects

  • Systemic Racism and Health Implications

  • Trauma-informed approaches to Healing

  • Cultivating Healthy Relationships

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Dr. Altreisha Foster, an author, scientist, baker, and entrepreneur
“Baking for Wellness:
Exploring the Therapeutic Benefits of Cake Therapy" in the Community”

She discusses baking as a form of therapy for systems-impacting women and girls. In this 60-minute cake therapy presentation, attendees will delve into the transformative power of baking through a structured and engaging session. Cake therapy combines the joy of baking with mindfulness practices to promote emotional well-being and self-expression.


The session will begin with an overview of cake therapy, discussing its origins and the emerging trend of using baking as a therapeutic tool. Participants will explore the connection between baking, creativity, and mental wellness, emphasizing the therapeutic benefits of engaging in hands-on baking activities.


In conclusion, participants will leave with a deeper understanding of cake therapy and practical takeaways that can be implemented in their own lives or professional practices. The session aims to inspire attendees to embrace baking as a therapeutic outlet and explore its potential to enhance emotional well-being and promote holistic wellness.

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Anthony Williams, Executive Director of Community Education, Athletics and Activities
“Black men in educational leadership:
The impacts of wearing the mask.”

A group discussion about the joys and challenges of being a black man in educational leadership. Participants will leave with strategies on how to navigate the challenges of being a black man in educational leadership.

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Latosha Cox, skilled facilitator, trainer, public speaker, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practitioner
“Multi-Generational Healing:
It is a Family Affair”

This interactive workshop invites attendees to explore multi-generational healing, envision what it can be for them and their families, and learn how to take intentional action to achieve this goal for their families.


Latosha (maybe alongside her 2 daughters) will share their therapy journey as a multi-generational family and how their journeys have positively influenced their relationship, communication & more. She will share how their healing journeys are influencing their father/ex-husband's interest to move the needle in accepting mental health support in this season, as he lives with end-stage kidney disease and is on dialysis at the age of 43.

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Cedric Weatherspoon, LMFT, President of Empower Therapeutic Support Services Inc.
“Reclaiming Strength:
Community Building and Psychoeducation in Afro-Descendant Trauma Recovery" 

Learning Objective 1: Participants will be equipped with the knowledge to implement strength-based trauma recovery interventions tailored specifically for Afro-descendant community members residing in America.

Learning Objective 2: Participants will gain insight into strategies that help overcome barriers preventing Afro-descendant owned organizations from fostering a collective effort to address both historical and acute trauma within our community.

Learning Objective 3: Participants will explore how Afro-centered trauma recovery models can be effectively implemented in partnership with like-minded community-based agencies

Deseria Galloway, CEO of Wellspring Second Chance Center
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Leo Howard III, M.Ed, Greater Twin Cities United Way, Program Manager and University of Minnesota, Adjunct professor 
“Therapeutic Trappin.
Healing ourselves and normalizing wellness through music”

Delve into the myriad of issues our families face surrounding trauma, wellness, and mental health and how these things impact us individually but also as a familial unit. We will use representation and music to create tangible, culturally specific, trauma-informed responses that lead to healing for the family and/or the community.

Dr. LaVonne M. Moore
CEO and Founder of Chosen Vessels Midwifery Services, and The Chocolate Milk Club

“Club Uncle Big”

Dr. LaVonne Moore will join Sam to have a fireside chat about relationships, family, community, and other topics.

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Sam Simmons, LADC Behavioral Consultant, Conference Co-Creator, and  co-host of the "Voices” radio show on KMOJ FM.

Afternoon Workshops

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“Department of Children, Youth, and Families update”

Tikki Brown, Minnesota Department of Human Services Children and Family Services Assistant Commissioner, will share updates on the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), which will be established as a new state agency effective July 1, 2024.

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“State Policy Update”


Cedrick Frazier, is an attorney and politician serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), and represents District 43A, including New Hope and Crystal in Hennepin County will share legislative updates.

William Drew is the founder & owner of Mindful I Consulting LLC, as a Mindfulness-Based Consultant and Performance Coach.
“The Black Man, Religion &
The Third Space”

Reintroduce/Expand the conversation around the role of religion and spiritual wellness as necessary components of Black Men's healing and the Wellness of the Black Family.


The objective is to Recognize the historical relationship between Black Men's usage of institutional religion and African culture to create spaces for survival with a hope for flourishing. That is attempts toward socio-economic and political progress.


  1. Participants will recognize the founding of the Historic Black Church as an attempt to create a safe space for imagining and activating movements for socio-economic change and political progress.

  2. Participants will recognize the historical precedent of the political roles Black Men and Black Women played in the Historic Black Church when it preserved African culture.

  3. Participants will recognize the need/opportunities to create new/additional safe spaces for Black Men for reflection/connection/imagination as church rolls decline and fewer people are identifying themselves as Christian or churchgoers.

  4. Participants will be invited to consider what is and is not a safe space and how they might contribute to creating and sustaining safe spaces.

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Autumn Mason, Doula, Parent Educator, Peer Support Professional and with the Minnesota Prison Doula Project
"Empowering Black Fathers and Rebuilding Black Families”

It will examine the historical systemic agenda for the separation of the black family and how that impacted the outcomes of black families. It will also share tools and opportunities to create pathways of empowerment for black men as fathers and black families.​

A. Our objectives are to identify:

(1) the historical systemic agenda for the separation of the black family
(2) tools for empowering the black man and how that impacts the outcomes of black families
(3) opportunities to create pathways of empowerment for black fathers

B. Our expected outcome will be a better informed and aware community that will explore the use of the tools provided to create opportunities to empower black fathers/families.

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Tierre Caldwell, Parent Educator, Peer Support Professional and with the Minnesota Prison Doula Project
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Richard Smith is a healing strategist and nationally recognized expert on trauma and healing for survivors of interpersonal and systemic violence.
“Harmonizing Healing Paths:
Deploying the Community's Scale for Comprehensive Healing"

This workshop introduces "The Community's Scale for Healing Possibilities," a vital tool conceptualized and developed by Black and Afro-Latino researchers for assessing and guiding healing from community violence.


This session will showcase the scale’s adaptability and significance for a broad spectrum of professionals within the healing and therapeutic community, highlighting its application in fostering culturally attuned healing processes. Participants will explore the scale's domains—getting to the core, reclaiming possibilities and hope, faith in healing, and trusting community in healing—gaining insights into how these elements can be integrated into various healing modalities to support the Black community's diverse needs.

A) Goals and Objectives

  • To introduce the Community's Scale for Healing Possibilities, underscoring its creation by a dedicated team and its application in healing practices across the Black community.

  • To demonstrate the scale’s broad applicability in enhancing therapeutic and healing work, ensuring interventions are culturally responsive and grounded in community-defined processes.

  • To provide therapists, healers, and direct service providers with practical strategies for integrating the scale into their practices, thereby amplifying their impact on community healing and empowerment.


B) Expected Outcomes for Participants

  • An enriched understanding of the Community's Scale for Healing Possibilities, appreciating its versatility in supporting healing across different professional settings.

  • Enhanced capability to apply the scale in therapeutic and service provision contexts, promoting culturally specific and healing-centered methodologies.

  • Empowerment to utilize the scale to contribute significantly to the holistic healing and well-being of individuals and communities.

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Joseph S Bard, Radio Host, Artist and Community Facilitator
“Black Cultural Expression In America:
The Purpose of Art as Therapy, from an Artist's Perspective"

Since the beginning of time, Black People have found peace and liberation through singing, dancing, storytelling, and performance art. We currently live in a society that has Black Men seeking therapy outside of these historical and cultural ways of seeking a sense of peace and liberation while rarely finding either. What can we do to reclaim and build on a lineage of art and storytelling as a healthy self-expression or therapy for Black Men and their Families? What does it look like to do this authentically and without shame or embodied/programmed bias from other cultures?

His goals are

  • To facilitate the reclamation of art through the historic Black tradition as a method for processing dysregulated behavior, trauma, grief, etc., in Black Men and their Families.

  • To encourage participants to embrace art through the historic Black tradition as a Self-Soothing Strategy, supporting other healing practices that benefit the entire Family and Community.

  • To support the use of inclusive, empowering art through the historic Black tradition that promotes diverse perspectives through participant engagement.

His desired outcomes include supporting participants in surfacing and addressing inherent biases in themselves and those directed at other Black Men, promoting a more inclusive and equitable society and cultivating openness in exploring the healing potential of music and art (specifically creating and performing) as a culturally specific, culturally informed means of mental/emotional wellness and self-discovery.

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Mujasi and Ayolanda Bandele are family life educators and researchers in the field of family science.
"Parenting Against White Supremacy: Strategies of family resilience and activism”

Goals And Objectives:

  • Provide knowledge of an internal and external model of family resilience.

  • Explain the research-based practices of addressing and challenging racism from a family life-span perspective.

  • Create an experience of focus conversations about Black family life in white social spaces.

“A Family Story,
from Intergenerational Trauma to Thriving.”

Sam Simmons, LADC, behavioral consultant, conference co-creator, and co-host of the "Voices" on KMOJ FM.


Sam will use his family story to critically examine the link between historical and/or intergenerational trauma and current challenges in the black community and its relationship to family health. He will also explore practical trauma-informed, culture-sensitive approaches that celebrate family and uplift the community.

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18th Annual Sons of Bransford Awards

5:30 p.m. in Metro State University, St. Paul Campus,

Main Great Hall

Day Two
Friday, June 21st

9 am to 12:30 pm

“The Black Family as part of the Recovery Ecosystem”

Dr. Andre L. Johnson is the Founder/President/CEO of the Detroit Recovery Project Incorporated (DRP).


Dr. Johnson examines the development of an effective Recovery Ecosystem and shares strategies for identifying solutions to healing and empowerment in the Black Community.

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Sam Simmons

“The Future of Community Safety and Healing Panel”

The panel will critically examine the current challenges in the black community and their relationship to the future of the health of the family and explore practical trauma-informed, culture-sensitive approaches that lead to healing and community uplift.
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Dr. Deadric T. Williams
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Dr. Andre L. Johnson
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Jaton White

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Edrin Williams
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Joseph Cole
aka Brother RA

“You don’t have to be a man to fight for freedom.

All you have to do is to be an intelligent human being.” — Malcolm X

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