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2023 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 22nd 

9 am to 4:30 pm

Morning Keynote

Dr. Altreisha Foster is the author of “Cake Therapy: How Baking Changed My Life” a story of her life changes after wandering through the valley of despair and facing trauma. It's about family, faith, forgiveness, fortitude, and reframing our traumatic experiences to foster healing and growth. You will be inspired by her faith, her mindset, and her generosity in spirit."

Morning Workshops

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Dr. Antwan Player, assistant professor at Adler Graduate School
“Mental Health and Parenting: 
The taboo subjects…that ends today”

The purpose of this presentation is to foster an environment where these two concepts no longer serve as taboo but serve as enrichment and enlightenment. The objective is to challenge anecdotal evidence about mental health by understanding what mental health is. Participants can look forward to learning how mental health impact parenting practices from an Adlerian perspective. Lastly, since parenting does not come with a handbook, most people learn to parent from their parents based on what they witness during their early childhood. Participants attending this presentation will explore how childhood experiences of parenting can influence current parenting practices.

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Princess Titus, teacher, orator, and philanthropist
“Anthony's Choice”

A mother shares the story of her experience with Lifesource, the myths around donations, the impact on the community, and Anthony's Legacy.  

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Minkara Tezet is the Griot of Psychology and Psychiatry at the Cultural Wellness Center
“Fathering and the Birthing Process”

This workshop is a space to examine the process of supporting fathers through the birthing process and consider paternal support's impact on maternal health and childbirth outcomes.  


Participants who participate in the workshop will be asked to explore their own birth stories as sources of knowledge about trauma recovery and resilient practices that can become a path toward intergenerational healing for families and communities.

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Phillip McGraw, A Chicago-born poet, and photographer
Raj S, Associate Professor at Metropolitan State University
“Healing through Movement and Reflection”

The goal is to Accelerate and sustain the process of healing through intentional movement and reflection for both the individual as well as the community.



  • Increase the quality of returning from seeking distraction

  • Recover and Expand awareness of personal and community stories of power and resilience

  • Optimize the ability to maintain these skills, individually and in the community despite the circumstance.

William Drew, Owner, Mindful I Consulting LLC, and Healing House Yoga LLC
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Sidney Frye II, Program Manager with Olmsted County and Principal Consulting with Mind Shifts Consulting LLC
“The Power of Resiliency: Retelling Our Story”

The story of Black men in America is often told in terms of trauma and pain. What if we were to retell the story…not in terms of what happened to a people, but about what they did to survive? Learn how taking a strength-based approach can help change the narrative. In the process, gain a newfound appreciation for the power of resiliency and how one can help reframe struggle as a mechanism that produces strengths.

  • Attendees will learn Narrative Theory perspectives related to empowerment through oral tradition and storytelling.

  • Attendees will learn how taking a strength-based approach can help change the narrative on our understanding of our experiences.

  • Attendees will learn how to reframe struggle as a mechanism that produces strength and how overcoming discrimination can produce determination.

  • Attendees will learn more about what resiliency is and how, historically, Black communities have exemplified many key characteristics.

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Lunch Keynote

“A Historical Perspective of Black History and Mental Health”

This keynote will take a broad historical look at African American mental health.  As well as resilience and social ties have enabled many African Americans to overcome adversity and maintain a degree of mental health. Also, the importance of engaging in accurate historical and current narratives to get on the proper path to healing ourselves and our children and sustaining our future.

W. Curtis Marshall MS, Public Health Strategist/Consultant

Afternoon Workshops

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Dr. Altreisha Foster, an author, scientist, baker, and entrepreneur
“Cake Therapy: How Baking Changed My Life”

Altreisha Foster is the author of “Cake Therapy: How Baking Changed My Life” She highlights the correlation between trauma, her life experiences, and hardships, and overcoming the sweet decadence of baking through her recipes. She finds peace, solace, remembrance, and renewal of life in her nurtured craft and has since been sharing it with the world.

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Zachary Hylton, Economic and Racial Equity Consultant
“Global Futures Dependent Upon Black Men's Healing”

This proposed session includes a presentation of ideas and a facilitated workshop discussion. Goals and Objectives of the Workshop:


  1. Explain theoretical and practical conceptualizations of system transformation.

  2. Explain the connection between Black Liberation and healing and system transformation.

  3. Explain the theoretical connections between system transformation and the Anthropocene.


Expected Outcomes for Participants

  1. Critically discuss the proposed connection between Black healing/liberation, system transformation, and the Anthropocene.

  2. Develop a critical framework to determine what is system transformation and what is not.

  3. Consider implications for developing system transformation efforts and participation in system transformation efforts across different communities.

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Kentral Galloway, program director 
Quincy Jones, Violence Prevention Case Manager
Next Step Program

The presenters will educate participants on the work and approach of the Next Step Program. Next Step is a hospital-based violence intervention program that connects youth and young adult victims of violent injury to resources and support.


The goals of the Next Step program are to:

  • Reduce re-injury and re-hospitalization for youth who are victims of violent injuries.

  • Support positive development and holistic healing for youth and families affected by violence.

  • Help interrupt the cycle of community violence.

Larry Burgess, Senior Case Manager
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Terron Edwards, Founder and Executive President of Fathers Making Progress
“Fathers Making Progress”

The workshop will explore trauma-informed, culture-sensitive outcome-driven approaches that lead to community healing and empowerment in the inner city Milwaukee neighborhoods they work in. This will be done through not just its founder but long-time participants, many whom are now members of its staff, telling the movement’s story of its rise into an organization that provides Black fathers the tools to provide Black Fathers the tools to impact our community.  We will also talk about current program offerings and demonstrate the growth space we create during their groups.

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Richard D. Smith, MA., National Trainer and Trauma Expert
“Divine Masculinity”

Richard explores the transformative potential of divine masculinity as a movement for healing and personal evolution among men. Smith defines divine masculinity as an integrative approach that promotes the balance of inner strength and vulnerability, emphasizing emotional intelligence, empathy, and self-awareness, allowing men to grow beyond antiquated gender roles and expectations.


Participants will engage in an interactive activity, designed by Smith, to promote self-reflection and open dialogue, allowing them to connect with their personal experiences and understand the potential impact of embracing divine masculinity in their lives and communities. By attending this presentation, attendees will gain valuable insights and tools to incorporate Richard Smith's divine masculine principles into their personal lives, relationships, and community engagement efforts, contributing to a healthier, more empowered future.

Afternoon Keynote

Sam Simmons, ladc. Behavioral Consultant, owner of Samuel Simmons Consulting, llc, and conference organizer

"Compassionate Accountability:

creating an environment for collective healing and safety"

This lecture will explore the link between personal experiences, perceptions, beliefs, and biases that have posed challenges to individual and community, security, safety, and policy change. The speaker will discuss “compassion accountability” as a culturally sensitive strategy to foster an environment of collective safety and healing.


“When you change the way, you look at things, and the things you look at change.” – Albert Einstein

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17th Annual Sons of Bransford Awards

The goal of the Sons Of Bransford or SOB Awards is to recognize African American men and women who have positively impacted the social conditions of the community and the lives of individuals through their quiet and not-so-quiet leadership. In the spirit of the award, namesake Jim Bransford like him who is worthy of receiving their flowers while they can still smell them! 

5:30 p.m. at Metro State University, Main Great Hall

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Day Two
Friday, June 23rd 

9 am to 12:30 pm


“Revolutionary and Radical Black Men Healing: From Trauma to Action- Black Men Naming, Facing, Taming, and Overcoming “Beasts”

This keynote will address the individual, cultural, and social factors that influence, impact, and facilitate Black men healing and hurting. Black men, historically and in the present day, face tremendous psycho-social obstacles in their lives. These “beasts'' are systematic and bring along challenges, pressures, and threats. As targets of, and for, lynching, shooting, stabbing, drowning, beating, and knee-smothering, Black men’s lives–their healing, families, and communities–are always “on the line.” Their search for and attainment of holistic healing and “beating back beats'' is an ongoing personal, family, and community affair. Through practitioner case studies of work with Black men, the speaker proposes that natural healing, for these men, starts and ends with natural learning, which is simultaneously recognizing, dealing, and effecting positive change in self, social group, and society-a revolutionary and radical-type harmonic existence in environments.

Dr. Terrance Kwame-Ross, professor at Augsburg University, and a visiting faculty at the University of Minnesota.

“The Future of Community Safety and Healing Panel”

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Sam Simmons
The experience with COVID-19 and the death of George Floyd became a nationwide eye-opening experience and hoped for a reckoning for past trauma. This reckoning appears short-lived with increased crime and violence, leaving the community feeling unsafe and, at times, under attack. This panel will take a deep dive into strategies to address these issues internally and externally and explore practical, culturally sensitive outcome-driven approaches that lead to system transformation, safety, healing, and community empowerment.
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Rev. Brian C. Herron
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Dr. Chris St. Vil, Researcher and Professor
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Richard D. Smith, MA., National Trainer and Trauma Expert
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Dr. Terrance Kwame-Ross  Augsburg U
William Drew,  Owner, Mindful I Consulting, LLC

“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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