The city of Grand Rapids will host an online conversation on the impact of trauma on communities of color.
The Facebook Live event, set for 6 p.m. Aug. 12, will focus on processing and healing from trauma and vicarious trauma related to racism and use of force.
The panel discussion is hosted by the city’s equity and engagement and oversight and public accountability offices. The panelists are:
- Loanna Abreu – Bilingual therapist with a focus on individuals experiencing substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, postpartum depression, trauma, anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, stress, women-specific concerns, acculturation and assimilation. Abreu’s practice specializes in working with Latinx, Black and LGBTQ+ clients.
- Lennox Forrest – Psychologist with a focus on relationship management, marriage counseling, family counseling, anger and stress management, forensic psychology and sports psychology.
- Monica Johnson – Bilingual clinical social worker trained in dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based approaches. Johnson has extensive experience working with adults and adolescents experiencing anxiety, depression and trauma.
- Samuel Jones – Multicultural therapist engaged in family systems and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Jones focuses on marginalized communities who are dealing with severe traumas and fear-based illnesses.
- Kerby Killingham – Professional counselor experienced in treating trauma-related disorders such as sexual abuse, substance abuse and physical violence from an adolescent and adult perspective. Killingham is trained in facilitating male victimization trauma focus groups.
“This event will offer a real conversation on the generational impact racism has on our physical and mental health, as well as strategies and resources for Black, indigenous and people of color to identify and process this trauma,” said Stacy Stout, director of equity and engagement. “We will have expertise on the panel that supports youth. This is important because racism is everywhere, and our young people see it and feel it. My hope is that participants leave with specific steps and resources they can use to heal and advocate for change to stop reinjury.”
Brandon Davis, director of oversight and public accountability, said the event is part of the city’s commitment to partnering with the community to provide mental health resources.
“Centuries of inhumane treatment, unjust outcomes and violence due to racism have led to instances or, in some cases, a lifetime of traumatic experiences for many people of color, especially Black people,” Davis said. “Hosting this event is one way we are working toward a safe community in which all people feel safe and are safe at all times in our community.”
The event will be streamed live on the office of oversight and public accountability’s Facebook page. Community members may submit a question during the event via Facebook or by calling 311 or (616) 456-3000. Spanish interpretation also will be provided.