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Juneteenth in Alexandria - Racial Justice & Mental Health


The Parent Leadership Training Institute of Alexandria is closing out the 2022-2023 PLTI Alexandria People's Assembly and Alumni Racial Justice Fellowship by hosting two community events to commemorate Juneteenth, Mental Health Awareness Month, Men's Mental Health Awareness Month, and Black Mental Health Awareness Month.


We are proud to have the Horning Family Foundation and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation serve as our Presenting Sponsors, with PIES Fitness Yoga Studio, Lazera Ministries, Kweli.tv, the Alexandria African American Hall of Fame, and the Alexandria Film Festival serving as Community Partners.


Our premiere event is a film screening and panel discussion of Dr. Shawn Utsey's tremendous documentary Central Lunatic Asylum for the Colored Insane on Thursday June 22, 2023. This film shares the 153-year history of Central State Hospital (CSH), the first asylum for Black people in the United States. The reception begins at 6pm. The film will begin at 7pm. The panel will close out our evening.


Confirmed panelists include Dr. Utsey, film director, VCU professor, and president of the VA Chapter of The Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), Dr. Olivia Garland, the first Black woman administrator at CSH, Ms. Gwen Cherry, granddaughter of William Benjamin Howell, a patient who died at CSH in the 1940s, and Dr. Joniesha Hickson, clinical psychologists, co-host of Zola Mondays with ABPsi, and founder of Dear Black Prophets. The panel will share a practical vision for what racial justice in mental health could look like through an optimal conceptual worldview, and discuss the ongoing efforts to establish structural racial justice in mental health.


The second event is our PLTI Alumni Racial Justice Fellowship Closing Symposium on Saturday June 17, 2023 at 10am. Our fellows will present their Racial Justice Fellowship Project outcomes, and share personal reflections on the impact that advocating for racial justice in Alexandria has had on the mental health of their family and community.

As is PLTI tradition, our simultaneous CLTI children's programming will explore themes of racial justice and mental health in developmentally appropriate ways.

Capacity is limited. Registration is required. Please visit plti-alex.org to RSVP or for more information.


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