Young, Gifted, @Risk & Resilient Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being among Students of Color

About the 2019 Conference

Thursday, October 24, 2019 | 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. | Michigan League, University of Michigan


Mark your calendars for the 2019 Young, Gifted, @Risk, & Resilient (YGARR) national conference at the University of Michigan! This day-long conference will bring together leading researchers, practitioners, administrators, faculty, and students to focus on campus climate and mental health among young adult/college students of color.

The current dialogue on mental health among college students has become a nationwide priority. Students of color in particular are tasked with navigating unique circumstances that can negatively influence their mental health, including racial/ethnic discrimination disparities in service utilization that can be exacerbated by discrimination experiences, treatment related to immigration status, and racialized sexual and gender marginalization. Yet, there is a relative dearth of scholarship specifically focused on the roles and impacts of campus climates characterized by these types of experiences on the mental health and well-being of college students of color. Such gaps in knowledge inhibit our ability to fully provide high quality, responsive, and equitable and inclusive supports and services.

This national conference is a collaboration between The Steve Fund, the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) at the University of Michigan. The conference curriculum is informed by the longstanding work of The Steve Fund and the latest research and insights from scholars and practitioners across the country. Conference participants will explore national and campus socio-political contexts and take away best practices in order to foster spaces and places that promote emotional well-being for students of color. We hope you will join us as we work towards advancing research and informing practice to better support students of color across the country.

The Steve Fund offers a Knowledge Center with curated expert information. With multicultural mental health experts it delivers on-campus and on-site programs and services for colleges and non-profits, and through tech partnerships it provides direct services to young people of color. The Steve Fund is the nation’s only organization focused on supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color. The Steve Fund works with colleges and universities, non-profits, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people to promote programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental and emotional health of the nation’s young people of color.

Schedule at a Glance

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 6:00 - 8:00pm

UM Student Pre-Conference: Wellness in Color

Thursday, October 24, 2019 | 8:00-5:00pm

Registration and Check-in

Welcome and Framing Remarks

Morning Breakout Sessions


Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Report Out

Plenary Session & Closing Remarks

Wellness in Color

University of Michigan Student Pre-Conference

As students of color at the University of Michigan, some experiences can cause or worsen stress, anxiety, and isolation. Everyday experiences of racism, discrimination, or just subtly being made to feel “different” can cause our academics and social lives to suffer. This in turn negatively impacts our mental wellbeing. Many of us face the challenge of finding supportive and trusting resources that relate to our mental health experiences. Finding the solution to this lack of support has been a conversation that's been halted on campus for too long. In Wellness in Color, we aim to tackle this challenge by facilitating dialogues to initiate the mental health conversation in our community.

Featured Session

Student of Color Activism: Healing, Resistance, and Resilience

Torie Weiston-Serdan is the founder of the Youth Mentoring Action Network— a non-profit organization that focuses on youth mentoring. Moreover, Torie Weiston-Serdan is the author of “Critical mentoring: A practical guide”. She examines how marginalized and minority youth are served by mentoring and mentoring organizations. Critical mentoring, central to Weiston-Serdan’s work, is also about youth centrism; making sure that young people have voice, power, and choice.

Moderated Discussion by Roger Fisher, Associate Director at The Program on Intergroup Relations, University of Michigan

Laura Bohórquez Undocumented Immigrant Educator, Consultant and Community Advocate

Helen Neville Professor of Educational Psychology and African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mike Spencer Presidential Term Professor in Social Work; Director, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander & Oceanic Affairs at the University of Washington

Morning Breakout Sessions

Equity in Mental Health Framework: Recommendations for Colleges and Universities to Support the Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health of Students of Color Sara Abelson (PhD Candidate in Public Health and Co-Investigator and Lead for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Projects, Healthy Minds Network), and Stephanie Pinder-Amaker (Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School; Director of College Mental Health Program, McLean Hospital)

Collective Resilience: Identifying and Building Sources of Mental Health Support for Students of Color Elizabeth James (Program Associate at the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan), Laura Wernick (Associate Professor at the School of Social Service, Fordham University), William Lopez (Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Health, University of Michigan), and Laura Kohn Wood (Dean and Professor of Education and Human Development, University of Miami), Raina LaGrand (Therapist at Amplify Colectivo and Yoga Teacher at RISE Education and Consulting)

Mental Health in the Classroom: The Role of Instructors in Supporting Students of Color Shantalea Johns (EdD Candidate at College of Education, Wayne State University and member of the Youth Advisory Board at The Steve Fund), Christine Asidao (Associate Director at the Counseling and Psychological Services, University of Michigan), Kira Banks (Associate Professor of Psychology, St. Louis University), Hollie M. Chessman (Research Fellow for the American Council on Education’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy), Jade Burns (Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, University of Michigan), Karishma Collette (Assistant Director at the Center for Research on Teaching and Learning, University of Michigan), and Todd Sevig, Director at the Counseling and Psychological Services, University of Michigan)

Cultivating Culturally Responsive Mental Health Services Aya Waller-Bey (PhD Candidate in Sociology, University of Michigan), Dwaine Campbell (Assistant Director of Psychology Training at the Counseling and Psychological Services, University of Michigan), Laura McAndrew (Health Educator on Sexual Health, University of Michigan), Sasha Zhou (PhD Candidate at the School of Public Health, University of Michigan), and Liz Lin (Psychologist and Mental Health Educator), Abigail Eiler (Clinical Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Michigan), Edward Chang (Professor of Psychology and Social Work, University of Michigan)

The Implications of Microaggressions on the Mental Health of Students of Color Melody Sanders (PhD Student in Chemical Biology, University of Michigan), Lorraine Gutiérrez (Professor of Social Work and Psychology, University of Michigan), Robert Sellers (Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion; Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan), and Michael Spencer (Presidential Term Professor in Social Work, University of Washington)

Mind and Soul: African American Mental Illness and Mental Health in Slavery and Freedom Earl Lewis (Professor, Afroamerican and African Studies and Director, Center for Social Solutions)

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Student of Color Well-being by Design Tracy DeLuca (The Steve Fund)

Conducting Innovative Mental Health Research as a Graduate Student Shanice Battle (PhD Candidate in Epidemiology, University of Michigan), Cleopatra Caldwell (Chair and Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan) and Daphne Watkins (Professor of Social Work, University of Michigan)

Social Media and Mental Health Support in the Digital Age Brendesha Tynes (Associate Professor of Education and Psychology, University of Southern California) and Henry A. Willis (Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Responding to Bias on Campus: Institutional Support for Coping and Healing Among Students of Color David Rivera (Associate Professor of Counselor Education, Queens College-City University of New York) and Carlton Green (Director of Diversity Training and Education, University of Maryland)

Race, Gender, and Sexual Assault Nadia Bazzy (Director of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, University of Michigan), Preeti Malani (Chief Health Officer and Professor of Medicine, University of Michigan), Germine (Gigi) Awad (Associate Professor of Education Psychology, University of Texas at Austin), and Kayla McKinney (Academic Success Coach, Schoolcraft College), and Aysha Abiade (Case Manager and Advocate at the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center, University of Michigan)

Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health among Students of Color Jacqueline Mattis (Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan)

Creating Equity in Mental Health

Resources by The Steve Fund

The Steve Fund Programs & Services The Steve Fund offers an array of programs and services based on the framework and designed to assist colleges and universities and nonprofits in improving their mental health and emotional well-being support for students of color

Youth Advisory Board Youth Advisory Board members promote the importance of education about mental health and emotional well-being and help young people of color access resources on college and university campuses and within their respective communities.

7Cups (Young People of Color Support Guide) This guide developed in partnership with 7Cups is intended to provide young people of diverse racial backgrounds help in addressing the kinds of emotional and behavioral concerns that they may face during their significant transitions from home to college and from college to early adulthood afterward.

Crisis Text Line The Steve Fund has created a special keyword, STEVE, that young people of color can text to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor 24/7. Through its partnership with the Crisis Text Line, the Fund promotes text messaging as a means to improve the critically needed access for young people of color to crisis counseling

Equity in Mental Health Framework & Toolkit The EMH Framework provides academic institutions with a set of ten actionable recommendations and key implementation strategies to help strengthen their activities and programs to address the mental health disparities facing students of color such as mentioned above.

The Steve Fund Knowledge Center The Steve Fund Knowledge Center is a resource for expert information about the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. It contains videos of presentations, panels and interviews with experts, white papers, webinars and more.

Subscribe to The Steve Fund Newsletter

Travel & Accommodations

We’re excited that you’ll be joining us at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI! Click here for an interactive campus map.

Flights: Arrive by plane at the Detroit Metro Airport (DTW). Transportation options for travel between the airport and Ann Arbor can be found here.

Ground Transportation: To arrive by bus: Greyhound, Megabus, People’s Express. To arrive by train: Amtrak.

Conference Hotel: We have contracted with Kensington Hotel ($129/night). Please be sure to request the “YGARR” block rate.

Engage with Us

Throughout the conference, engage with participants and others using the following hashtags and social media handles: #YGARR2019 #ResilientMichigan #SteveFundUmich

The Steve Fund @thestevefund (Twitter and Instagram) and The Steve Fund on Facebook

The National Center for Institutional Diversity @UMichNCID (Twitter and Facebook)

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Michigan @UMichDiversity