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Advancing LGBTQ Rights in South Asian Communities with Aruna Rao

Aruna Rao will be presenting at this years In My Mind Conference held in October in New York:

Aruna Rao is a community mental health advocate, grassroots organizer, speaker and writer. She is currently an Associate Director at the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New Jersey (NAMI NJ). Aruna is the founder of SAMHAJ, the first program in the USA to provide support and education for South Asian Americans affected by mental illness. She has been instrumental in developing programs for immigrants affected by mental illness in New Jersey, and her efforts have resulted in NAMI NJ receiving the 2014 Advancing Minority Mental Health Award from the American Psychiatric Foundation. Her work in mental health has been recognized by the World Malayalee Council NJ Chapter, the NJ Department of Transportation Asian American Heritage Committee and Lions Club NJ. She received the 2014 Agraj Seva Kendra Notable
Indian Americans of New Jersey Award, the 2011 South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) Changemaker Award, the 2003 Leadership Award from the NJ Asian American Association for Human Services, and the 2002 National Multicultural Outreach Award from NAMI. She has served on the NAMI Diversity & Inclusion Workgroup and the National Institute of Mental health (NIMH) Outreach Partner Steering Committee. She makes frequent presentations on mental health to community and professional groups.
As the proud mother of a queer and transgender child, Aruna is passionate about advancing LGBTQ+ rights. She recognizes the urgent need for family acceptance of LGBTQ+ people in API and South Asian communities and is dedicated to creating a loving, inclusive world where LGBTQ+ people are welcomed into community spaces. Aruna serves on the steering committee of API Rainbow Parents of PFLAG NYC, and is the founder of Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies, a group developed to support South Asian parents of LGBTQ+ children. She speaks about family acceptance in community and professional settings and has been featured on podcasts and in newspaper articles.

Dance Your Way To Healing: Therapeutic HipHop with Dr. Adjoa Osei

MHNR Network proudly presents another In My Mind conference presenter. This year’s conference is one for the record books. The In My Mind conference endeavors to end stigma surrounding the LGBTQ community and mental health. Host, Kristin Walker, interviews Adioa Osei. Adjoa is a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in Brooklyn, NY. She received her doctorate from Long Island University, Post campus in 2014. She has experience working in inpatient and outpatient settings with adults diagnosed with a range of mental illnesses and experiencing various stressors. Her research interests include experiences of minority doctoral students, racial identity development, the LGBT community in Africa, and therapeutic uses of Hip Hop.

DBGM In My Mind Conference: National Association of Hispanic Nurses

Promoting dignified care to older adults and nursing as an opportunity to Latinos. Francisco Díaz MSN, GNP-BC , CDE  Is a member of NAHN- New York. Mr. Diaz earned both of his Bachelors of Science and Masters of Nursing Science degrees in Nursing from Columbia University where he made the Dean’s List.  He has been a full-time nurse for over 10 years and specializes in gerontology and is a certified diabetes educator.

He is passionate about addressing the cultural underpinnings of the healthcare delivery; particularly when addressing chronic morbidities, older adults, ethnic backgrounds and to individuals marginalized because of their sexual or gender orientation.

As an active member of NAHN, he promotes tirelessly the profession of nursing to Latinos and other ethnic group as a profession to offers not only financial stability; but because it offers an opportunity to the health status of their communities as well.

Twitter: @NAHN_NY

Instagram: @NAHN_NY

DBGM In My Mind Conference: Dr. Leonard Cruz on Laban Movement Analysis

Dr. Leonard Cruz is a Dancer, Choreographer, Certified Integrative Health Coach, Community Activist, and Teacher. He was also a presenter at the In My Mind: A LGBTQ+ Mental Health People of Color conference in New York. We interviewed him live amongst the hustle and bustle of New York City. 

For more information about Dr. Cruz please visit his website at Even there you’ll see how movement is foremost in his thoughts and action as you try to navigate the site. Ingenious!



Mental Health News Radio Network Announces Coverage of Major Mental Health Conference in New York City to Promote Public Knowledge About LGBTQ People of Color Mental Health

Mental Health News Radio Network is proud to announce their coverage of The In My Mind: LGBTQ People of Color Mental Health Conference created by DBGM: Depressed Black Gay Men which is taking place in New York City, Oct. 5-6th. Mental Health News Radio Network, commonly known as MHNR network, based out of Asheville, North Carolina, is a network of podcasts focused on mental health and how it affects all aspects of individuals’ lives: Emotional, Physical, Financial, Spiritual, Entertainment, Sports, Politics, Technological, and more. By covering such a comprehensive conference discussing the many different issues that gay Black men face, MHNR endeavors to further educate the public about taboo conversations. The In My Mind conference hopes to make these topics mainstream, remove stigma and shame, and encourage embracing healing methods and therapies.

Read more…

Sex Workers & Mental Health: Porn & the Pursuit of Happiness with Leo Donato

Adult industry insider and star, Leo Donato, joins our show to discuss his presentation at the annual In My Mind: A LGBTQ+ People of Color Mental Health Conference. His advocacy is a bridge between sex workers and mental health professionals. The presentation is about the sexual objectification of Black men in the gay community by White men of a different social economic background and the self-esteem mental health effects this produces in Black gay men. 

Leo aka Jeffrey Feliz-Ybes has been in the Gay Adult Modeling/Acting Industry over the course of 13+ years, during which time he has performed and or model both in print and films from world renowned Lucas Entertainment to Dragon Media Corporation, The Leatherman, Biaggi Videos, Macho Factory, Ducati Models, DawgPoundUSA, Treasure Island Media and Tyson Cane Videos, just to mention a few. He was also featured in an exhibit honoring the late Tom of Finland, which is currently touring in Europe by famed Barcelona photographer Xavier Vazquez Solano.

His other body of work in Print Modeling is as diverse ranging from Homo-erotic Nudes, to Website Banner Model as well as Non-erotic Editorial RTW Fashion Prints. He is currently represented by Meak Productions, Inc.



DBGM In My Mind Conference: Mental Health Advocacy with Chuck Tarver

Chuck Tarver is one of the volunteers for this years In My Mind Conference with DBGM held on October 5th and 6th in New York City, New York. He is also the outreach manager for NAMI Delaware. Chuck talks about how mental illness within his family inspired him to become an advocate within the behavioral health community. He signed on to help coordinate this years conference in order to help promote awareness within the LGBTQI+ community for people of color.

DBGM In My Mind Conference: Mental Health in LGBTQI+ and Caribbean Communities

Dr. Rhone Fraser is an independent writer and journalist born of Jamaican immigrants in Brooklyn, New York, on October 12, 1979. He earned his Ph.D. in African American Studies from Temple as of August 31, 2012. His dissertation was a literary and historical analysis of Pauline Hopkins, A. Philip Randolph and Paul Robeson. His dissertation adviser is the 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner in History, Dr. Heather Ann Thompson.  He is an historical dramatist of five works, most recently, The Original Mrs. Garvey.  He has published in the Third World Press, CLA Journal, Callaloo, and most recently the Caribbean Quarterly. 

Dr. Fraser is one of the presenters at In My Mind: An LGBTQI+ People of Color Mental Health Conference.

DBGM In My Mind Conference: HIV and Mental Health

Antoine Craigwell joins our host Kristin Walker again to discuss his upcoming event: In My Mind: A LGBTQI+ people of color mental health conference and Mental Health and HIV.

As a journalist, Antoine Craigwell wrote for Out In Jersey magazine, The Bilerico Project, FORTUNE Small Business magazine, The Bronx Times Reporter, The New York Amsterdam News, was the assistant editor with The Network Journal, and a contributor to He graduated from Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York, and in 2008 he earned awards from the New York Association of Black Journalists for a public policy series about NYC’s Riker’s Island, and on healthcare in NYC. He produced the documentary “You Are Not Alone” in which Black gay men speak about their struggles with depression and facilitates discussion forums on depression and HIV in Black gay men. he presented a poster exhibition “Examining Depression and HIV in Black gay men” at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC. Antoine founded and is president and CEO of DBGM, Inc.a non-profit organization committed to raising awareness of the underlying factors contributing to depression in Black gay men, to prevent their suicides. The organization has hosted several community discussion forums on depression affecting Black gay men nationwide.


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