African, Caribbean, and Black-identified communities across Canada hold rich histories, robust knowledge, systems of care, and practices that support the health and wellness of individuals, families, and community members. Encompassing a strength-based, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed approach, Africentric care honours the unique historical, communal, resources and capacities for Black youth and their families. Through the framework, practitioners and agencies can support Black-Canadians abilities to cope, respond and thrive in the midst of experiencing complex interpersonal and systemic challenges.
Through Ubuntu: Healing Black Mental Health Through Africentric Care, we will explore the multi-layered impact of the aforementioned approach on Black mental health in Canada. More specifically, the dynamic workshop will utilize interactive discussion, art-based tools, emerging research, and Africentric knowledge to highlight:
- The holistic mental, emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual impact of Africentric care
- Emerging research and interventions that culturally respond to therapeutic needs of individuals, families and community members of Black communities
- The urgent need for equitable strategies to address the ongoing gaps and challenges to Black mental health in Canada.
Simone Donaldson is the founder, registered social worker/psychotherapist, and principal consultant of a group practice called Agapé Lens Consulting & Therapy. She has devoted over 15 years to racialized communities and mental health. Simone has been featured in multiple media outlets as a mental health and anti-Black racist expert, including Elle Magazine, Yahoo Mail, and a documentary selected for the 2022 Toronto Black Film Festival. Simone is also an author in the groundbreaking Canadian text, “Africentric Social Work”.
She is in high demand as a corporate consultant, and has worked with many organizations to bridge the gap between equity and wellness concerns. Her consultations consist of anti-racism training, executive/leadership coaching, workplace wellness, team consultations, and Black healing circles. Simone’s purpose is to support all her clients to see sustainable change, while guiding them patiently and safely towards authenticity, so they may heal, thrive, and live out their purpose.
Amma Gyamfowa is a Ghanaian-Canadian womanist, mental health therapist, registered social worker, community researcher, writer and international speaker. Engaged in the field of social work for ten years, her expertise is rooted in supporting and counselling Black youth, communities and survivors of gender-based violence. With a demonstrated history of meaningful program development and research, she has advanced and strengthened the impact of diverse programs and initiatives across Ontario.
A highly sought after international speaker, she has been featured on CBC’s Metro Morning, Ontario Morning, She Leads Africa, Fresh Air Radio and the Toronto Star. As Founder and Lead Clinical Therapist of Womanist Healing and Co-Founder of The Ohemaa Fest, Amma is determined to create empowering holistic resources that strengthen Black communities’ ability to heal, thrive and connect.