By Luke Sikinyi and the NYAPRS Cultural Competence Committee (March 31, 2023)
Tenna Brooks, Assistance Director of Consumer Affairs at NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene
As March and Women’s History Month come to an end, we’d like to highlight one more woman leader of color in mental health and peer movements. Today we are happy to highlight the Assistant Director of Consumer Affairs at New York City DOHMH and 2019 NYAPRS Public Policy Leadership Award, Teena Brooks! See below for information on Teena’s work and impact, as well as how to nominate other leaders of color throughout the year!
NYAPRS’ Cultural Competence Committee has been happy to share a wonderful project from the Wildflower Alliance highlighting often overlooked leaders within various mental health movements. The Black Movement History Leaders: Past & Present exhibit is both a way to publicly recognize these leaders’ great work as well as a call to develop and lift more emerging leaders of color. In the spirit of Women’s history month, we have used the month of March to highlight women of color who have been trailblazers in overlapping movements in our community. For more on the Black Movement History Leaders exhibit and how you can nominate leaders from your community, see below!
Black Movement History Leaders: Past & Present (wildfloweralliance.org)
There have been and continue to be many powerful Black leaders within this movement who too often are made less visible by a society that still finds it easier and more automatic to lift up white voices first. This exhibit is intended as only one of many small steps to counter that trend, and to help us avoid losing more stories from our history than have already been lost. We consider this not just an exhibit, but a call to action to lift up more black voices, to at least sometimes take a step back to make space for those who’ve had less access to these platforms, to share or pass along invitations to step forward, and to make intentional efforts to mentor and grow emerging Black voices, too. Sera Davidow, Executive Director for Wildflower Alliance tells more about her experience with this project in this Mad In American blog postWildflower Alliance