Across the profession, Black social workers are advancing best practices and quality of care with culturally-responsive and evidence-based approaches to empower and uplift Black communities.

Join us for this free, online series spotlighting Black innovation, leadership and Black-centric approaches in social work.

For Us, By Us: An Africentric Social Work Lens to Nurturing Black Youth

Wednesday, February 7, 2024
12 to 1:30 p.m. ET | Online

Amma Gyamfowa (MSW, RSW)
Registered Social Worker, Mental Health Therapist

There is an urgent need to design programs and supports that center and nurture Black youth through a culturally-responsive, Africentric lens. Join Amma Gyamfowa for an exploration of the holistic impact of Africentric social work and community programming on Black youth and families. Walk away with a deeper knowledge and understanding of the impact and manifestations of anti-Black racism and racial trauma on Black communities, and the key concepts in Africentric social work and counselling. Learn strategies to build spaces and practices that support the wellbeing of Black youth through an intersectional, Africentric, strengths-based and healing-centered lens.

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EmpowerHer: Social Work, Intergenerational Trauma & Black Women's Dating Experiences

*Unfortunately, this session is not available on demand.*

Thursday, February 15, 2024
12 to 1:30 p.m. ET | Online

Audrey Thompson (BA, HBSW, MSW, RSW)
Registered Psychotherapist

Join Audrey Thompson to explore how social workers can empower Black women by integrating their dating and relationship experiences into the narrative of intergenerational trauma, while promoting inclusivity and dismantling systemic barriers in the dating world. Dive deeper into the historical context, terminology and landscape of the dating world for Black women, and discuss and redefine beauty and femininity standards that drive and define Black women's representation in the media. Through case scenario and social work principles, we will challenge the narrative and examine core values.


Breaking Chains: The Complex Dance Between Resilience & Mental Health 

Wednesday, February 28, 2024
12 to 1:30 p.m. ET | Online

Simone Donaldson (MSW, RSW)
CEO, Founder, Therapist, Organizational & Leadership Consultant, Speaker

Resilience is most often celebrated in the mental health field. Historically, it has played a key part in helping Black communities through decades of trauma. As a result, many have worn it as a badge of honour. While resilience has its place, it was never meant to be a daily way of living. Join Simone Donaldson to explore how mental health for Black communities has both been supported and compromised as a result of unhealed racial trauma, where resilience has become the coping mechanism. Understand the connection between resilience and anti-Black racism, and the ways it has perpetuated unhelpful and negating narratives such as the “strong Black man/woman.” Join us to reframe the conversation, to understand how resilience can be used to support Black mental health, and how to move Black communities out of survival mode to better support their overall wellness.


Black Healing Circle: The Power of Moving from Resilience to Rest

*Unfortunately, this session is not available on demand.*
Wednesday, March 6, 2024
10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET | Online

Simone Donaldson (MSW, RSW)
CEO, Founder, Therapist, Organizational & Leadership Consultant, Speaker

In honour of Black Mental Health Week, this session creates space for Black social workers to come together. For Black communities, the pervasive experience of systemic racism and unhealed generational trauma has led to 'resilience' as the default option to address racial trauma. As a result, many are dismissing their mental, emotional, and physical needs, leaving them exhausted. This session aims to create a sacred space for Black social workers to explore the dangers of living the “resilient lifestyle,” where Black identities become muted while we remain in survival mode. Join us to understand and explore how prioritizing the seven types of rest will allow you to tend to racial wounds and live liberated in Blackness. Using African-centred knowledge and practices, participants will share this space as a way to validate, support, love and begin rebuilding and reconnecting to others and their personal Black identity.

Navigating Grief: Interventions for Individuals Experiencing Racism and Oppression

Friday, April 26, 2024
12 to 1:30 p.m. ET | Online

Nicole Perryman (MA, MSW, RSW, RP, CPT)
Consultant, Psychotherapist, Social Worker

Racial trauma and the experiences of systemic oppression have a significant impact on individuals and communities. Migration is a compounded factor, which can separate individuals from their natural processes, communities, culture, and identities. Grief is intertwined with racial trauma in unique ways that can impact healing and heighten experiences of racialized trauma. Join Nicole Perryman to discuss key themes in grief and loss within communities who experience racialized trauma, identify how to assess and understand the impacts of grief, and explore culturally-informed interventions that can help individuals process grief in a healthy way.

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Navigating Uncomfortable Realities: Social Work Placemaking in Corporate and Government Institutions

Wednesday, May 1, 2024
12 to 1:30 p.m. ET | Online

Candies Kotchapaw (MSW, BSW, CYW)
Founder, Executive Director, Principal Consultant

In today's ever-changing landscape, social workers are tasked with the unique challenge of creating a sense of belonging and purpose in often uncomfortable environments. Join Candies Kotchapaw to delve into the art of placemaking within corporate and government institutions, demonstrating how social workers can carve out their own niche and confidently showcase their value proposition. Gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities within corporate and government institutions where social work is practiced, and leave with a renewed sense of purpose, inspiration, and actionable takeaways for creating a positive impact in the field of social work, even in the most uncomfortable environments.

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Learn More About Our Speakers:

Amma Gyamfowa is a Ghanaian-Canadian mental health therapist, registered social worker, 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. Addressing Black mental health through powerful culturally affirming analogies and resources, she creates accessible wellness tools for diverse African, Caribbean and Black communities in Canada and across diasporas. She has been featured on media platforms such as CBC's Metro Morning, Ontario Morning, She Leads Africa, Fresh Air Radio and the Toronto Star. Founder and Lead Clinical Therapist of Womanist Healing, Co-Founder of Ghana’s Ohemaa Fest and The Healing Retreat, Amma is determined to create empowering holistic resources that strengthen communities’ ability to heal, thrive and connect.

Audrey Thompson is a passionate advocate who believes that individuals can be a vehicle for empowerment and change, especially among those who have faced adversity in their lives. She has held numerous positions during her career, including individual and systemic advocate, program and clinical manager, mental health therapist, facilitator, and program coordinator. She has designed and conducted workshops in Canada, Japan, Argentina and Denmark on various areas, including relationships, sexual health, rights, life skills, facilitation, knowledge exchange, and employment. In addition, she founded ANYANGO, an organization dedicated to creating engagement platforms.

Simone Donaldson is the CEO, founder, registered social worker/psychotherapist, and principal consultant of the group practice 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.

Nicole Perryman is a psychotherapist and social worker, whom has the privilege of working in child welfare, children’s mental health, women’s rights organizations, and youth criminal justice organizations over the past twenty-four years. She owns a private practice and is the executive director of an organization specializing in supporting community members through family and social services. Nicole Perryman is a settler in the Mississauga’s of Scugog Island First Nation territory, and has intergenerational roots within the Southern Caribbean and West Africa.

Candies Kotchapaw is a tenacious advocate for intentional changemaking, where people are the catalysts for sustainable equity, inclusion and representation. Her pioneering work to achieve Human Rights for People of African Descent in spaces of influence such as multilateral diplomacy has garnered recognition in Canada and internationally. She has been recognized as one of the 2020 Top 25 Women of Influence by Women of Influence Global, a 2022 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth ll Platinum Jubilee Award, Paget Warner Founders award 2022 presented by TD bank and recognized as a Top 100 Under 40 Most Influential People of African Descent 2022. A domestic and international speaker and thought leader, having shared her guidance on policy issues at the United Nations in New York, U.S.A. and Geneva, Switzerland. Candies represents Canada as an Inclusion track Policy Taskforce lead for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance and is a two-time alumna of the U.S. State Departments International Visitor’s Leadership Program. She has spoken in front of government, academic and corporate decision-makers in Mexico, Latvia, South Korea and the United Kingdom. Candies is a dedicated structural social worker by profession and a resolute community builder and changemaker who uses policy instruments to achieve economic and legislative justice for her constituents.