The Cultural Competency Summit was created in 2004 to provide opportunities for mental health professionals to gain perspectives on cultural issues and skills when interacting with diverse communities.
In 2020, the conference is renamed to Summit on Culture, but its mission remains the same. The conference is taking place virtually from October 6th to 9th and is packed with various community-building training and workshops opened to students, professionals, and the community.
Rosa Clemente, the 2020 Keynote Speaker, led the "STORYTELLERS" event, which officially marked the conference's start. Rosa Clemente is a 2008 United States Vice-Presidential candidate, political commentator, journalist, and scholar-activist. In this event, students and professionals learned about the politics and identity of Afro-Latinx culture today. Rosa Clemente will also start the virtual roundtable talk later this week to discuss current issues in our community. The topics for discussion include Self-Care for Activists, Activism on the Job, Safety and Policing, Getting into Good Trouble, Health Activism, and Unlearning White Supremacy.
On October 7th, Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong-Mensah, the School of Public Health's undergraduate clinical assistant professor, and Dr. Kim Ramsey-White, the School of Public Health's director of undergraduate program, is co-presenting "Wellness Wednesday COVID-19 and Health: Why Are There Disparities." As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, minorities and vulnerable populations are impacted. The presentation explores the importance of higher education institutions in understanding these disparities and defined health disparities, health inequalities, and health equity terminologies.
The Friday finale will consist of community activists Derrick Boazman and Derrick Rice, who will lead a skill-building workshop on encouraging the community to take action for change. There will also be a series of CE Seminars for health professionals. The CE Seminars include a presentation and experiential exercises by Dr. Jennifer Smith, a licensed psychologist, and Dr. Jennifer Dean, a palliative care psychologist, on poverty and how mental health providers can provide their assistance. Dr. Anneliese Singh, the chief diversity officer at Tulane University and author of "The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing, "will discuss racism and its psychological impact. The conference will then wrap up with Dr. Lore M. Dickey, license psychologist and co-chair for the American Psychological Association Task Force, with the topic of suicide prevention and ways to support the transgender community.
The 2020 Summit on Culture is packed with in-depth and powerful discussions on poverty, health, community organizing, racial healing, and suicide prevention. Students and professionals will leave the conference with shareable knowledge and usable skills to work with diverse populations. Come experience the 2020 Summit on Culture at counselingcenter.gsu.edu/2020-summit-on-culture/.
By Pearl Dang