2011 Conference

2011 Conference was a Great Success!

Keeping It Real came to life in Houston on August 4, 2011. Sixty-five Self-Advocates and fifty-one Professionals dealing with health and mental health disabilities came together for the first annual Gulf Coast of Texas African American Family Support Conference to gain new information and celebrate accomplishments.

Participants completed evaluations revealing the highest ratings for enjoyment and feeling welcome at the Conference. King Davis, PhD, provided an informative and inspirational keynote address on the history of African American mental health illness and treatment since the 1700s.

Representative Garnet Coleman motivated the audience to to “Rise to the Challenge,” followed by Medal of Inspiration presentationsto Ricky Broussard (Self-Advocate), Muszetta Foreman (Parent), and Margo Childs (Staff) for being outstanding champions for the rights of those with different abilities.

Three panels and four workshops provided information and resources for strengthening family and individual awareness related to Understanding Health Disparities, Making Connections with Providers, Building and Sustaining Faith-Based Linkages, and Effective Community Outreach to African American Families and Rural Populations. Twenty-one exhibitors shared information and resources, ranging from the Texas Department of State Health Services-Specialized Health and Social Services to Real Urban Ministry, Inc. The comment of the day was, “This was so great! See you next year!

One hundred and sixteen enthusiastic participants attended the conference with 21 exhibitors adding to the mix. The opening ceremony featured an inspirational performance by ALDINE YOUTH, which included a sign language interpretation of “Lean on Me.”

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