Community coalition to hold April 19 symposium on the intersection of race and mental health

Posted on 04/14/22 11:16:am

MILWAUKEE, WIS. (April 14, 2022)Wise Initiative for Stigma Elimination, a coalition of community partners supported by Rogers Behavioral Health, is hosting A Call to Action: The Intersection of Race and Mental Health. The symposium will be held on Tuesday, April 19 from 8:15 am to 12:30 pm at Marquette University.

Over 200 community mental health advocates will gather to hear from panelists and discuss substantive action we can take to challenge stigma in our communities and to advance racial and mental health equity.

The symposium is free, open to the public, and may also be joined virtually. The registration deadlines are Friday, April 15 for in-person participation, and Monday, April 18 for virtual guests. For more information, visit the event page.

Media planning to attend are asked to please RSVP to by 4 pm on Monday, April 18.


What: A Call to Action: The Intersection of Race and Mental Health symposium

When: Tuesday, April 19

8:15 - 8:30 am: Welcome by WISE chair Dr. Ricardo Anderson, academic coach at Instructional Connections

8:30 - 8:50 am: Emcee Brooks Griffin, president of The INSPIRED Network, will share his story of recovery

9 - 10:20 am: Panel discussions on:

  • Strengthening resources with Reggie Jackson, co-owner and lead trainer, Nurturing Diversity Partners, and Brenda Wesley, mental health advocate and Milwaukee County Mental Health board member
  • Diversity in the mental health workforce with Dr. Maria Amarante, owner of Multicultural Trauma and Addiction Treatment Center of Wisconsin
  • Disparity of reimbursement rates with Thomasina Jenkins, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, UW-Milwaukee
  • Training of police officers and first responders with Captain Sheronda Grant, Milwaukee Police Department, and Brenda Wesley, mental health advocate and Milwaukee County Mental Health board member

10:20 - 10:35 am: Dr. Rob Smith, director, Center for Urban Research, Teaching, and Outreach at Marquette, will discuss ecosystem mapping, which visually represents existing partnerships among Milwaukee non-profits, government entities, and other resources.

10:45 am - 12:15 pm: Breakout groups

12:15 - 12:30 pm: Explanation of “My plan of action” piece

Who: In addition to the panelists and mental health advocates in attendance, Sue McKenzie Dicks, vice president, healthy culture at Rogers Behavioral Health, is available to speak with media.

Where: Marquette University Alumni Memorial Union

Grand Ballroom

1250 West Wisconsin Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53233


About Wise Initiative for Stigma Elimination (WISE)

WISE is a coalition of organizations and individuals building resilient and hopeful communities by promoting inclusion and support for all who are affected by mental health and addiction challenges. With support from Rogers Behavioral Health, WISE implements and advances evidence-based practices for stigma reduction. People with mental health challenges sharing their recovery experiences in a targeted, local, credible, and continuous way is the best-known way to reduce stigma and drives the focus of WISE. The coalition promotes the power of strategic contact with those in recovery to end stigma in schools, healthcare, congregations, workplaces, and wherever else people interact. Learn more at

About Rogers Behavioral Health

Rogers Behavioral Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit provider of mental health and addiction services. Rogers offers evidence-based treatment for adults, children, and adolescents with depression and other mood disorders, eating disorders, addiction, OCD and anxiety disorders, trauma, and PTSD. In addition to a growing network of regional locations in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington, Rogers operates three inpatient behavioral health hospitals, 15 residential programs and eight outpatient centers in Wisconsin. The System also includes Ladish Co. Foundation Center, home to Rogers Research Center, the Rogers Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald Family Room®. In addition, Rogers leads the nationwide WISE coalition with the goal of eliminating stigma related to mental health and substance use disorders. Learn more at

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