Former Atlanta Mayor to Inspire Valley in next Unmute Symposium

Apr 12, 2024 | News

Youngstown, OH – Keisha Lance Bottoms will be the keynote speaker at Unmute the Uncomfortable 2024 – A Symposium on Racial Equity, Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention. The daylong event will take place at the Eastwood Event Centre in Niles on April 26th. Bottoms served as Mayor during one of the most challenging times in the history of Atlanta. In the midst of a global pandemic and a racial justice movement, Keisha became a leading spokesperson regarding the challenges and opportunities facing cities and leaders across America. The nonprofit Coleman Health Services is presenting the event in partnership with the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board. The James and Coralie Centofanti Foundation is the keynote sponsor.

“Many of us came to know Keisha Lance Bottoms during the George Floyd riots, when she called for calm in the streets speaking not only as the mayor of a major US city, but also as a mother of four children,” said Stacia Erdos, development executive for Coleman Health Services in the Mahoning Valley. “She has become an inspiring mental health advocate and will share with the Valley her own struggles and challenges.”

Katie Cretella is Director of Clinical Services at TCMHRB and is also chair of the Trumbull County Suicide Prevention coalition.

“I’m excited to shift this year’s focus to women, more specifically women of color. Representation matters and data shows us that Black women are often underrepresented in leadership positions across various industries,” noted Cretella. “With a commitment to amplifying diverse voices and addressing systemic inequities, this year’s lineup of impressive female speakers will address the importance of gender equity, minority stress and intersectionality, and the impact on one’s mental health.”

The Honorable Judge Carla Baldwin will once again serve as the event moderator and will interview Bottoms in a fireside chat format.

Also presenting, poet Barbara Fant – who grew up in Youngstown, and now lives in Los Angeles. The public libraries in Mahoning and Trumbull counties are jointly sponsoring her presentation.

Returning will be one of last year’s most impactful speakers, LaToya Logan of Project Lift, speaking on Males Championing Equity for Women, with several other high-profile speakers rounding out the day’s agenda.

“Because of the generosity of our sponsors we are able to bring these thought-provoking speakers to the Mahoning Valley, while offering free tickets to college students and first responders,” said Erdos.

Continuing education credits are planned for a number of professions including social workers, counselors, school counselors, nurses, EMTs, and attorneys. The cost is $100, which includes breakfast and lunch. A resource fair with community providers will be held in conjunction with the event.

In addition to the TCMHRB and the Centofanti Foundation, other lead sponsors include the Cafaro Foundation; Mercy Health Foundation and Mercy Health; KO Consulting, FirstEnergy, the Coleman Foundation, and the 717 Credit Union. Sponsorships and program ads are still available.

*Any proceeds will go to serve Coleman’s more than 5,000 low-income and homeless clients in the Mahoning Valley.


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