Parenting While Black 2023


Upcoming Events

Parenting While Black 2023. Radically Resistant Fostering the Brilliance and Awe in Raising Bold Black Children

We are excited for our 2023 Parenting While Black series, Radically Resistant: Fostering the Brilliance and Awe in Raising Bold Black Children. This free virtual conversation series offers a safe and welcoming space to hold conversations for and by Black families. All are welcome to join and engage in these powerful conversations!

The five-part series begins on Monday, March 20, and continues through June 26, 2023. Each webinar is 1 hour followed by a 30-minute Q&A session with our parent panelists. All webinars have live Spanish language translation and closed captioning available.

Eurnestine Brown headshot

This series is moderated by Eurnestine Brown, PhD, Director of Relational Equity and Belonging at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center.

Episode 1: Raising Bold Black Children – Fostering the Dreams
Monday, March 20, 2023, 3–4:30 PM ET / 12–1:30 PM PT

Join us as we celebrate raising bold and brilliant Black children. Our series relaunch conversation will highlight the collective experiences of Parenting While Black and the awe of raising Black and Brown children who are charting their own paths by creating a world that affirms who they are and will become: authentic, radically resistant, and joyful. Share your hopes and dreams for our children, families, communities, and future generations.  


Tresha Gibbs

Tresha Gibbs, MD, is a Jamaican American child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist, physician administrator, and clinical educator. She has co-authored peer-reviewed journal articles on mental health among Black Americans and on the Covid-19 pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black communities. She has served with national organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on children, adolescents, and their families and was a member of the APA 2021-2022 Task Force on Social Determinants of mental health.

She is co-author of the following three APA resource documents created by the council: How psychiatrists can talk to patients and families about race; Approaches to Youth in Mental Health Crisis; and Social determinants of mental health in children and youth. She is an advocate for the mental health of youth and their families.

Vernon D. Gibbs II

Vernon D. Gibbs II has been a stay-at-home dad since 2015. Previously he worked at the National Basketball Association in marketing and in Alumni Relations at his alma mater Columbia University, where he earned his BA in Architecture in 2000.

He writes for a number of online websites including City Dads Group and the Washington Post and is a substitute teacher in NJ. He has written and illustrated 2 children’s books with his cousin Steve Gray. “When Good Fruit Goes Bad” and “I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas”, both available online and in bookstores. He has 3 children, ages 9, 7, and 7.

Episode 2: Birthing While Black – Pregnancy, Birth, and the First 1,000 Days
Monday, April 17, 2023, 3–4:30 PM ET / 12–1:30 PM PT

Black birthing people matter. Black expectant Fathers and Babies matter. Join us as we continue to explore protective pathways for embracing pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the early years that foster health, respectful care, joy, healing, and radical resistance. Share in the conversation.


Phaedra Moore

Mom, Peer Recovery Specialist at Boston Medical Center’s Project RESPECT program

Project Respect provides comprehensive obstetrical and SUD treatments for pregnant patients and their newborns. As a Peer Recovery Specialist, Phaedra has worked closely with pregnant and postpartum women with SUD in both residential treatment settings and through one-on-one peer coaching. She uses her lived experience to reach across boundaries to find places of identification and understanding that inform each outreach.

Phaedra is a writer, poet, and a powerful voice for transforming respectful care for pregnant and postpartum birthing people, babies, families, and their communities.

Joel Austin

Dad, President, CEO, and Founder of Daddy University, and Certified Postpartum Doula

Joel Austin is the Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Daddy University Inc. and the Executive Director of The School of Parent Education. He is a Certified Postpartum Doula. He is also the creator of the Doulas 4 Dads program, providing training and certification, to over 10 male Doulas providing maternal and paternal care to new mothers and fathers.

Joel is a national speaker and facilitator, propelling positive parenting education to the forefront of the family and community agenda. He is the driving force behind the National Fatherhood Conference and a member of the New Jersey Birth Equity Funders Alliance’s Community Advisory Committee.

Fueled by his role as a father of four, Mr. Austin is personally and professionally committed to educating and re-educating people about the importance of fatherhood. Through his leadership, Daddy University Inc. has grown into a recognized authority on fatherhood information, support, and training. Through his leadership, Daddy University Inc. has grown into a recognized authority on fatherhood information, support, and training. As a national speaker and skilled facilitator, Mr. Austin has presented to thousands across the nation; infusing his passion through audiences and empowering individuals and groups to positively impact the lives of others.

Raena Granberry

Mom, Senior Manager of Maternal and Reproductive Health Project and Health Equity Consultant, Perinatal Health Equity Initiative, California Black Women’s Health Project

Raena Granberry is a Maternal Health Equity Consultant and Senior Manager of Maternal and Infant Health at California Black Women’s Health Project. She is an Inglewood native and Spelman College graduate who began in politics as a community engagement specialist with the California Democratic Party and elected officials including Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

After subsequent years in Child and Family Services, Raena experienced both stillborn loss and a traumatic preterm delivery at 27 weeks gestation. This led to work supporting pregnant Black women and birthing people that include: Perinatal Equity Initiative (PEI) Coordination for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH), support and advocacy curriculum creation for pregnant patients at Cedar Sinai Hospital and Watts Health Clinic, as well as work with Maternal Mental Health Now, Black Women for Wellness, and California’s Black Infant Health Program.

In 2019, Raena was selected to the Women’s Policy Institute (now the Solis Policy Institute) LA County Health Justice Team where she co-wrote and helped pass a county-wide doula expansion motion for those most impacted by birth disparities. Raena currently serves as a national Pritzker Fellow with a focus on equity and systems integration in Maternal Child and Adolescent Health programs at LADPH.

Episode 3: Black Children are Beautiful – Elevating “Black Boy Joy” and “Black Girl Magic”
Monday, May 15, 2023, 3–4:30 PM ET / 12–1:30 PM ET

Dive in deep with us as we explore the complexities of gender in 2023. Together, we will discuss strategies that support, nurture, protect, and affirm our children as they develop their cultural, ethnic, and gender identities. Our conversation will center on elevating joy and boldness expressions of “Black Boy Joy” and “Black Girl Magic.”


Latrice Rollins, PhD

Mom, Director and Principal Investigator of the National African American Child and Family Research Center and an Assistant Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine and Prevention Research Center

Dr. Latrice Rollins is the Director and Principal Investigator of the National African American Child and Family Research Center and an Assistant Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine and Prevention Research Center. Dr. Rollins is also a Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leader, seeking to build a culture of health and advance health equity for African American fathers. She is a community-based participatory researcher with grants funded by the HHS Office of Minority Health, the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Rollins presents for global audiences on the importance of father engagement and provides father engagement training for students and practitioners in various sectors. She is the Vice President of the Black Female Fatherhood Scholars Network and lead convener for a community-led initiative, Fathers Matter ATL. She is the editor and one of many authors of the book, Engaging and Working with African American Fathers: Strategies and Lessons Learned. Dr. Rollins received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Spelman College and a master’s degree and doctorate in social work from the University of Georgia.

Obari Adeye Cartman, PhD

Dad, son, brother, uncle, thinker, writer, therapist, photographer, drummer, and grassroots mental health advocate

Dr. Cartman is a father, son, brother, uncle, thinker, writer, therapist, photographer, drummer, and grassroots mental health advocate. He is a Chicago native, where his cultural and educational foundations were cultivated by several African-centered institutions. He received his undergraduate degree from Hampton University and a PhD in clinical & community psychology from Georgia State University. His recent work includes being a trauma-focused clinician, restorative justice coach, and program evaluator with H.E.L.P., LLC (Healing, Empowering & Learning Professionals).

Dr. Cartman has served as a professor of psychology at Georgia State University and the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern University. Dr. Cartman recently created a male rites of passage curriculum called MANifest that is being implemented in juvenile detention centers, schools, and private community settings. Dr. Cartman is the former program director for Real Men Charities, Inc. where for three years he facilitated weekly men’s wellness and African drumming circles and was the associate editor of the South Side Drive magazine. Dr. Cartman is the current President of the Chicago Association of Black Psychologists and curator of a directory of Black mental health providers. As a consultant, Dr. Cartman facilitates trainings for adults and workshops with youth about maintaining good mental health, critical analysis of hip-hop and media, racial and cultural identity, developing authentic manhood, and healthy relationships.

Episode 4: Embracing Developmental Differences in Black Children
Monday, June 12, 2023, 3–4:30 PM ET / 12–1:30 PM PT

Together, we can examine and change the narrative about our Black children with developmental differences – those who are neurodivergent. There are many strengths and talents that come from seeing and thinking about the world differently: creativity, innovation, ability to think outside the box, problem-solving skills, as well as perseverance, and grit. Hear tips and strategies on how families ensure that their Black children with developmental differences thrive and flourish.


Nneka Hall

Mom, Full Spectrum Doula, Maternal/Fetal Health Advocate, and Founder of Quietly United In Loss Together (QUILT) and Mother IS Supreme Inc.

Nneka Hall is a Full Spectrum Doula, Maternal/Fetal Health Advocate, and Founder of Quietly United In Loss Together (QUILT) and Mother IS Supreme Inc. Nneka is the mother of four (two Sunshines, ages 22 and 17, an Angel baby, who would be 12, and a Rainbow, who is 8). She is a whole woman advocate who provides in-person and virtual support to women through any life phase. She is a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Advocate with a primary focus on infant and maternal mortality within the African American Community. She attended the US of Women’s Summit as a Nominated Change Maker, which former First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey hosted.

In 2014, Nneka founded Quietly United in Loss Together (QUILT), which is a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness campaign designed to raise awareness of all types of loss from conception through a child’s first two years of life, teach healthy fertility through womb health education, provide support to families who suffer these losses, and provide support for memory programs so they won’t close due to inability to afford supplies. Following the stillbirth of her daughter in August 2010, Nneka sought out ways to aid others in having a positive birth outcome.

Alexis Cobbins, MS

Mom and Former Executive Director, UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBI)

Alexis Cobbins is the former Executive Director, of the UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBI). Before joining PTBI, Alexis spent over a decade working for and with Black women and their families through her roles at Mayor Ed Lee’s signature anti-poverty program “Project 500” (The San Francisco Human Services Agency) and at the Black Infant Health program at the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

With a Master’s of Social Work from California State University, East Bay, Alexis is deeply experienced in this field, providing culturally relevant and responsive services, trauma-informed care/systems, grief and loss therapy related to community violence, reflective practice, and anti-racism work. She has also served as a postpartum doula. After experiencing a preterm birth with her second child, Alexis’ interest in building her career around reducing the burden of prematurity was ignited. All of Alexis’ personal and professional experiences drive her passion for improving birth outcomes for Black women and other women of color.

Kevin Simon, MD

Dad, Inaugural Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the Boston Public Health Commission, Attending Psychiatrist at Boston Children’s Hospital, Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and current Commonwealth Fund Fellow in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University.

Dr. Kevin Simon is Boston’s first Chief Behavioral Health Officer appointed by Mayor Wu. Simon is leading a City-wide behavioral health strategy to address Boston’s growing mental health needs through the Boston Public Health Commission. Kevin is a polymath – a physician-scientist, a healthcare policy expert, an inspirational teacher, and a noted writer. He is an attending psychiatrist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and an attending addiction medicine specialist in the new Division of Addiction Medicine – Department of Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, an instructor at Harvard Medical School, a Commonwealth fund fellow in health policy at Harvard University, and a healthcare policy and systems consultant.

Dr. Simon practices as a Child & Adolescent Addiction Psychiatrist caring for youth & families through the Adolescent Substance Use & Addiction Program “ASAP Clinic” at Boston Children’s Hospital. Kevin’s work continues to elevate and spotlight strengths-based pathways for Black and Brown boys and children.

Episode 5: Raising Bold Black Children II – Manifesting the Dreams
Monday, June 26, 2023, 3–4:30 PM ET / 12–1:30 PM PT

Join us as we come full circle from fostering to manifesting (that is, making real) our children’s dreams as we “Parent While Black.” Learn about parent, family, and community tools to strengthen our awareness of awe and the bold in our children. Hear from families about the concrete steps they are taking to uplift their children’s dreams and brilliance. Share in the conversation.


Dawn X Henderson, PhD

Mom, Director of Participatory Research at Village of Wisdom – Dream Toolkit

Dr. X leads Village of Wisdom’s community-directed research putting Black parents at the center of creating knowledge. She’s brilliant with words and graphic design. She’s always pushing to be deliberate in using liberatory words because words create worlds.

She worked in K-12 and higher education institutions for a combined 21 years; She has spent a significant portion of her scholarship dedicated to highlighting the ways young people and the adults who serve them model resistance and healing in response to oppressive systems. Her portfolio includes 1) designing programs and workshops to advance inclusive mentoring, research, and teaching; 2) working and leading cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary teams; and 3) solidifying partnerships that strengthen university and community partnerships.

Special Guests

Angela Davis and Will McLaughlin, Village of Wisdom

Daniel Armstrong, JD

Dad, The Dream Mentor, Entrepreneur, and Creator of the Find A Tree program.

Daniel Armstrong is The Dream Mentor. He is an author and motivational speaker whose mission is to inspire and mentor both youth and adults to pursue and actualize their dreams through his Find A Tree program. He is credited with transforming the lives of countless students, gang members, and corporate executives through his empowerment program and publications.

Daniel earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Columbia University in New York City. At Columbia, in addition to playing varsity basketball, he was the founding chairman of the Coalition for a Free South Africa, an organization whose four-year campaign resulted in Columbia divesting $55 million from corporations operating in Apartheid South Africa. Armstrong earned his master’s degree in business administration and Juris Doctorate both from UCLA. He is also a Ford Foundation Fellow, having studied youth development in Zimbabwe, where he organized a national tour by former Harlem Globetrotter Marques Haynes and his Harlem Magicians basketball team. The tour’s opening night game was the largest multi-racial social gathering, at that point, in Zimbabwe’s then brief history, following twenty years of civil war.

Thank You to our Partners

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Vroom Brain Building Moments
CEED. Center on the Ecology of Early Development
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Learn With Us

Babies and children, families and communities do the research on what it takes for them to flourish. Listen with us to what they’ve been learning. Watch a webinar. Check out the Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative. Join the Brazelton Touchpoints Center Learning Network. Join the conversation.

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