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2020 Coloring Mental Health Conference

Now in their fifth year, Coloring Mental Health Collective (CMHC) continues to advocate and organize unapologetically for the mental health of Black and Brown people, especially during this current season of social unrest and the COVID-19 Pandemic. The CMHC team is passionately looking forward to our virtual conference and public gathering that will center on "Grief, Rage, & Political Action: Caring for Black and Brown People from Womanist & Mujerista Perspectives During the COVID-19 Pandemic."

Friday, September 18th (11:00am-4:00pm) and Saturday, September 19th (10:00am-1:30pm).


Friday, September 18, 2020  |  11 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Central)

11:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Centering
11:15 a.m.

Session 1 Thriving in Nepantla: The Urgency of Ancestral Wisdom and Testimonio for Liberation
Speaker: Dr. Carrie Castaneda-Sound

12:15 p.m.


12:50 p.m.

Session 2 – Black Love, Black Care, Black Diaspora: Womanist Care in a Time of Grief, Rage, and Resistance
Speaker: Dr. Phillis Isabella Sheppard

1:50 p.m.


2:00 p.m.

Session 3 – Healing the Wounds of Racial Trauma
Speaker: Dr. Thema Bryant

3:00 p.m. Break
3:15 p.m. Reflection
3:45 p.m. Sending Forth to Next Day


Saturday, September 19, 2020  |  10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (Central)

10:00 a.m.

Public Ritual

11:30 a.m.


11:45 p.m.

Call to Action

*Note: All times are Central Standard Time


Dr. Phillis Isabella Sheppard
Dr. Phillis Isabella Sheppard

Phillis Isabella Sheppard is a womanist practical theologian and Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture at the Divinity School/Graduate Department of Religion of Vanderbilt University. Prior to joining the Vanderbilt University faculty, Sheppard was Associate Professor of Pastoral Psychology and Theology at Boston University where she was also Co-director of the Center for Practical Theology, and Clinical Consultant with the Albert and Jessie Danielsen Institute. Previously, she was Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at North Park Theological Seminary.

She is the author of the groundbreaking book Self, Culture and Others in Womanist Practical Theology (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), and her current book project Tilling Sacred Ground: Interiority, Black Women, and Public Religion takes as its focus the intersection of black women’s interiority, and the sociality of religion. In it, she examines black women’s negotiation of race, gender, and sexuality in religious spaces and through religious practices. She argues for a heightened significance of the interchange between interiority and sociality; without the study of black women, religion fails to give a thick accounting of their lives. Sheppard is also editing a first of its kind volume, Womanist Pastoral and Public Theology: Placing Black Lives at the Center of Theology and Practice

Dr. Sheppard is an ethnography and the recipient of a Louisville Institute Research Grant (2017-2018) for the project, “This is my Calling: Womanist Ethnography and Black Women’s Vocation.”  She initiated a now annual interdisciplinary conference on Womanist Ethnography where she brings together an interdisciplinary group of womanist ethnographers, community activists, religious leaders as well as graduate students to learn about womanist ethnography and social transformation. 

Dr. Sheppard is psychoanalyst and pastoral psychotherapist where she also works with organizations, congregations, and activist groups around sustaining practices of care in the work of social justice activism. 


Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis
Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis

Thema Bryant-Davis is a licensed psychologist, professor of psychology at Pepperdine University, and director of the Culture and Trauma research lab.  She is a past psychology representative to the United Nations and a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Women.  

Dr. Bryant-Davis has published and presented on the societal trauma of racism and anti-racism therapy. She is author of the book Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A multicultural guide and co-editor of the book Womanist and Mujerista Psychologies.  The California Psychological Association honored Dr. Bryant-Davis as Distinguished Scholar of the Year. 



Dr. Carrie Castaneda-Sound


Dr. Carrie Castañeda-Sound

Dr. Castañeda-Sound received her doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of Utah, with an emphasis in therapy with children and families. Her teaching and research interests include multicultural counseling, Latinx psychology, and liberation psychology. She directs the Language, Culture, and Gender Lab, which involves students in research in the broad areas of language, culture, and gender within the field of psychology and specifically psychotherapy.

Dr. Castañeda-Sound is part of the core faculty of Aliento: The Center for Latina/o Communities, and focuses on the training needs of Spanish-speaking therapists; the impact of immigration on individuals and families; and the intersections of identity (gender, ethnic, racial, and sexual). She is currently the director of the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy: Evening Format program and is a licensed psychologist in California. She also is president-elect for APA’s Division 35-The Society for the Psychology of Women. A guiding principle in her life is In Lak’Ech / I Am You, You Are Me (Luis Valdez, 1971). She values authenticity, vulnerability, familia, comunidad y justicia para todxs.


There is a registration cost to attend the Friday's sessions, but Saturday's public ritual and call to action is free. CEUs are available for mental health professionals.

  • Professional with CEUs:  $80
  • Professional without CEUs: $50
  • Current Student: $20

To register for both days, click on the following links (one for Friday and the other for Saturday):



September 18, 2020 - September 19, 2020


Presented by Coloring Mental Health Collective in conjunction with The Center for the Church and the Black Experience of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and The Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago (CRPC)

coloring mental health collective