Hear from community leaders, alumni and therapists who will share their inspirational stories, coping skills, workable strategies and resources for achieving mental health/wellness.

The conference theme “From Stigma to Strength” builds on the Kwanzaa principles celebrated by Black and African American individuals and families.

In collaboration with Arron Muller, MSW ’12, LCSW, CEO of Modify Wellness, Inc., and Adelphi’s School of Social Work, “BreaKING the Ice” will include community leaders, alumni and therapists who will share their stories, experiences, coping skills and resources for achieving mental wellness.

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Panelists include:

Wishnick Lecturer

Allen E. Lipscomb, PsyD, LCSW, will kick off the conference as keynote speaker. Dr. Lipscomb is an associate professor and director of California State University-Northridge’s MSW programs and serves as the director of Minority Male Mentoring (M3) and Student Success Allies (SSA) programs in CSUN’s Department of Social Work. He is a clinical psychologist and a licensed clinical social worker in California.

Alain Berrouet, Queensborough Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, will serve as conference moderator and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will join the conference as a special guest speaker.

Panelists will also include:

Deon Brown, LCPC, is a licensed therapist in Maryland and Washington, DC. He is also a licensed clinical professional counselor and clinical addiction counselor, and he is certified in trauma work by the International Association of Trauma Professionals. Brown is the CEO and founder of DJB Therapeutic Solutions, which provides individual therapy sessions for teens, adults and couples, mental health and substance abuse evaluations, consulting services, corporate workplace wellness training, and ministry readiness evaluations.

Sean Travis Doorn, PhD, ’17, is a school psychologist with the New York City Department of Education and a consulting behavior intervention specialist for nonprofit agencies in New York. He is an adjunct instructor at New York Institute of Technology, an adjunct professor at Touro College Graduate School of Education and Psychology, and occasionally teaches classes at the Adelphi.

D’Shawn Harris, LGPC, was born to a drug addicted mother who spent most of her life in and out of prison, and thus was a product of the foster care system. After graduating from high school, he attended community college to study criminal justice. Harris received a BS in Criminal Justice from Coppin State University and then carried out a 10-year career path in the criminal justice field starting as an intern and ending as a district court commissioner. His experience includes working with children and adults with anxiety, depression, personality disorders, foster care related concerns, addiction, LGBTQ+ issues, PTSD, trauma, school based issues, ADHD, relationship concerns and life transitions. Harris became a psychotherapist in 2021, and he currently works for Maryland Counseling Associates, where he offers a safe therapeutic space to alleviate emotional pain, restore hope and promote personal growth with an eclectic approach.

Dwayne James, LMSW, BSW ’15, MSW ’16, is a licensed practicing social worker in New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC. In 2017, James launched the “What up Wayne” podcast and in 2018, created “Mental Wellness Mondays,” a weekly video discussion touching on mental health issues, from identifying and coping with mental illnesses to self-care practices. James is in the second year of his PhD studies at Howard University’s School of Social Work; he aims to research and understand the complex relationship between social media and mental health among Black users.

Richard James, LMSW, MSW ’17, has more than 20 years of experience working and collaborating with social work, mental health, substance use services and health systems, addressing social determinants of health and improving health outcomes and equity. He serves as a board member for Campbell Health Solutions. His work specializes in such fields as substance use disorder and mental health and addressing health disparities among populations such as those who are LGBTQ+, people living with HIV, and runaway and homeless youth.

Jason Phillips is a licensed therapist, confidence coach, and college professor who advocates for prosperity and wellness to strengthen individuals, couples, families and communities across the globe. He has been featured in Oprah Daily, WebMD, Forbes, NBC and Cosmopolitan. Phillips is the owner of Peace & Prosperity Coaching and host of the Peace & Prosperity Podcast. With over 10 years of experience in the mental health and coaching profession, he is considered an expert in evidence-based treatment and strategic goal setting.He is highly recommended and sought out for his passion for mental health and personal development.

Telvis Rich, PhD, has 25 years of leadership and teaching experience in higher education and social work practice. As a licensed social worker and transformational leader, Dr. Rich has served as CEO of a large nonprofit organization and as a certified school social worker, college associate professor, social work department chair, director of field education, BSW and MSW director, children and family case manager, founder of Billings and Rich Investment Group, educational consultant with leading publishing companies, and director of the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program. A published scholar and national presenter, Dr. Rich’s research centers on workplace engagement and inclusion, social work education, Black men in social work, and the use of coping among diverse populations. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from the University of Georgia and a doctorate in human development and organizational leadership from Northeastern University.

Note: degrees included above that include a class year are from Adelphi’s School of Social Work.

Continuing Education

(Up to) 6CEs will be awarded to licensed social workers for participating in this full-day conference.

  • $30 Tuition: Fee with CEs
  • $0 Tuition: Free No CEs

Please note: CEs will not be provided to those attending virtually.

Conference Collaborators

  • Modify Wellness, Inc.
  • Adelphi University School of Social Work


  • Wishnick Foundation for Human Services
  • Black Family Summit
  • NYC Men Teach
  • NYC My Brother’s Keeper
  • Represent the Alternative, LLC,
  • Obsidian & Indigo Consultants, LCSW, PC

For more information about this conference, please contact:

Schanica Pickens
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, School of Social Work

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