NAMI Buffalo & Erie County hosted its 34rd Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, May 3, 2018.
We were excited to have as our keynote speaker the brilliant Dr. Kafui Dzirasa who is the first African American to complete a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Duke University in 2009, and an M.D. He has gone on to a stellar psychiatric research, teaching, and service career in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Duke University School of Medicine. Born in Boston, MA to Ghanaian parents, his accomplishments are impressive. His work was featured on 60 Minutes in 2011, and his recognition since then has included:
- the International Mental Health Research Organization Rising Star Award, 2013
- the Sydney Baer Prize for Schizophrenia Research, 2013
- the inaugural Duke Medical Alumni Emerging Leader Award, 2016 and
- the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 2016
Dr. Dzirasa’s research focuses on understanding how changes in the brain produce mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.In addition, he has served on the board of directors of the Student National Medical Association, a national organization dedicated to the eradication of health care disparities. He has participated in numerous programs geared towards exposing youth to science and technology, providing health education for underserved communities, and organizing clinics to screen for chronic diseases.
Uniquely talented at engaging both lay people and professionals, he spoke with us at this year’s event about his hope-giving work for people who suffer with serious mental illnesses.
To see video about Dr. Dzirasa and his pioneering work, visit the following links:
NAMI members interviewed on WBFO Radio News:
"Crisis Intervention Teams: The future of policing?"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media contact:
October 13, 2017 NAMI Buffalo & Erie County
President Ann Venuto, 716-226-6264 or
Alpha Kappa Alpha President
Josephine Cross, 716-634-3014
Organizers: AKA Gamma Phi Omega Chapter & NAMI Buffalo & Erie County
Hosting Free Healthy Minds Empowerment Conference for Area Teen Youth
Date: Saturday, October 28th; 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Where: Medaille College, parking available on campus
Invited: Youth ages 12-19 (grades 7-12) of diverse urban communities, with accompanying parents, guardians, or group leaders
This one-day conference features nationally recognized keynote speaker Keith O’Neil, NFL Super Bowl Champion, breakout sessions, and panel discussions. Teens and adults will participate in separate sets of workshops exploring issues around the emotional and mental wellbeing of today’s youth, and empower youth and adults who care for them. Continental breakfast and lunch provided. Participant prizes and giveaways.
Topic areas include: Social Media & Mental Health – Stress Management Skills - Empowerment Skills - Suicide Prevention - Substance Abuse
Pre-registration is required. Registration is recommended no later than Sunday, October 22.
To register, go to: https://healthymindsempowermentconference.eventbrite.com
Photo Opportunities: NFL former champion player discussing mental illness and mental health with community youth, parents and leaders; panel discussions and workshops with youth and caring adults, as well as invited dignitaries
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Gamma Phi Omega Chapter is an international organization devoted to service to all mankind. We emphasize programs of social action, and services related to the needs of the community; leveraging our commitment to service and outreach through partnership with corporations, governmental and social agencies, and women's organizations.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Buffalo & Erie County is a local affiliate of the largest grassroots mental health organization in the U.S., dedicated to bettering the lives of people affected by mental illness. NAMI Buffalo supports, educates, and advocates for families and their loved ones living with mental illness.
This event is sponsored by The African American Cultural Center, Erie County, and Erie County Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams