True Colors Theatre to Host PROOF Talk on Mental Health Stigma in African American Community

Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre presents the first community conversation of its 2016-2017 season on combating the mental health stigma in the African American Community. The conversation reflects on themes in True Colors' season opening production, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning drama "Proof," a play about mental illness and the family bond.

The community conversation will be moderated by Dr. Glenda Wrenn of Morehouse School of Medicine, and expert panelists will include journalist David A. Love, Jasmine Banks, and Dr. LeRoy Reese. This conversation takes place on October 15, 2016 at the theatre at Fulton County's Southwest Arts Center from 12pm- 2pm. The 2 hour conversation will include a 30 minute Q&A with the community to create a dialogue about this important topic in the African American Community. This is event is free and open to the public. RSVP to attend at bit.ly/2cUoPtT.

Jasmine Banks is a mental health professional and activist who works in the intersections of race, queer identity, and mental health. She is a Program Manager with Postpartum Progress Inc. and a Licensed Associate Counselor in the state of Arkansas. Through Postpartum Progress she has published a new tool for screening Black women who may be suffering from undiagnosed perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Jasmine's work centers on building mental health awareness, particularly for communities of color, eradicating stigma, and establishing new pathways to healing and well-being through individual and collective strides in justice.

David A. Love is based in Philadelphia. He is the Executive Editor of BlackCommentator.com, and a contributor to the Huffington Post, theGrio, the Progressive, CNN.com, McClatchy-Tribune News Service and The Guardian. He contributed to the books, States of Confinement: Policing, Detention and Prisons (2000) and At the Tea Party (2010). Previously, David was the Executive Director of Witness to Innocence, a national nonprofit organization that empowers exonerated death row prisoners and their families to become effective leaders in the death penalty abolition movement, and the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. Further, he was the Pennsylvania Voter Protection Advocate for Advancement Project, and worked on prisoner civil rights litigation at the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project. He served as a law clerk to two federal judges, and was a spokesperson for Amnesty International UK, a Democracy Now! Producer and staffer at the Center for Constitutional Rights, Love is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also completed the Joint Programme in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford.

Dr. LeRoy Reese is an associate professor in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine at Morehouse School of Medicine in AtlantA. Reese, a 1988 graduate of The College of Wooster, studies the human and economic costs of health inequalities. His research focus is on how to promote better health outcomes in under-resourced communities by addressing the economic, social, and political factors that shape the circumstances in which people are born, live, and works. Reese earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from The College of Wooster and his doctorate from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Glenda Wrenn is a psychiatrist and health policy/mental health services researcher at Morehouse School of Medicine where she directs the Division of Behavioral Health in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI)) and serves as Interim Co-Director of the Kennedy Center for Mental Health Policy and Research. Although much of her research focuses on systems of care improvements related to the culturally-centered integration of behavioral health and primary care, Dr. Wrenn's passion and overall research aim is to help create environments where individuals adversely impacted by trauma will face a path forward that makes it easier for them to recover and build a good life. As there are many paths to the trans-theoretical construct of resilience, Dr. Wrenn's work has examined diverse health conditions and approaches to fostering individual and community resource development and recovery. Dr. Wrenn has helped to advance integration in several large health systems and individual practices of all sizes. She is a community engaged researcher, with frequent knowledge exchanges in the community through speaking and events; and also serves as an advisor for several local, regional, and national health-related organizations.

Proof, written by David Auburn and directed by Tess Malis Kincaid, will play the Southwest Arts Center October 25 - November 20, 2016. Contains Adult Language. Recommended Ages 15+. Tickets and Season Subscriptions are available by contacting Ticket Alternative at 1.877.725.8849 or www.ticketalternative.com or through the True Colors website at www.truecolorstheatre.org

True Colors Theatre Company is a National Theatre Company based in Atlanta, GA. Lead by Artistic Director Kenny Leon, and Managing Director Jennifer Dwyer McEwen, True Colors mission is grounded and centered in the rich canon of African American classics with a strong commitment to diverse new voices. True Colors strives to be an important voice in the American discussion of diversity including plays and playwrights from various times, cultures and perspectives. True Colors' next shows are David Auburn's Proof directed by Tess Malis Kincaid in October 2016 and Ike Holter's Exit Strategy in February 2017 directed by John Dillon.



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