One State, One Film: Mental Health and Mindfulness

One State, One Film: Mental Health, Mindfulness, and Healing:
Strategies for Surviving Incarceration and Racial Trauma 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021


WATCH  Path of Freedom


Join members of the Connecticut Collaborative on Poverty, Criminal Justice & Race, along with leading advocates in the fight for criminal justice reform in our State, to explore ways each one of us can support and promote a more equitable future for all. We will examine our respective roles in maintaining the status quo, examine ways to ensure accountability, and hear from individuals who continue to advance the agenda forward.

Shenira Billups, founder and CEO of Mental Growth & Internal Healing LLC, is a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Connecticut. Shenira attended Southern Connecticut State University, from which she received her Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Shenira was an active member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) from 2010, and has worked on numerous projects and presentations working with special populations. She built the foundation of her career working in acute psychiatric, residential, and outpatient settings including crisis services throughout the Greater New Haven and Fairfield counties, and currently practices in the Elm City. She is dedicated to helping others enhance their quality of life through therapeutic care, advocating for families, justice reform, and using her resourcefulness for providing collaborative services.
Kelvin Young is a Community Health Worker at InterCommunity HealthCare in Hartford, CT and certified Sound Healer. He is also a person in sustained recovery, which means he haven’t used alcohol or other drugs to cope with his mental and emotional distress since March 6, 2009. The first time he was exposed to sound healing, Kelvin discovered the sounds of the crystal and Tibetan singing bowls and gongs calmed his mind, relaxed his body, and nourished his soul. He went on to study sound healing with world renown Master Sound Healers, and received his recovery coach certification from CT Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR). Kelvin has presented around the country in diverse settings and serves on numerous health and recovery Boards. Kelvin was featured in a powerful documentary on trauma, addiction and recovery called Uprooting Addiction and is also a founding member of CT Black Mental Health and Wellness Initiative. Kelvin was inducted into the CT Hall of Change in September, 2020. CT Hall of Change is designed to recognize formerly incarcerated men and women who have made substantial contributions to CT communities since their release. Today, he publicly speaks about mental health, addiction recovery and wellness within communities of color.
Robin Cullen is an Artist, Contractor, and Consultant working in the fields of Trauma and Recovery. Robin’s essay was published in Couldn’t Keep It To Myself (2003), written by The Women at York Correctional Institution, edited by Wally Lamb. She is currently in her sixteenth year with the Judy Dworin Performance Project, working as a Teaching Artist with men and women in and out of prison, as a performer, and as a Board Member. Robin is certified to facilitate all trauma and recovery curricula for girls and women written by Dr. Stephanie Covington and is certified through Amherst Writers and Artists to teach therapeutic writing. Robin has been with Toivo in Hartford, CT since its 2014 inception, facilitating trauma, recovery, and writing groups for men and women. She was employed with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, (MADD) for more than ten years. In addition to her prison work, Robin is the House Manager at Journey Home Recovery Living, a sober sanctuary for recovering women. Robin received statewide recognition in 2020 as an inductee into the Connecticut Hall of Change for decades of reentry work. Through the arts she is uplifting, renovating, and repurposing – people, places, and things!
Kevnesha Boyd was born and raised in New Haven, CT.  Surviving childhood trauma, and having incarcerated parents lead to her dedication and work to healing Black lives and dismantling the prison system. Kevnesha is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Cannabis Consultant and Founder of Quality Counseling located in Hamden.  Quality Counseling is a  group mental health practice offering accessible and affordable trauma therapy to the Black Community.  The mission is to create a safe space to heal black people with a holistic approach through; trauma therapy, plant based healing solutions and body movement. Kevnesha has worked in the criminal justice system for over 10 years and earned a graduate degree in Community & Forensic Psychology from University of New Haven. She  Currently serves on the Protection and Advocacy Council for the Disability Rights of CT and a board member of Stop Solitary CT (SSCT).  SSCT is campaigning legislative passage of the Senate Bill 1059 also known as The PROTECT ACT. SB 1059 which seeks to end the use of isolated confinement and correctional brutality in CT prisons.
Janelle Posey-Green, LCSW is co-owner of Magnolia Wellness, LLC located in New London, Connecticut. She merges holistic and indigenous healing practices with psychotherapy to create a well-rounded healing experience. Most recently, Janelle created the Black Mental Health and Wellness Initiative in June 2020 as a response to the double pandemic (Covid-19 & Racism) affecting Black and Brown Americans. She recruited a multidisciplinary Healing team to moderate the healing forums through zoom. The initiative provided free healing forums for people of color and for white allies.  Janelle is also the founder and president of the Southeastern CT Naturalistas, an organization created as an online forum to celebrate natural Black Hair and help people of color learn to embrace and care for their natural hair.


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