Meet the Panellists and Moderators for Sunday Brunch: A Decolonized space for Black Therapists, Counsellors and Healers

Antonio J. Wheeler Jr, Chicago 

Antonio J. Wheeler Jr., Licensed Clinical Social Worker & Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor, is a humble servant facilitating the space for change and resilience.  Mr. Wheeler’s focus is to understand what has happened to you and empower individuals to reach self-actualization and sustain being anchored in wellness.  Antonio is the founder of Anchored In Wellness Chicago which is a private practice that focuses on providing resilience focused therapy to Black men & youth. 

Kareem Perez, The Tech Effect, Toronto (Co-Moderator)

Kareem delivers high-impact and action-oriented keynotes, presentations, and workshops to empower students and professionals to maximize their potential, and train businesses to succeed in the digital economy.  A special area of focus for Kareem is to nurture youth, emerging professionals, and entrepreneurs from BIPOC and immigrant communities in Canada. He is among the North American leaders who came together to train more than 30 Black and Indigenous youth (grades 10 to 12) for a business pitch competition as part of an Advanced Digital and Professional Training (ADaPT) and Entrepreneurship co-op program delivered and developed by the Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management and Toronto Metropolitan University.

Vidoll Regisford, RP, Toronto

The psychology of optimal experiences is what drives Dr. Vidoll Regisford to serve as Principal of a private consulting and clinical counseling practice. His work is to alert the self in each of us to that higher-purpose thought of one’s existence, igniting the value meaning and worth of our divinity, in human form, knowing if we are one then we are the same. The body of his work straddles both the public-non-profit and private sector, intersecting his career as an executive leader and his complementary knowledge of people with skills as coach, psychotherapist and Counsellor.

Dr. Shane Joseph, DSW, MSW, RSW, MBA, Toronto

Shane is a transplanted immigrant of the Caribbean soil who now calls Canada home.  He is a Social Worker & Psychotherapist with over twenty years of wisdom in the areas of masculinity, gender-based violence, program and policy development, suicide intervention, and mental health. Within his private practice, which is heavily grounded in intersectional and decolonizing approaches, he provides individual, couples, and family therapy for the Black African Caribbean community disproportionately..

Mandii Brown, Nashville

Mandii Brown, recognized as “The Relatable Counselor,” dedicates her expertise as an LPC-MHSP to supporting black boys and men, particularly those impacted by the justice system. Through her counseling work, she creates a supportive environment that addresses and advocates for their specific mental health needs, emphasizing healing and resilience. Her advocacy extends beyond individual sessions by promoting wider awareness and understanding, which helps to dismantle stigmas surrounding mental health within the community.

Dr Ryan DeLapp, PHD, Clinical Psychologist, NYC

Dr DeLapp is widely recognized for his expertise in supporting minority individuals (including Black boys and men) with healing from, and learning to, navigate cultural stressors within their lives in his program called REACH (Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Healing). His REACH Program serves youth of color in schools, community centers, and outpatient therapy settings, and offers trainings for clinicians looking to support youth in these ways. Excitedly, he will be expanding access to his program’s resources in his upcoming REACH self-help workbook for adolescents and young adults of color that will be published in collaboration with Guildford Publishing.

Rohan Thompson, Social Work Therapist/Psychotherapist, Toronto

Rohan Thompson is a Social Work Therapist/Psychotherapist. He runs his own private practice, Breakthrough Counseling and Wellness Services. He works with all populations but he specializes in supporting men and women from African, Caribbean and Black communities either in individual counseling or group programs. Using a range of treatment methods, Rohan utilizes a client-centered, trauma-informed, anti-racist, strengths-based approach.

David Lewis-Peart, Toronto (Co-moderator)

David Lewis-Peart is a Community Projects Assistant at the Talk It Out Counseling (TIOC) Clinic within the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Social Work. In this role, David collaborates with community stakeholders to develop partnerships and interventions supporting the mental health of racialized men and boys. David holds a Master’s in Social Work, a Human Services Counseling diploma in Mental Health, a postgraduate certificate in Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution, and specialized training in Family Group Conferencing and Restorative Justice Conferencing.

Barbara Ukwuegbu Manager, Black Youth initiatives (Kidshelpline), Toronto 

Barbara leads and manages the Black Youths Initiatives program called RiseUp, powered by Kids Help phone. In her role as the manager, she oversees implementation of RiseUp: Kids Help Phone’s Action Plan for Supporting Black Youth. Through the plan, KHP will fulfill its promise to support African, Caribbean and Black youth across Canada with e-mental health services that are more equitable, accessible and culturally informed.

Abdifatah Hussein, Co-founder of Hidaayah House, Toronto

Abdifatah Hussein is a passionate community organizer, activist, and spoken word artist dedicated to empowering his community through platforms and connections. As the Co-Founder of Hidaayah House, a collaborative movement, he has hosted over 200 events and workshops over the past 8 years, working with diverse communities and individuals in the GTA. Abdifatah’s vision is to equip communities with the necessary resources to create their own solutions, emphasizing the transformative power of love and positive reinforcement for lasting change. Hidaayah House, born out of a pressing need to address gun violence, incarceration rates, and drug use among the Somali Youth Diaspora, provides emergency support and organizes creative events to unite communities. Their future goal is to establish a community center, offering consistent physical support for communities across the city.

Vakeesan Mahalingam, Artificial Intelligence-AI and Mental Health, Toronto

Based on his own mental health journey as a man of color, having gone through drug addictions, divorce, depression, anxiety, and bankruptcies, even after multiple successful careers, Vakeesan was struggling to find help because men of color are completely overlooked and underserved when it comes to mental health solutions in today’s world. This lead him to create AMARI AI, an empathetic AI tailored specifically for men to help them navigate through life’s toughest challenges. His research and testing and work here has not limited to work with black boys/black men but men of color like himself who also come from Sri Lanka, Guyana, Trinidad, India, and other places. Vakeesan’s goal here is to eventually be able to have an AI mental health coach help young racialized males avoid the traps of addictions, loneliness, and depression, through AI based guidance and mentorship specific to the needs of men.

Matilda Kissi, Toronto

Matilda is a law clerk with over 17 years experience assisting families navigate the Family Court process. Through her work, Matilda acknowledges, supports and empowers black men in the critical role they play as fathers in the legal system. Matilda de-stigmatizes the myths that exist in family law and the realities of the court process as a Black person. 

Mara Clarke, Family Lawyer, Toronto

Mara is a family law lawyer, owner and operator of The Law Office of Mara Clarke. Her resolution-focused, culturally sensitive approach to family law practice prioritizes her client’s interests and the parties’ relationship, helping them establish the “new normal” that will guide their interactions moving forward.  At times, the assistance of the court is required to settle matters, in those cases, Mara offers zealous advocacy, paired with a no-nonsense but reasonable, client-focused approach. 

Chef Nonhlanhla Moroenyane, Johannesburg, South Africa 

Chef Noni is a mother, healer, and artist, amongst other things. She is the great mother at Noni’s Home Dish which is a portal to reconnect food and people, rekindling kinship between our people and the land through unorthodox (forgotten) culinary food experiences, storytelling and food rituals. She is an Indigenous food specialist building a bridge to remembering and healing using the grains of the first people.

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Cat B (Catherine Buccello), Founder of #BlackMenCryToo and The Bodega Lounge, New York

#BlackMenCryToo is an invitation for men of color to feel safe to share their truth and unpack their hurt . This space was created as an invitation for black men to feel empowered to share their truth and know it’s okay, that they can cry too.

Brandon Hay, Founder of The Black Daddies Club, Toronto (Co-moderator)

Brandon Hay (MES) is a graduate of York University, with a Masters in Environmental Studies and an Environmental Business Certificate from the Schulich School of Business, his thesis focused on Scripting Mature Black Masculinities and Love in Toronto.

He is a father of three boys, and the founder of a Toronto based grassroots social movement called the Black Daddies Club which celebrated their 16th year anniversary in November 2023. Currently Brandon is a therapist-in-training, practicing in Gestalt therapy, having recently finished his 5 years training at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto therapy program.

Brandon works as the Community Development Officer for the City of Toronto, and manages several portfolios which includes: the Community Healing Project, and Workforce Development. He is also a part-time Professor at George Brown College in Toronto.

Brandon is a strong believer in equitable and innovative approaches to his community work; he works with an intersectional lens around issues of marginalization. Most importantly, he brings 15 years of mobilizing, community based research, event planning, and leadership experience to this role.

To register for the event use the QR code on the flyer below