william_lawson_web.jpgMIAMI — Nationally renowned Howard University professor, author and speaker, Dr. William Lawson is the keynote speaker of a Miami conference focused on the mental health of black male youth.

Empowering the Village to Serve Black Male Youth:The Black Male Youth Mental Health Conference was held at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Miami.

The goal of this conference is to provide mental health professionals with best practices to produce positive outcomes in the lives of black male youth. Focus areas include: education, emotional health, community and family engagement.

Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, the conference organizer, is collaborating with the Association of Black Psychologists South Florida Chapter, to offer continuing Education Unit credits.

Other speakers and panelists include: clinical psychologist and executive director of the Brief Strategic Family Therapy Institute, Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Joan Muir; Blackboard International Program award-winning teacher, Dionne Stephens; author of Your Faith Can Make You Whole: Seven Keys to Understanding the Power of Your Faith, Michael Moss; Chief Executive Officer of New Horizons Community Mental Health Center Inc.,  Evalina W. Bestman; neuropsychologist and school psychologist, Jeheudi Mes Onyemachi Vuai; and chairperson of the Educational and Psychological Studies Department and associate professor at University of Miami, School of Education and Affiliated Faculty with ISPRC,  Marie Guerda Nicolas.

The conference is the first of a three-part series that will include two post-event forums for parents, caregivers and youth. Those forums will take place on May 13 at the North Dade Regional Library and on May 15 at the South Dade Regional Library. Both events are from 6 – 8:30 p.m. and free.