EBP Conference 2021 Session 13

Best Practices on Racial Equity in Mental Health Organizations

Tuesday 8/17/2021 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM CST

This is not an anti-oppression 101. This workshop is for people who are ready to create systemic practices in nonprofits that push back against white supremacy culture and create change within their organization. This work is approached from a place of learning and unlearning, not from a place of accomplishment or arrival. The presentation will include: an overview of organizational history and racial equity plan; a deeper dive into each section of the plan; an exercise for moving from value to action; and a question and answer period.

Presented by:

Bessie Alcantara, Executive Director - Alternatives, Inc.

An innovative, data-driven, strategic leader, Ms. Alcantara has over 10 years of serving economically disadvantaged families and communities. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in designing and evaluating evidenced-based program models, many of which have been taken to scale both locally and nationally. She has spearheaded evaluation efforts that have led to various designations and awards, She has remained ahead of the trends to diversify funding streams, build internal development capacity, and build financially sustainable programs. Most recently at Alternatives, she has been focused on expanding their racial equity work. Alternatives now has a majority BIPOC Board and the organization has implemented a livable wage.

Jessica Newsome, Director of Behavioral Health - Alternatives, Inc.

Jessica Newsome is the Director of Behavioral Health at Alternatives, where she oversees prevention and behavioral health therapy in Chicago Public Schools, as well the community. Jessica began her career in social services while studying psychology as an undergraduate and working as a crisis response staff at Harbor House domestic abuse shelter. Jessica moved to Chicago in 2011, where she started at Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC) as an AmeriCorps member, and finished her master's degree in social work at the University of Chicago. At JARC, she eventually served as the Director of Training Services in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago. There she was the project manager and participated in developing curriculum for two-generation approaches within workforce development. She has also volunteered as a doula and in the child welfare system. Prior to coming to Alternatives, Jessica served as the Associate Director of Social Work at Cabrini Green Legal Aid, on an interdisciplinary model between attorneys and social workers. This included collective impact work with partner organizations in workforce development. Jessica's experience in multiple sectors of social services brings a holistic lens to her work.