Beyond Resilience: A community conversation about the preservation, health, and strength of Black Men
As part of UHS-Mental Health Services recognition of Black History Month, this panel will be a conversation centered Black men’s health and strength. We hope to highlight current concerns, demonstrate how to have deeper conversations about overall health, and explore the strengths found in Black manhood which includes how to reach out for support. When participants leave the space, we hope they will feel energized to continue the conversation within their own spheres of influence and encouraged to utilize the resources available to them.
Dr. Dennis McLeod
Dr. Dennis McLeod II is a Behavioral Health Psychologist and Assistant Professor. He is also a consultant for mental health and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). He is a proud alumnus of Morehouse College; an all-male historically Black college/university and Dr. King’s alma mater. Dr. McLeod earned his Master’s Degree and PhD in Psychology from the University of Florida and completed clinical internship at the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System in Gainesville, Fla. Dr. McLeod has a fervor for treating mental health in the African American/Black community and a heart for students, mentorship and serving the underserved. Clinically, Dr. McLeod is a champion of patient-centered care and the role of the therapeutic relationship therein. He is passionate about mindfulness-based interventions and their use in treating chronic mental and physical pain, trauma, substance use, and issues of DEI. His research has centered on improving access to mental health and addressing help seeking attitudes-particularly for Black people and people of color.
Chris Walker, a professor of dance at UW-Madison, is a multi-hyphenate contemporary dance and performance artist. Rooted in “Resistance Aesthetics,” Walker’s work draws upon the danced rituals, mas traditions, and embodied performance history of the African diaspora. The founding artistic director of OMAI/First Wave, Walker developed the First Wave Process. His research intersects dance choreography for the concert stage with collaborations with visual and performance artists for museum, alternate spaces, professional theatre, and video/film.
Odoi Lassey is a senior from Madison majoring in personal finance with a certificate in criminal justice. Currently, Lassey is the president of the Wisconsin Assocation of Black Men (WABM) as well as brotherhood chair for the Beta Omicron chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Alvin Thomas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
His research focuses on the risk and protective factors for African American boys who are situated in conditions that imperil them toward negative outcomes including risk and protective factors for African American youth, paternal parenting, and father involvement in children’s therapy.
For the 2019–2020 IRP Scholars-in-Residence Program he chose to visit the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University.