Black Mental Health Colloquium Series
March 20, 2024, with mark the fifth anniversary of the tragic death of Osaze Osagie, a former Penn State student killed by local police during a mental health event. While mental health challenges occur among black or African American people at about the same or less frequency than their white counterparts, racial disparities in health care and treatment, and encounters with law enforcement affect the former far more severely. This state of affairs demands urgent attention and "people-first" solutions.
In honor of Osagie's memory—and building on the far-reaching accomplishments of the African Studies Global Virtual Forum—the Africana Research Center and the College of the Liberal Arts are establishing an annual "Black Mental Health Colloquium" series intended to elevate attention to issues of mental health among black communities across the African diaspora, and advance critical conversations that foster meaningful connections between scholarly research in the social and behavioral sciences and the humanities and the everyday applications of this research for families, service providers, advocates, and allies working to improve the quality of life in Black communities. The highlight of the series will be an Osaze Osagie Memorial Lecture featuring a leading domestic or international scholar in areas of race and mental health.
Osaze Osagie Memorial Lecture
The inaugural series event will feature a public conversation with Sybrina Fulton, racial justice activist and mother of Trayvon Martin, a child unjustly killed more than a decade ago. Jennifer Hamer, professor of African American studies, will serve as the evening's host.