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By Helen Silvis of The Skanner News
Published: 15 June 2011

The Black Parent Initiative invites everyone interested in supporting Portland's minority youth to the second annual Breaking the Cycle: Releasing the Dream symposium at Concordia University, Saturday June 18. The symposium will run from 8 am to 5 pm in the Hagen Campus Center, 2811 NE Holman St.

Come along to attend powerful workshops led by experts in African American families, parenting, education, child mental health and much more. Children and teens, aged 9 and above, are invited to attend a spoken word workshop. The Skanner News Video: Dr. Joy DeGruy

You will have the opportunity to attend two out of the seven workshops on offer:

Dr. Joy Angela DeGruy will lead 'How are the Children' which looks at how trauma in the African American community affects generations of Black children and adults. Dr. DeGruy has two masters degrees (Psychology and Social Work) and a Ph.D. in Social Work research. She is a research professor at Portland State University as well as an International faculty member at London's Department of Health.

Stephanie Irby Coard Ph.D., will present 'Racial Resilience' which looks at how to promote resilience in Black children. Dr. Coard is a psychologist and researcher at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Johnny Parker Jr. will lead 'Healthy Relationships and Co-Parenting' which looks at healthy parenting with your partner from a Christian counseling perspective. Dr. Parker has more than 10 years as a marriage specialist who has led Building Lasting Relationships seminars and has advised President Obama on supporting marriage.

Phillip Jackson will lead an educators-only workshop 'Educators and Community Strategy' that will look at the impact of educators and community leaders on academic success. Jackson's long resume includes serving as president of Chicago Boys and Girls Club and as Chief of Education for the City of Chicago.

Andrae Brown, an assistant professor at Lewis and Clark School of Education, will lead 'Touched in the head': Exploring Mental Health and Wellness in the Black Family.' The workshop will look at the importance of mental health in strengthening black families. Dr. Brown has a master's degree in school counseling and a Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy.

The Black Parent Initiative will host a showing and discussion of the documentary 'The Black Fatherhood Project'. Filmmaker Jordan Thierry explores the roots of the fatherless Black home and reveals a more complex truth than usually told. Fathers discuss how to ensure African American children feel the power of a father's love.

Tina Marie Glover, a credentialed counselor will look at 'Raising my Kids Alone; Barriers we Face Being a Single Parent'. As program director for the Cuturally Specific Youth prevention Services program at a mental health agency, she will lead a session designed to help parents overcome the challenges of raising today's generation, and in particular children of the opposite sex.

Poet and rapper Mic Crenshaw and hip hop poet Desmond Spann will run a workshop for youth aged 9 and up.

Child care is available. For more information contact 503-493-4700 or email parentuniversity@thebpi.org

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