STAR Center In Action!

Welcome to the July edition of the STAR Center Newsletter!

The STAR Center was in the US Virgin Islands this month! The process of building a community level focus on mental health through the collective voices of lived experience leaders is underway.  This month we met with the Disability Rights Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Council and community leaders in St. Croix, recorded a radio program and convened an evening public community meeting on St. Thomas.

Pictured below from left to right are:  Archie Jennings, Malik Stridirow, Amelia Headley LaMont, Sherilyn Pogson, Vincent Francis, Patricia Steele, Iris Bermudez, Wendy Wong, Rachel Pakenham, Chacku Mathai



Pictured with Sherilyn Pogson and Archie Jennings is Carnell Troutman


Pictured with Chacku Mathai are Dale Garee and Ryan Simeina

Our visit and related meetings also received positive attention in the media via interviews with reporters from the Source, a paper in the Virgin Islands. I was especially grateful for the opportunity to meet with peer leaders who are interested in building a peer support network in the US Virgin Islands with hopes of empowering a strong lived experience leadership network.

Equity and Inclusion in Leadership: A National Networking Call for People of Color

This month the STAR Center launches our bi-monthly national networking call for people of color who are interested in increasing the number of people in organizational leadership roles who are African-American, Native American/American Indian/Alaskan Native, Latino/Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islanders. Despite our growing numbers and all the available resources focused on racial equity, the level of participation by people of color in policy related and non-profit organizational roles remains devastatingly low. Our hope is that this opportunity for people of color to network and support each other’s leadership efforts across the country and in our target states/regions will make a measurable and remarkable difference towards eliminating the disparities we currently experience across the country.

Register now for the Equity and Inclusion in Leadership Networking Calls for People of Color!


Want to learn more about the STAR Center and all that we do? Check out the STAR Center’s website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to find out where we are headed next!

STAR of the Month
The STAR Center will feature young people every month from across the country who are making a difference in their communities and demonstrating extraordinary leadership that you need to know about! Help us make sure young people in your community are recognized and valued by nominating someone today!
This month the STAR Center recognizes Rachelle Areyan from Fresno, CA. Check out her story and video!
Featured Youth Leadership Resources

KEEPING THE PROMISE: Evolving Nonprofit strategies in the U.S. Southwest Help Latino Men and Boys to Harness Potential

Hispanics in Philanthropy established a Focused Initiative on Latino Men and Boys three years ago and has promoted their inclusion in the overall Men and Boys of Color movement, as well as the tailoring of programs to suit their specific needs and aspirations in culturally empowering ways. This report builds on those ongoing efforts, offers specific applied practices, and case studies to showcase some of the most effective strategies and promising practices to reach more Latino Men and Boys and equip them for the future.



Prevention Institute Report on Framework for Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience

This report offers a groundbreaking framework for understanding the relationship between community trauma and violence. Until now, there has been no basis for understanding how community trauma undermines both individual and community resilience, especially in communities highly impacted by violence, and what can be done about it.




Featured Organizational  Resource

A systems approach to understanding the causes and consequences of racial inequity.


A guide to transformative change in equitable and inclusive civic engagement.
Research Updates

Underdeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing
Nonprofit Fundraising

This study reveals that many nonprofit organizations are stuck in a vicious cycle that threatens their ability to raise the resources they need to succeed.
Input Opportunity

The Alternatives Conference has a history of recognizing those who go above and beyond in exemplifying the values of the peer movement. We are honored to present three award opportunities to leaders in the field of recovery and wellness.
If you know someone who you feel should be honored, be sure to nominate them on or before the deadline on July 22, 2016.

Upcoming Webinars

Reframing Recovery - with Robyn Priest & Donita Diamata

Thursday, July 21st  
11:00-12:00 p.m. PT / 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Reframing Recovery challenges perceptions and ideals around mental health recovery, including how we, as a community, define it. Too often, our ability to recovery is questioned, challenged, and defined by others. With visuals, frank discussion, narratives, and thought-provoking statements, participants are challenged to reframe how they see recovery from mental health challenges. Reframing Recovery has been offered in several formats to a variety of audiences; including peers, peer support workers, mental health providers, and allies, all with generally high praises for its well-constructed content. In this first ever webinar format, we will discuss the concept of recovery in detail through story-sharing and interactive questions.

This PEERLINK webinar will be hosted by Donita Diamata and Robyn Priest.


Supporting CPS Staff in Direct Advocacy Work By: Elisha Coffey, Fran Hazam & Yvette Pate

Tuesday, July 26th
11am PST/ 2pm EST

This workshop will support CPS staff to engage more purposefully with individual advocacy work. Participants will understand that this type of advocacy is already a part of the work they do, and will learn from advocates and from a Certified Peer how to skillfully engage in individual advocacy and use it as a starting point to support systems change. Participants will be able to identify three ways they already engage in individual advocacy. Participants will be able to explain how wellness tools and documentation can be effective advocacy tools. Workshop attendees will be able to identify how to communicate with their supervisors to support the advocacy plan of program participants.

Upcoming Events

Friday, July 22, 2016 1:00 PM EDT

The Equity and Inclusion in Leadership group is a bi-monthly, national networking call for people of color focused on increasing the number of organizational leaders who are African-American, Native American/American Indian, Latino and-or Asian.

Minority Mental Health Awareness Month - July

Mental illness affects one in five adults and one in 10 children in America, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Furthermore, mental illness is a leading cause of disability, yet nearly two-thirds of people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment, and racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. are even less likely to get help, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

During National Minority Mental Health Month, help raise awareness in your organization or community. Encourage your family, friends, loved ones and clients to learn more about improving mental health and illness.


Mad Pride Month


HEALINGVOICES’ ONENIGHT,ONEVOICE was a tremendous success with more than 130 screenings in eight countries!


Do you know about Mad Pride Month in July? HEALINGVOICES invites and encourages you to organize a movie screening in July as a part of Mad Pride Month. Help people around the world celebrate "mad diversity" by organizing a town hall style screening in your community. If interested please contact Oryx Cohen directly at


2016 National Peer Support Conference
(August 26-28) & Summer Institutes (August 22-25)

 Join the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) in Philadelphia on August 26-28, for the 10th Annual National Peer Support Conference. With nationally-recognized featured presenters and over 60 advanced level workshops, the conference promises enhanced skills and leading examples of innovations in peer support services. Prior to the conference, between August 22-25, a series of Summer Institutes will be held in and around Philadelphia, independently organized and offered by some of the leading training providers and peer practitioners, to those who will be in Philadelphia at that time.


 San Diego, California / September 19-23, 2016


Alternatives Conference 2016


Register Now!


Have a resource to share?
Please do!
We encourage you or your organization to submit a resource for the STAR Center to share. The STAR Center fosters a community of people and organizations interested in sharing information and resources to build a thriving leadership network. Please email your suggested resource(s) by including an attached document or link to Please consider sharing your resource with the STAR Center community today!
This material was developed [in part] under grant SM062551 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS. 

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