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Academia and Mental Health - March 2nd, 2020

Kent State University’s Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) hosts an annual conference centered on academia and the diverse experiences of marginalized academics.

2020 Theme: Academia and Mental Health

The BGSA believes that an event of this magnitude will be able to continue the work of the university by promoting mental health awareness.


Our purpose is to cast a light on the experiences of marginalized individuals where mental health remains a taboo topic, thus void of attention and positive change. It is an event that honors all facets of development for individuals (e.g., intellectual, emotional, and physical development), as well as opens a space for many different people to come together to speak, be heard, and learn from one another. This is a conference centered on justice, education, and self-care for all those invested in societal change; this includes all students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty, staff, and community members. Moreover, it is an opportunity to recognize and honor differences within our community while addressing concerns and seeking change.  

Conference Agenda:

Part I

12:30 - 4:00 PM – Registration

1:00 PM – Welcome and Introductions

1:15 PM – 2:45 PM – Workshop – Dr. Michael Frazier, B.E.A.M. Collective (Black Emotional And Mental Health)

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM – Reception and Poster Session

Hors d’oeuvres will be served. 

3:15 PM – 4:00 PM – Meditation Session – Dr. Mary Ann Raghanti, KSU Department of Anthropology & Koru Instructor

Part II

4:10 PM – Welcome 

4:30 PM – Performance by Barefeet Dance Tribe

4:40 PM – Okantah Award 

The Okantah Award recipient will be announced at the conference!

5:00 PM – Keynote Address – Dr. Tykeia Robinson, Assistant Director of Research and Policy in the Office of Undergraduate STEM Education at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

6:15 PM – Closing Remarks

Contact Us:

For more information, questions, or concerns contact or any Executive Board member.