Dr. Kenlana Ferguson will join us in presenting a Lunch & Learn experience focused on building awareness of mental health and wellness while addressing the problematic stigmas and systemic issues that often lead to inequities in mental health.
Dr. Ferguson is a licensed psychologist and the Director of Equity, Learning, and Culture at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF). She holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Western Michigan University. Over twenty years ago, Dr. Ferguson began her career as a psychologist with three primary goals: (1) provide culturally relevant and antiracist mental health treatment to members of marginalized communities, (2) increase their access to mental health care and (3) dismantle systems of oppression contributing to individual and collective racial trauma. She was first able to actualize these intentions in her work as a therapist in the criminal justice system, community agencies, and private practice and also co-founded the Kalamazoo Black & Brown Therapy Collective, an initiative that supports healing the wounds of racial trauma by connecting BIPOC individuals with BIPOC mental health clinicians and providing financial assistance for therapy.
Dr. Ferguson moved to higher education, where she spent a decade operationalizing equity by recruiting clinicians of color, training all staff clinicians and interns in culturally relevant and antiracist mental health approaches, and changing counseling center policies and practices to increase marginalized students’ access to mental health care. At Kalamazoo College, she led the implementation of the Equity in Mental Health Framework (EMHF), a campus-wide initiative designed to reduce shame and prejudice around mental health, increase responsiveness, improve campus climate, and provide system-wide opportunities to help all students thrive.
In her current role at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Dr. Ferguson is continuing her advocacy for mental health and wellbeing, and her current work is dedicated to transforming organizational culture through the implementation of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Mental Health and Workplace Wellbeing Framework. This organization-wide effort allows her to work at the intersection of equity and mental health to address workplace disparities that negatively impact staff mental health and reimagine the workplace as an engine for well-being.
Dr. Ferguson envisions a world where every individual’s human needs are met and there is access to mental health resources within inclusive and supportive environments. Her dedication to this vision led her to start her own consulting practice, Ferguson Consulting, through which she helps institutions and organizations operationalize wellness by advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the personal, interpersonal, and institutional levels. Her work is a testament to her belief that by addressing these interconnected issues, we can create environments and workplaces that nurture the mental health and overall well-being of every individual.
Time: 12 pm – 1:30 pm
Location: Blau Colloquium
Food will be provided.