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For Immediate Release
October 19, 2022


Joined by National Mental Health Experts, Panel Focuses on Evidence Linking Racism to Mental Health Outcomes and the Research, Policy and Education Priorities Necessary to Effect Change

Video of the Panel Discussion Can be Found HERE

BUFFALO, NY – United University Professions (UUP), the nation’s largest higher education union, today hosted a panel discussion with some of the nation’s leading mental health experts, to discuss the best ways to address systemic inequity for mental health, specifically for individuals and communities impacted by racist acts of violence.

Titled “Structural Racism, Generational Trauma and The Implications for Mental Health Equity,” and held in one of the many communities recently forced to endure a horrific act of racist violence, the panel worked to find common sense solutions – through legislation or community initiatives – that can help close this mental health equity gap.

“It is an unfortunate reality that while these acts of racist violence, perpetrated against communities of color, capture the national attention for days or weeks, more violence always follows someplace else, pulling our attention to the next community and then the next community after that. But, as we know in Buffalo, the suffering does not end when the cable TV cameras move on to the next story,” said UUP President Frederick E. Kowal, who moderated the panel discussion. “It’s not good enough to say we stand with this community. We need action, and our hope is that today’s discussion can be a catalyst toward real solutions that will aid communities that need it.”

Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “I was honored to take part in today’s National Mental Health Roundtable to address mental health challenges, including the harmful impact of racism on mental health. Our community has had much to grapple with this past year, events that can impact our mental health. Discussions like these will help us explore the necessary efforts we must take to combat these critical issues.”

Panelists for the roundtable included some of the nation’s leading minds on mental health and systemic racism, including Norma L. Day-Vines, Professor and Associate Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development at John Hopkins University, Pierluigi Mancini, President of the Multicultural Development Institute, Peter Martin, University of Buffalo’s Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Karl Shallowhorn, board member of the New York State Mental Health Association.

Bios for Panelists

1. Norma L. Day-Vines, PhD, Professor; Associate Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development at John Hopkins University. Dr. Day-Vines' research and practice focuses on the importance of multiculturalism as an indispensable tool in the delivery of culturally competent counseling and educational services for clients and students from marginalized groups. She has consulted with school districts across the country to address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

2. Pierluigi Mancini, PhD, President of the Multicultural Development Institute, Inc. Dr. Mancini has over 30 years of experience providing culturally and linguistically appropriate behavioral health treatment, education, and prevention. He is an internationally renowned consultant and has recently led a project to train clinicians in Latin America who are caring for four million displaced Venezuelans in the region.

3. Peter Martin, MD, MPH, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University at Buffalo. Dr. Martin participates in the supervision and teaching of medical students, residents, and fellows while also working in a variety of settings dealing with the intersection of psychiatry and the law. He provides treatment and conducts court-ordered evaluations in both the adult and youth correctional systems and participates in community-based organizations focusing on youth that have complex systems-of-care needs.

4. Karl Shallowhorn, MS, CASAC, Board Member, Mental Health Association in New York State. Mr. Shallowhorn earned his master’s degree in student personnel administration from SUNY Buffalo State, is a New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor and has worked in the field of addiction and mental health for more than two decades.

UUP is the nation's largest higher education union, with more than 42,000 academic and professional faculty and retirees. UUP members work at 29 New York state-operated campuses, including SUNY’s public teaching hospitals and health science centers in Brooklyn, Long Island and Syracuse. It is an affiliate of NYSUT, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the AFL-CIO.


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