We would like to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for entrusting us with such a great work; one that resulted in us having to stretch outside of our comfort zone and to cast our nets out into deeper, often-times, unchartered waters! Yet, God showed up and brought our infectious, passionate vision to fruition.
We would also like to thank the greater Kalamazoo Community, specifically the conglomerate of mental health agencies (Kalamazoo County Community Mental Health, MRC Pathways, NAMI of Kalamazoo, Gryphon Place, Family Health Center, Disability Resource Center, Kalamazoo Home Health, North Presbyterian Church) that partnered with us this year to help make the 9th Annual Emerging HOPE Mental Health Forum an overwhelming success.
The multi-cultural crowd consisted of clergy, mental health professional, lay people, and individuals and their family members who are living with mental illness and/or developmental disabilities, service providers, college students, parents, siblings, neighbors, and community members. Many lives were impacted by the information and personal testaments that were powerfully shared. The evaluation results reflect common themes of appreciation for the information shared, appreciation for the forum host valuing their mental health - to the degree that they have hosted nine mental health forums, individuals feeling safe to share their feelings, individuals being empowered, validated, and most importantly understood.
We extend our gratitude to Mona Watson, Mistress of Ceremony, Minister Karika Parker for delivering the Ecumenical Invocation, Ms. Vanessal Rancifer Lewis for her courage to share her powerful story “My Journey Back to Everyday Life ,” workshop facilitators, Reverend J. Barrett Lee,Michele McGowen and Cheryl Owens-Nebedum, to the majestic Keynote Speaker, Reverend Joan Cornelision, our volunteers Jermaine Harris,Tehla Reece, and Florence Powe; to our nephew Pastor LaQundo Minor (Wife Evangelist Thanika Minor) for delivering a thought provoking benediction, to the many informational agency booths that were set-up at the forum, to Robyn Robinson and Howard Robinson of 1560 The Touch Radio, our featured nation-wide radio interview with Mrs. Earlene McMichael, reporter with National Public Radio (NPR) http://bit.ly/1S7zqTk, and the Northside Ministerial Alliance for your diligence in helping to promote the event.
Likewise to De Vanne Burch of VisualTechnologyLtd for creating the powerful promotional you-tube videohttp://youtu.be/yTIo1so5bWw. Moreover, we thank our sponsors for providing the food items, condiments, media materials, and monetary donations. And we express thanks to Lenise Vaughan for serving as the caterer for the delicious lunch. Please stay tuned to our website athttp://www.emerginghopefsp.org/ for professional photographs that were taken by Memories with Christina Ne'Cole Photography and for a YouTube video is being created by Jermaine Harris and VisualTechnologyLtd.