Mental wellness


We envision a world in which there are no systemic barriers to positive mental health in the African American Community.


The African American Ambassador Mental Wellness Group will address the immediate and unique needs of the African-American Community.

The group is currently focused on a re-examination of practices professionally, culturally, medically and educationally as it pertains to Black adolescents receiving services. A specific focus is on addressing behavioral health staffing and services within Providence Public Schools; as well as therapeutic school placements outside of the public-school system. The group’s efforts are in response to the Providence School Health Needs Assessment (2020) that indicates a strong need for increased and better coordinated behavioral health services for Providence students, especially Black youth. Providence School Health Needs Assessment

    Mental Wellness Subgroup Members

    Group leaders:
    Melodie Thompson, Sal Monteiro, Larry Warner

    Group members:
    Bev Mills, Vernon Martin, Maryann Fonseca, Jill Van Leesten, Adama Brown-Hathaway

    City staff:
    Obed Papp, Joshua Avila

    Our AAAG Members

    Alejandra De Paz, City Staff
    Anjel Newman - AS220
    Annette Alves – Federal Hill House
    Anthony Carrion – Dean of Students, Nowell Leadership Academy
    Brooke Waldron - Indigenous Community member
    Caterina Cable – Community member
    Cedric Huntley – Executive Director, Nonviolence Institute
    Celeste Johnson – Community member
    Chase Baptista – Providence Public School District
    Charles Newton – Administrator, State of RI
    Cheryl Galloway – The MET School
    Cheryl Isom-Wie – Director, The MET School, Coordinator, Consultant and facilitator at STEM Based Education
    Corey Brown – Providence Police Officer, Community Mentor, WE GOT NEXT
    Cris Potter – Founder, Red Rooster Solutions
    Crisolita Figueiredo – Community and Political Activist
    Deborah Harris – D.A.R.E
    Denise Debarros - Community Advocate
    Desmond Ranglin - JARI
    DJ Rukiz – The Juice 88.9 online radio
    Doug Victor – South Side Community Land Trust
    Dr. Adama Brown-Hathaway - UWRI
    Dr. Dannie Ritchie - MD, MPH Founder, Community Health Innovations of Rhode Island

    Dwayne Boo Hackney - It's on US/ No More Murder
    Elaina Scorpio - Tenant Network RI

    Elise Swearingen - Project Manager, Community Advocate
    Enrique Sanchez – BLM RI PAC, Reclaim RI, Prov DSA, Rhode Island Socialists, PSL RI
    Georgina Sarpong – Co-owner,Abundance Farms, Black Lives Biz
    Gina Fisher-Cook - State of RI Traffic Tribunal, Community Advocate
    Dr. Hume Johnson -CEO and Brand Strategy Partner at Hume Johnson Consulting LLC,RWU
    Jacob Brier - Historian
    James Monteiro - Reentry Campus Program
    James Vincent - NAACP
    Jamiere Wilson - Artist


    Jennifer Hopgood - Family Nurse Practitioner & adjunct professor at Simmons University
    Jessica Brown - RI School of Design, Jessica Brown Designs
    Jessica Vega – City Counsel Ward 5, Central Falls
    Joseph Bruce – Artist
    Joshua Avila - City Staff
    Julius Kolawole - African Alliance
    Justin Russillo - Realtor at Phipps Realty, Community Advocate
    k. funmilayo aileru- studio artist and freelance designer
    Kathleen Egersheim – Awakening Church
    Keith Stokes – Rhode Island Black Heritage Society/1696 Heritage Group
    Kenya Fullen – Dept of human services
    Kendra Ault – College Unbound
    Kenia Richards – Clinical Therapist, Community member
    Kie Hamrick – Community member
    Latifat Odetunde - Youth Advocate
    Marchae Belcher – Community member
    Marco McWilliams -Founder PBSS, Center for Reconciliation, the Swearer Center Brown University, College Unbound
    Marijoan Bull

    Mary Beth Meehan - Photographer, Writer and Educator
    Meko Lincoln - Amos House

    Michael Shepherd – City of Providence Staff
    Nicole da Cruz - Rhode Island School of Design
    Pamela Hughes – Mount Hope Cowboys
    Regina Clement – Delta Sigma Theta-Prov Alum
    Rochanda Delves- Community member
    Sade Lee – Community membe
    Sharon Morris – Omni Development Corporation
    Shirley Hood- Destiny Productions
    Sonia Thomas – Dunamis Synergy, West Elmwood Housing Development Corp
    Taritha Hill-Cooper – Simply Mom, Inc
    Teresa Guaba Community member
    Terri Wright- DARE

    Theresa Guzmán Stokes – Rhode Island Black Heritage Society/1696 Heritage Group
    Tiarra Mack – RI State Senate District 6
    Wayne Montague – WINN Residential

    Get Involved - join us today!