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                                                          December 1, 2021
      Welcome to DIRECTIONS the monthly online newsletter of the Delaware Valley              Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi). We look forward to providing our readers
with pertinent information to support, encourage, and uplift our community and those who
serve the community. The goal of DVABPsi is to make a positive impact on Black Mental
Health today and for the future.
    DeBorah Gilbert White, Ph.D.- Editor 

                                                      President's Message:  

                                                      Dr. Ayo Maria Gooden

                                                      Delaware Valley Association

                                                      of Black Psychologists




Hotep Family,

As we approach the end of the year, we are also approaching the end of my two-year tenure as President of DVABPsi.  It seems fitting to share our accomplishments, alliances, new concepts/words to use in our practices and research, challenges-including events that impacted us all, projects, and my recommendations to heal the nation.  It has been an honor to serve as the President over these two years.  Asante sana.













Before I start, I must say, asante sana, to the people who have made this exciting journey possible.  I could not have survived the journey without the help of our members.  First Dr. Tashekah Smith who will be installed as the next President of DVABPsi starting January 1, 2021.  I sincerely appreciate your acceptance of this sacred position.  We have a lot of work to do but many hands make light work.  Dr. Janice HoffmanWillis, our Secretary, who was one of the founders of DVABPsi in 1975 and Past-President for many years.  Dr. HoffmanWillis held the organization together for many years and asked me to return as President in January 2020.  She has provided excellent minutes for our meetings and has donated both her time and money to make DVABPsi successful.  She has also provided the support to DVABPsi, and me, that has allowed us to grow and provide free memberships to students.  Little did we know the COVID-19 pandemic was about to change our lives forever as we began meeting in February of 2020, we had to learn how to use Zoom for the rest of our meetings and Mbongi which was facilitated through the excellent skills of our first two student members Dr. Ferlin Charles (who successfully defended her dissertation in the summer of 2021) and Ms. Rashidat Anthonio, B.S.  They provided us with social media training and the electronic skills needed to manage a website and other related activities.  Dr. Faruq Iman our historian and Treasurer, was also a founding member of DVABPsi and the Editor of the informative Eastern Region Newsletter, Mashariki Gazeti (all members receive a copy) which covers current issues, tributes to the Ancestors, our global history and so much more.  Dr. Iman provided me with the financial support and historical balance needed to create a strong chapter.  Dr. DeBorah Gilbert White resurrected our monthly newsletter, Directions, and has created a powerful resource for our members and the public (See the issues on our website under newsletter).  This is a time-consuming commitment that is critical to keeping us connected monthly.  She is always seeking contributions from the membership.  Mr. Colmon Holmes, M.Ed. served as Community Outreach Chair with Ms. Juliana Taylor, M.S.  This dynamic duo kept our name in the public’s eye, by setting up opportunities to talk to our people in person, on the radio and in public hearings.  Mr. Holmes connected us with an awesome consultant who built our website, Mr. Martin Lawrence Pratt and set up our ability to accept online payments.  Two of our rising stars are Dr. Ingrid Tulloch who is guiding DVABPsi in the process of writing grants along with Ms. LaTanya Jones, M.S.M., NIC, who is also providing DVABPsi with grants and her expertise as a nationally certified sign language interpreter.  Ms. Deneyia Barbour, MSW has been dedicated, to providing people in Philadelphia with access to a series of healing presentations and fresh foods from the garden at the Philadelphia Peace Park.  We are blessed with many other talented members, and we anticipate highlighting them and their contributions in the upcoming year.




DVABPsi ACCOMPLISHMENTS OVER THE PAST 2 YEARS-(Selected items not a complete list)

  • Built membership from 5 active members to the largest chapter in the world

  • Membership consists of professionals and students from undergraduate to graduate

  • Membership includes psychologists, social workers, and others in the mental health profession

  • Reinstated our tax-exempt status

  • Obtained a new post office box and phone number

  • Created letterhead

  • Consulted with Mr. Martin Lawrence Pratt and Mr. Colmon Holmes resulting in our website that was created by member Dr. Ferlin Charles.

  • Created online access to membership fees and donations by Mr. Martin Lawrence Pratt and then maintained by member Dr. Ferlin Charles.

  • Sold member products on our website.

  • Created a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

  • Increased treasury by 300%

  • Brought back monthly newsletter, Directions, editor Dr. DeBorah Gilbert-White

  • Became a sponsor/provider of continuing education credits through the State Department of Psychology

  • Provided free CEs to members

  • Built a working relationship with the Alliance of Black Social Workers, Philadelphia Chapter President Ms. Vivian Drayton, MSW

  • Built a coalition of mental health professionals from the following organizations and held two 3-credit ethics training sessions, Ethics, Anti-Racism and Social Justice, Part 1 and Part 2 June 18, 2021

  • Held monthly Mbongi to ensure our members had the needed CEs to maintain our licenses

  • Held meetings twice monthly to maintain contact with membership and build the chapter

  • Requested members add DVABPsi to their email address

  • Provided free membership to students

  • Provided access to Black Love Partners a matchmaking service for Blacks (President of DVABPsi, Dr. Ayo Gooden is a founding member.)

  • Mbongi for 2020 (Available on and Facebook-please click like us and share)

  1. Mbongi: A Community Dialogue and Therapeutic Healing Session During the Time of Two Viruses Racism and COVID-19 on 6-24-2020 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm Webinar on Facebook.

  2. Mbongi: A Community Dialogue and Therapeutic Healing Session During the Time of Two Viruses Racism and COVID-19, Part 2, 7-29-2020 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Webinar on Facebook.

  3. Mbongi: Recognizing and Eliminating Institutionalize Racism: Addressing and Healing Those Few Blacks Who Commit Violence Against Blacks on 8-4-2020 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Webinar on Facebook.

  4. Mbongi: Recognizing and Eliminating Institutionalize Racism: Addressing and Healing Those Few Blacks Who Commit Violence Against Blacks, Part 2 on 9-15-2020 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm. Webinar on Facebook.

  5. Mbongi: Stressors on the Black Family During the COVID-19, Part 1: Solutions for Black Parenting Stressors During COVID-19 and Beyond, 10-20-2020 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm EST. Webinar on Facebook.

  6. Mbongi: Stressors on the Black Family During the COVID-19 Part 2; Solutions for Black children and students: Managing isolation and other stressors during the pandemic, 11-17-2020 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm EST. Webinar on Facebook.

  7. Mbongi: Pre-Kwanzaa: Ending Racism Through Healing & Self-Determination, 12-15-2020 from 7 pm to 8:30 pm EST Webinar on Facebook.

  • Mbongi for 2021 (Available on and Facebook-please click like us and share)

  1. Ethics, Anti-Racism and Social Justice, part 1 on January 15, 2021 sponsored by the Alliance of Black Social Workers-Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW); Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work (PSCSW); National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter (NASW-PA); Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA); and the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi).

  2. Assessment, Treatment, And Management of Black Suicide Risk Using The Virtues Of Ma’at on February 26, 2021.

  3. Love Relationships: The Path to Empowerment Ethical Considerations on March 31, 2021.

  4. Child Abuse and Murder: Without Defense, Without Sanctuary, Without Mercy on April 24, 2021.

  5. Microaggressions and Discrimination on May 26, 2021.

  6. Ethics, Anti-Racism and Social Justice, part 2 on June 18, 2021 sponsored by the Alliance of Black Social Workers-Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW); Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work (PSCSW); National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter (NASW-PA); and the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi).

  7. National Association of Black Psychologists Convention from July 21-26, 2021 (virtual).

  8. The Social Psychology of Homeless Rights and Housing Justice and Bringing a Voice to Black Women Survivors of Hurricane Katrina on September 30, 2021.

  9. Ethical Responsibilities to End Institutional Racism And White Privilege on October 28, 2021

  10. Kwanzaa-December 15, 2021, 7 pm -9 pm.





  • Our member, Ms. Judy Henderson, MS, MHS, CEO of Empowerment Resource Services and the President of the Executive Board of the Black Brain Campaign (BBC) a non-profit 501c3 organization created by Farida E. Boyer, a DVABPsi member and Jaynay C. Johnson to eradicate the stigma against mental health in the Black community by providing a wholistic approach to therapy treatment. Services include free individual and family counseling, training courses for therapist, supervision, and community resources.

  • Several mental health associations in Pennsylvania joined together to address racism and what we could do as mental health professionals to implement anti-racist behaviors in the Commonwealth. These individuals form the Keystone Coalition for Anti-Racism Education and Services (C.A.R.E.S.) with the stated purpose to educate mental health professionals, students, and those in related fields to the challenges caused by racism to all people and to create solutions to end racism.  C.A.R.E.S. also serves as advocates for legislation that will make anti-racism training mandated for licensed professionals.  Initially, C.A.R.E.S. consisted of five groups:

  1. The Alliance of Black Social Workers-Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW), Vivian Drayton,

  2. Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work (PSCSW), Annette Deigh, LCSW, President

  3. National Association of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter (NASW-PA), Kristie Jo King, LSW, CDP, President and Johanna Byrd, ACSW, IOM, CAE, Executive Director

  4. Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA), Ann Marie Franks, MPA, Executive Director

  5. Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi), Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, President

  • These five groups held a free, three (3) continuing education training, Ethics, Anti-Racism and Social Justice, part 1 on January 15, 2021 in honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. approximately 600 people were in attendance.  It was the largest single event addressing racism with all Black presenters in the history of Pennsylvania and perhaps the nation.  The presenters were: Mildred C. Joyner, DPS, LCSW; Kevin Carter, LCSW; Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC; Patricia Reid-Merritt, Ph.D.

  • The feedback was extremely positive, and participants requested a second training Ethics, Anti-Racism and Social Justice, part 2 which was held on June 18, 2021, in recognition of Juneteenth.  PPA as represented by Ann Marie Franks, decided not to participate in the second event.  Presenters were: Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW; Patricia Reid-Merritt, Ph.D.; Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.; Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC.









  • Submitted paperwork to renew sponsor/provider of continuing education credits through the State Board of Psychology

  • Submitting paperwork to be a sponsor/provider with the Office of Children, Youth and Families for Child Abuse continuing education credits

  • Seeking to become a sponsor/provider continuing education for social workers, psychiatrists, marriage and family therapists, drug and alcohol counselors, lawyers, law enforcement, etc.

  • Revising By-Laws

  • Revising DVABPsi Brochure

  • Developing a speakers’ bureau (participants will be paid)

  • EMDR training (restricted to licensed practitioners) starting February 18-20, 2021 (she is still accepting trainees) by African Latina Ms. Diane DesPlantes, LCSW certified therapist, consultant and trainer of EMDR,

  • Training to provide assessments of police, fire, military, etc.

  • Rites of Passage for young through adulthood

  • Black Love Partners -an online community of Black singles and a matchmaking service for finding permanent, long-term Black love partner.




During my tenure as President, we have introduced new concepts or African-Centered ways to use some old words: 


  • Capitalizing the B in Black to indicate a racial group versus a color.  As Black people we come in all colors, languages, and nationalities but our Blackness links us globally. You can be Black and be from Brazil, Peru, Europe, Jamaica, Italy, China, Japan, or any other place on the planet and it is a unifying truth-who we are-the original people worldwide.  You can be born in Africa and be Caucasian/white.  Our Blackness is our strength and our brilliance.

  • Hotep-May also be written Hetep or Htp is a Kemetan or Egyptian word expressing peace and blessings.

  • Mbongi-A Bantu Kongo term used to describe a gathering of kindred people to examine and solve issues designed to take care of the people’s well-being.

  • Asante sana-Thank you very much in Kiswahili.

  • I coined the term Melanics to refer more accurately to People of Color because Melanics are the majority 90% not the minority.  Caucasians or people who classify themselves as white, make up 10% of the world and are the minority.

  • I also created the classification of Melanic Survivors Identity Syndrome (MSIS) which was introduced to the public in my book, A Single Bracelet Does Not Jingle …, to explain the pathological love, support, and identification some Melanics have with Caucasians while rejecting and denigrating their own ethnic and racial group.  MSIS develops as the result of Melanics feeling helpless to change the terroristic power dynamic (Caucasians are the most powerful people on the planet.) and Melanics will do anything to survive and be loved by the oppressor (racist Caucasians) who can grant Melanics privileges, opportunities, and protection.

  • Cultural Betrayal Trauma Theory (CBTT) - coined by Jennifer Gomez occurs within Melanic ethnic groups due to the violation of intragroup trust that is developed within various Melanic groups to protect them from the trauma caused by institutional racism. Melanics who engage in the betrayal are suffering from Melanic Survivors Identity Syndrome (MSIS).

  • Racism is prejudice against Melanics plus power according to Neely Fuller, Jr.

  • Power is the ability to define reality and to convince other people that it is their definition (Dr. Wade Nobles).

  • Some years ago, I worked with a mother who had lost one child due to meningitis and years before that she lost twin sons shortly after their births.  She lamented over the fact that there was no word for someone who had lost a child.  I was unaware at the time, that an African American female, Dr. Karla Holloway, the James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University found a word that describes the loss of a child, vilomah- a Sanskrit word that means “against a normal order.”  It is against normal order to have a child transcend before a parent.  A person who has lost a child has been vilomahed.










COVID-19 - has caused the deaths of over 777,000 people in the United States.  These deaths have resulted in millions of people experiencing trauma as a result of these loses.  Now, more than ever Blacks need Black mental health professionals to provide trauma informed care.  There is an increased need to have Blacks select careers in mental health as well as other fields.  In Pennsylvania (PA), PA graduates of Lincoln University and Cheyney University, who have maintained a B average or higher are eligible for the Bond-Hill Scholarship (Send us an email and we will send you details which provides access to free law school, medical school, dental school, podiatry, education, business, and other advanced degrees at several PA universities.  Having a commitment from educational institutions to ensure the success of Black students through graduation and into employment is also a critical need.  Blacks have had to shelter in which has contributed to:

  • Increased obesity

  • Increased communication difficulties

  • Increased feelings of loneliness and suicidal ideation

  • Increased angry outbursts

  • Increased substance abuse

  • Increased domestic violence

  • Increased child abuse

  • Increased academic failures

  • Inability to find healthy love relationships


Black mental health professionals are experiencing increased rates of burn out and require emotional support to cope with the increased demands on them both professionally and personally.


The insurrection of the Capital, on January 6, 2021, reminded us that institutional racism protects Caucasians/whites who violate the law and the rights of other people.  The insurrection has served as an example of what Critical Race Theory (CRT) addresses-that racism is ingrained in society’s laws, institutions, beliefs, and daily behaviors (See the October 1, 2021, Directions on CRT).  We must create media strategies to change the misunderstanding people have obtained through racist propaganda.  It is our responsibility to provide the healing.

Continued assassinations of Black people must stop.  We must end qualified immunity and require that those swore to “serve and protect” are held to a higher standard.  We must insist on juries of our peers (which means Blacks from our neighborhoods).  We must increase the number of Black DA’s, judges, lawyers, and police.  We must provide training to the police and trauma therapy for those who have been impacted by the abuse of power.  Rites of Passage programs must teach our people how to interact with the police and others.

Racism continues to be the most horrific pandemic.  We are experiencing the Maafa that has been continuous for over 500 years.  We must train Black mental health professionals to serve as expert witnesses to defend Critical Race Theory (CRT) which states that racism is an institutional system that has built a racist society that includes a legal system that is based on racist laws and/or racist practices such as the use of "qualified immunity" to allow the assassinations' of Black men, women and children and to allow murders go free when they are Caucasians/white.  We must teach our people and others how to eradicate racism.  It is not an option.  It is an imperative.










  1.  Mandate that the Association of Black Psychologists ( is the governing body over mental health for Blacks and that all people working with Blacks must be trained to do so by ABPsi.

  2. All individuals working with Blacks must have 3 continuing education credits annually to ensure that Blacks are receiving effective services.

  3. Wealthy Blacks must support Black colleges and universities (including marching bands, cheerleaders, and science departments) and adopt Black high schools to infuse them with adequate opportunities to succeed (computer sciences, sciences and equipment, music, art, tutoring, jobs, scholarships, culturally specific counseling, and other needed services).

  4. Support systems (culturally specific counseling to address trauma, tutoring to enhance academic performance, music, and art to help enhance self-expression and healing, healthy food choices, cutting edge equipment and programming) must be in place at every school to ensure the success of students from pre-k to graduate school.

  5. People with college degrees should have their loans forgiven if they wish to go to graduate school.  This should be part of the reparations we are owed.  I still want my 40 acres and a mule with interest!

  6. Graduate schools should provide financial and academic assistance to Black students ensuring their employment success with the completion of their degrees.  There are not enough Blacks to provide culturally responsive care.  The solution starts with the schools hiring Black teachers/professors who love Black people.

  7. The CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Please sign the petition to make it illegal to discriminate in the workplace & schools against natural or protective hairstyle in all states.

  8. Racism meets the Criteria for Threat to Public Health Please sign the Petition by Leslie Gregory, PA-C  The CDC must acknowledge this fact and make money available for Blacks (and other Melanics) to create solutions which include money to provide free trauma-informed, African-Centered therapy to the masses.

  9. Black people and other Melanics need to be part of a Rites of Passage process that helps us standardize the information we need to know to heal and to prepare us to be healthy individuals, partners, parents, and community builders.

  10. Spend money with Black businesses and organizations to build Black communities that will protect us and provide us with the supports we need to succeed.

  11. Vote in every election.  Do not be fooled into believing that your vote does not count.  If it did not count, racist Caucasians/whites would not be working so hard to prevent us from voting.

  12. Become an active member of DVABPsi and ABPsi. Let us work together to heal ourselves and others.



Black Chronicle Book which is a compilation of 178 years of Black history from over 400 authentic news articles sequenced in a newspaper format.  There is also the Teacher’s Guide: From the Slavery Era-1778 to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement-1956 Pittsburgh, PA 1999.  Purchase at and add the word “Herring” in the Description Box behind the name of the item you are purchasing.

Fuller, Jr. N. (1984).  The United Independent Compensatory Code System Concept a textbook/workbook for Thought, Speech and/or Action and/or Action for Victims of Racism (white supremacy). 

Gómez, J.M. (2018): What’s in a Betrayal? Trauma, Dissociation, and Hallucinations Among High-Functioning Ethnic Minority Emerging Adults, Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, DOI: 10.1080/10926771.2018.1494653.

Gooden, A.M.C. (2018). A Single Bracelet Does Not Jingle: Finding Your Ideal Love Partner, Making Love Last and Ending Unhealthy Relationships; A Multi-Racial Examination of Love Relationships.


      Harambee!  Harambee!  Harambee! (Let us all pull together).

          Hotep (Peace and Blessings)- Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, LLC




Join The Association of Black Psychologists  ( and DVABPsi.  Make your contribution to healing our people!




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Mailing address:      DeBorah Gilbert White, Ph.D., Editor
                                 DIRECTIONS Newsletter
                                 Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists
                                 P.O. Box 542
                                 Westtown, PA  19395-0542
                                         Newsletter Submissions
Members of DVABPsi are encouraged to submit articles, poems, announcements,  quotations, employment opportunities, and information related to undergraduate,   graduate, and post-graduate programs in psychology.  Currently, we are seeking Guest Contributors for 2022.  Members of DVABPsi are invited to be Guest Contributors. Please submit a short bio and photo with articles. Related pictures and graphics can also be submitted with articles. Contact the DIRECTIONS Newsletter team for additional information at
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