caring beyond the workplace

My work in the field of psychology extends far beyond direct service with the adults, adolescents and families.  Over the years I've conducted numerous workshops, lectured, presented to students and educators, promoted environmental stewardship and written several published children's books aimed at promoting positive outcomes in individuals and communities. Below are select highlights of these efforts. 

Vice Chairman, Surfrider Foundation - Wisconsin Chapter, Milwaukee, WI, 2013
Promoting environmental stewardship of the Great Lakes through education, community projects and creation of Surf @Water, an annual film festival and beach event for families aimed at water safety, surfing and advocacy of environmental awareness.  

Cultivating Wellness: Helping You Help Your Children, Chicago, IL , September 2011
Presented on effective ways of countering the stigma of mental health services within diverse communities and how to support friends and families coping with mental illness.  Seminar was sponsored by the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. 

Milwaukee City Forum on Urban Violence
Milwaukee, WI, August 2005 
Lectured and co-facilitated a community town forum with mental health professionals and national advocates on the psychological impact that issues violence, disenfranchisement and limited economic opportunity has on youth and families of color in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   

 

To be the good news, you first have to see the good news.

My approach in therapy has influenced my work as a children's author.  Often it is one of dealing with the realities that lie before us, while also recognizing that with each step there are opportunities to be seized, moments to be embraced and positive changes just waiting to be made. This timeless and inspiring message is one reflected in the pages of my award winning picture book, No Bad News.

 In  the book, No Bad News, Marcus realizes that his community is full of good news, even though what he sees is mostly the bad.  But all that changes during a trip to the barbershop.

In  the book, No Bad News, Marcus realizes that his community is full of good news, even though what he sees is mostly the bad.  But all that changes during a trip to the barbershop.

No Bad News shows children and adults alike that how we view ourselves is often influenced by how we view the world, and in turn shapes our behavior, in both good and bad ways.  Long story short, there is good news out there, and before you can see it, you first have to realize the good with lies within you. 

 In the most unlikely of places we find our inspiration and our lives can change.  For Marcus, it was through the kind words of his barber , his mother and others in his community.

In the most unlikely of places we find our inspiration and our lives can change.  For Marcus, it was through the kind words of his barber , his mother and others in his community.

Lecturer and Workshop Coordinator, Los Angeles, CA  2002 - 2005
Spoke at libraries affiliated with the Los Angeles Public Library system, as well as numerous Los Angeles Unifed School District schools on the importance of education, inspiring and motivating students and community empowerment.

Keynote Speaker for A Novel Event for Creative Sharp Presentations, Milwaukee, WI 2005
Spoke about importance of instilling value of literacy and education at an early age and the key role that parent(s) and the community at large can play in reducing rates of illiteracy.

Promoting the Replication of an Effective Fatherhood Program, St. Louis, MO,  2004
Presented at national conference on fatherhood emphasizing Project Fatherhood, a federally funded fatherhood program run by Children's Institute International. 

National Basketball Association Read to Achieve Celebrity Reader, Los Angeles, CA,  2002 - 2004 
In collaboration with the Los Angeles Clippers, promoted literacy and read books to children across Southern California with NBA players.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Keynote Speaker for State of Minnesota, January, 2001
Served as the keynote speaker for the State of Minnesota's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration.  Keynote address emphasized communities role in honoring Dr. King's legacy through emphasis on education and personal and familial accountability for success.