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Events

Save The Date

Winter/Spring 2024

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Upcoming Events

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Singing the Song of Black Fatherhood: Restoration to Their Rightful Places

Tues, ​June 18, 2024 at 12:00 PM CST

In Honor of Father's Day and the Juneteenth holiday, CRESTS-Achieve is hosting a FREE VIRTUAL TRAINING SESSION focused on the importance of Black fathers in their children's lives, their communities, and society in general. This training session will feature a panel discussion co-facilitated by Dr. Cirecie-West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West (Co-Founders of CRESTS-Achieve).

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2nd Annual Emancipatory Research Symposium

Friday, July 12, 2024 - 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM CST

Reception: Thursday, July 11, 2024 - 5:30 PM CST

Calling all emancipatory researchers! If you are a graduate of CRESTS-Liberate (or another emancipatory research training program), join us for a day-long exchange of ideas, approaches, and findings. Our 2nd Annual Emancipatory Research Conference is scheduled for Friday, July 12th, 2024 in New Orleans. SAVE THE DATE!

Recent Events

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Black Moms: Parenting Without Being a Superwoman, Martyr, or Drill Sargeant

Tues, May 21, 2024 

In this training session, Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West (Co-Founders of CRESTS-Achieve) will discuss the prevalence of mental health conditions in Black mothers and highlight their unique needs. In addition, Drs. West-Olatunji and West will discuss the relationship between mothers' mental health status and their children's academic achievement and emotional well-being. 

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Your Grief Ain’t Like Mine -Part 2: Black Children’s Grief and Loss Issues

Tues, April 16, 2024

Join us for an insightful online event focusing on the unique experiences of Black children dealing with grief and loss. Our panel of experts will discuss the historical challenges and the structural issues that impact the growth and development of Black youth and other children of color. Strategies for supporting Black youth through difficult times will be covered to help parents, educators, and mental health professionals enhance their service delivery. Don't miss this important conversation!

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Structural Racism as a Detriment to the Mental and Physical Health of Young Children

Thurs, Feb 22, 2024 

This webinar provided evidence of how structural racism influences the physical and mental health of culturally and socially minoritized young children. Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji helped parents, caregivers, and professionals to identify signs of race-based stress among young children and offered culture-centered solutions to promote healthy development and overall wellbeing.

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Historical Resilience in the Black Community: Back to our Roots

Tues, February 20, 2024

In this FREE webinar, Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West incorporated an understanding of transgenerational resilience among people of African descent. The presenters also spoke about cultural coping mechanisms that are evidence-based (tried and true) for Black people in the diaspora.

2024 ESEA Conference

Feb 7 - 10, 2024 | Portland Oregon & Online

​The CRESTSprogram team attended the 2024 National ESEA conference in February. Our team headed to Portland to attend this conference for our third time!

 

What was new about our 2024 conference participation? Dr. West-Olatunji (CRESTSprogram CEO) gave an invited lecture, "Hidden in Plain Sight": Giving Voice to the Experiences of Minoritized Children" on 02/07/2024 at 4:15 p.m. Immediately after her lecture, Dr. West-Olatunji hosted a "Meet the Author" session. 

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“Promoting Academic Success in Black Children: Pre-K to H.S. Graduation”

Tues, Jan 9, 2024 

In this FREE webinar, Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West shared research findings on the cultural factors associated with academic excellence in Black children and other youth of color. In addition, the presenters identified culture-centered, trauma-informed interventions to promote academic excellence in Black children.

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Infusing Black History & Culture into Your Holiday Celebrations (Part III)

Tues, Dec 12, 2023

This year marked our 3rd annual holiday training event (yes, it was BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND)!!!! As before, this was a FREE, virtual, training session in which Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West taught simple, fun, and evidence-based interventions aimed at enhancing Black children's racial identity development, emotional well-being, and academic performance. 

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"Locs, Wigs, & Everything Between": Black Women/Girls & Emotional Wellness

Tues, Nov 14, 2023

In this FREE training event, the Co-Founders of CRESTS-Achieve (Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West) provided an overview of the race-based trauma that Black women and girls often experience related to their hair. In addition, these presenters identified culture-centered, trauma-informed interventions to be used by educators, parents, partners, and mental health professionals in order to promote resilience in Black women and girls.

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Conversations with Grandma Polly: Identifying & Addressing Trauma in Black Children

Thurs, Oct 19, 2023 

On Thursday, October 19th, 2023, CRESTSprogram co-Founders, Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West, were guests on the podcast, “Conversations with Grandma Polly.” A lively conversation with Ms. Renee Brown ensured as they talked about the various traumatic events that impact Black children’s wellbeing. 

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Left out, Held Back, and Invisible: Amplifying the Voices of Afro-Latino Youth

Tue, Oct 17, 2023 

In honor of 2023 Hispanic Heritage Month, CRESTSprogram, LLC hosted an insightful online event that aimed to give voice to Afro-Latino youth! Through engaging discussion and inspiring talks by an expert group of panelists, we explored the unique intersection of Afro and Latino cultures. This event was an opportunity to foster increased knowledge, promote academic excellence, and augment skills among educators, parents, and mental health professionals. 

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Part 1: Your Grief Ain't Like Mine: Addressing the Unique Needs of Black Children

Tues, Sept 19, 2023

This gathering provided a safe space to discuss the unique challenges faced by Black children when dealing with grief and loss. Through an interactive lecture and digital discussions, Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West (Co-Founders of CRESTS-Achieve) explorde strategies and resources to help them navigate their emotions and heal using culture-centered tools.

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Emancipatory Research Symposium

Fri, July 7, 2023

Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji hosted this program and featured two emancipatory scholars from New Zealand, Fiona Cram and Tepora Emery, as keynote speakers. The keynote session was followed by concurrent seminars where presenters shared their recent emancipatory research projects.

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Harnessing the Power of Black Fatherhood to Promote Excellence in Children

Tues, June 13, 2023

This training session featured a panel discussion that was co-facilitated by Dr. Cirecie-West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West (Co-Founders of CRESTS-Achieve). In this discussion, panelists summarized current data about Black fathers (identifying truths and dispelling myths), highlighting the important role that fathers play in promoting academic success and emotional well-being in their children, and identifying culture-centered interventions that can be used to maximize engagement and outcomes related to Black fathers (and their children).

Countering Race-based Stress for Young Children

Thurs, May 25, 2023

This was a live in-person training in partnership with Be Strong Families that will be held in New Orleans, LA. The training focused on race-based stress for young children. Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji discussed what is known about race-based stress and how to identify the symptoms among young children. More importantly, Dr. West-Olatunji offered solutions and interventions that can be implemented to arm children against threats to their self-esteem, self-actualization, and self-identity to promote healthy emotional and psychological well-being and lifelong success.

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"Quiet as it's Kept": Black Mothers, Transgenerational Trauma, & Resilience

Tue, May 23, 2023

This session identified the mental health needs of Black mothers and culture-centered interventions to be used to address their needs.

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Putting the R(ace) into ACES -Part II: Focusing on Early Childhood

Tue, April 25, 2023

In this virtual training event, the presenters justified the importance of including race-based trauma as key ACEs for Black children; used case studies to illustrate evidence-based information; and provided practical tools to educators, parents, and clinicians to intervene and mitigate the consequences of race-based trauma for Black children.

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Culture-Centered Strategies to Enhance Support for LGBTQ Black Youth

Tue, March 21, 2023

This FREE webinar featured a panel discussion that summarized the experiences of Black LGBTQ youth, challenged notions of tolerance versus acceptance, and equipped attendees with culture-centered, trauma-informed skills and interventions to be used to best support Black LGBTQ youth in their identity development and overall well-being.

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Counteracting the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Black Youth

Tue, Feb 28, 2023

This panel discussion focused on identifying evidence-based strategies to be used by educators, parents/guardians, juvenile justice professionals, and clinicians to excise racism across settings. In addition, panelists identified strategies that can effectively promote resilience in Black youth (and other minoritized youth) who are at elevated risk for (or are experiencing) juvenile justice involvement.

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2023 National ESEA Conference
 

Feb 1- Feb 4, 2023

The National ESEA Conference is intentionally aimed at coordination among federal education programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and other federal programs.


The CRESTS team attended the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) conference from February 1-4, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana to interact with educational leaders, policymakers, and educators from all over the U.S. We had a booth in the exhibit hall to share information about our programs and services, which focus on culture-centered trauma-informed care for Black children.

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The Necessity of Culture-Centered, Trauma-Informed Care in Juvenile Justice
 

Tue, January 24, 2023

This virtual training event focused on the identification of evidence-based strategies to be used by educators, parents/guardians, and/or clinicians to excise racism across settings, and to promote resilience in Black youth (and other minoritized youth) who are at elevated risk for (or are experiencing) juvenile justice involvement.

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Infusing Black History & Culture into Your Holiday Celebrations (Part II)

Tue, December 13, 2022

For educators, parents, and clinicians of Black children, this was a perfect time to engage in activities to enhance Black children's racial identity by infusing Black history and culture into their holiday plans! In this FREE virtual training session; Dr. Cirecie West-Olatunji and Dr. Constance West taught simple, fun, and evidence-based interventions to enhance Black children's racial identity development, emotional well-being, and academic performance. 

 

These interventions targeted the following areas: culture-centered decorations for the school, home, and/or clinical setting; gift ideas; activities with children (and their families); and resources. Like last year's version of this innovative training session, it was designed to be HIGHLY INTERACTIVE (with a limited number of participants so they could SHARE their favorite examples in a meeting format). In addition, this session included musical selections by a guest artist.

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Preventing Suicide and Homicide Among Black Men and Boys

Tue, November 15, 2022

Suicide rates among Black males have increased over the last two decades. The onset of the COVID pandemic has aggravated this trend. For adolescent males, depression and anxiety, coupled with a tendency not to seek help, have exacerbated this issue. For adult males, issues of identity and self-worth have been cited as influential in their sense of hopelessness.

 

The panelists for this webinar highlighted the factors that influence the overall wellbeing of Black men and boys to contextualize their everyday challenges, including race-based stress. Additionally, the presenters shared elements of clinically effective programs with Black boys and men. Key aspects of this presentation focused on the role of family members, friends, and community resources ins supporting emotional and psychological wellness among Black males.

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LGBTQ Black Youth: Acceptance, Protection, & Support

Tue, October 4, 2022 

This webinar brought together Black youth to form a panel to talk about their exposure to race-based stress, the social-justice interventions and outreach they have performed, and their research activities related to historical trauma within the Black experience. This webinar brought their voices to center stage. 

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Black Children Speaking Up & Out on Experiences With Race-Based Trauma

Sun, September 18, 2022

This webinar brought together Black youth to form a panel to talk about their exposure to race-based stress, the social-justice interventions and outreach they have performed, and their research activities related to historical trauma within the Black experience. This webinar brought their voices to center stage. 

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Putting the R(ace) into ACES: Race-Based Trauma in Black Children

Tue, Jul 12, 2022

Panelists discussed race-based traumatic events (as important Adverse Childhood Experiences, ACEs) for Black children and adolescents.

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Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Black Mothers: Even the Strong Get Weary

Tue, May 24, 2022

This session identified the mental health needs of Black mothers, and culture-centered interventions to be used to address their needs.

View past webinars on our YouTube channel

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