Disparity Reduction through Empowerment Awareness and Moving Systems

NNEDLearn 2013 Participant: Mental Health Association

Description: Cultural Dialogues are personal journeys, participatory and interactive dialogues that tap into a wealth of cultural and clinical expertise. The dialogues explore what participants bring to the table based on their understanding and historical reactions towards race, racism, and white privilege, and how this influences their interaction with one another. Participants talk openly and honestly about issues that affect them, and how they can change behavior to benefit them.

The participants commit to six sessions of 2.5 hours each over a period of 12 weeks. They complete readings between meetings and come to meetings with an open mind. In addition to the six sessions facilitators also commit to 12 hours of pre-session training, and coaching and feedback sessions.

Population of focus: African American adults

Setting: Community health center, Mental health clinic

Level of intervention: Individual, Community

Background: The program was developed as part of the disparities reduction focus of System of Care. It was designed by the Lead Cultural Broker to address a lack of transparency and trust between MH system and community, and lack of understanding and misconceptions between MH practitioners and the community they serve. The program evolved over times based on evaluations and feedback from participants and facilitators. It is funded by MCOMH and conducted in partnership with MHA. It was first held as a pilot program in 2007.


Melanie Funchess
Director of Community Engagement
Mental Health Association
320 N. Goodman St.
Rochester, NY 14607
585-325-3145 Ext. 131