Supporting emotional health of students of color

Brown School partners with The Steve Fund for daylong symposium Nov. 11

Experts from around the country will convene Friday, Nov. 11, at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis for the daylong conference Young, Gifted and @Risk — an event that explores how campus communities can support the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color.

Research shows that students of color are less likely to seek help when depressed, and twice as likely to say they are less prepared emotionally for college than their peers. National scholars, campus administrators, mental health practitioners, families, students and community members will come together to take action on these issues in the only national conference of this kind.

Session topics and a full speaker list for conference, which begins at 8 a.m. and continues through 5 p.m., are available at, which will stage the event in partnership with the Brown School.

The Steve Fund is the nation’s sole nonprofit organization focused on promoting the emotional and mental health welfare for students of color.

The organization works with colleges and universities, outstanding nonprofits, researchers, and practitioners, and with groups serving diverse populations, to stimulate dialogue and promote effective programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance for the mental and emotional health of the nation’s students of color as they enter, matriculate in, and transition from higher education.

This annual conference brings together university scholars, administrators, practitioners, students and community members.

Provost Holden Thorp and Brown School Dean Mary McKay are among the speakers from Washington University. Others include:

  • Sean Joe, associate dean for faculty and research at the Brown School and the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development;
  • Diana Hill Mitchell, associate dean of the graduate school in Arts & Sciences;
  • Emelyn de la Peña, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion;
  • Bill Powderly, the J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine and the Larry J. Shapiro Director of the Institute for Public Health;
  • Eleatha Surratt, staff psychiatrist in medical services and mental health services for the Habif Health and Wellness Center;
  • Anthony Tillman, assistant provost for student success.
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