about dbgm

MISSION STATEMENT
DBGM is dedicated to recognizing and articulating LGBTQ+ people of the Black Diaspora mental health, and through the collective strengths and wisdom of professionals and supporters, to remove shame and stigma, and bring the concerns affecting these communities into the light for healing.(Revised March 2016)

“If by what I’m doing, one Black gay man could be prevented from killing himself, then my job is done; his healing begins.”
- Antoine Craigwell, Founder and CEO

Visit our Resources page for targeted assistance.

QUICK FACTS

HOW CAN I HELP?

Learn about mental health signs and symptoms, how to recognize when someone is going into crisis, and what to do to prevent their suicide; learn how provide and be culturally sensitive - LGBTQ+ people of color history, using correct pronouns, encouraging respect and acceptance. Through language, help break and overcome shame, stigma and discrimination in your community. 
Join us, help with sponsoring and funding our events, programs and the conference; with media creation, inviting our speakers, and host educational classes near you.
As a community, together we can overcome depression and other mental health issues in our communities.

Our Shining Stars:
DBGM Board of Directors

A team who cares about the LGBTQ community, mental well-being, and non-profit efforts.

DBGM’s first board meeting was held in 2013. At the founding board meeting, 13 members joined the organization’s fledgling board.

Antoine Craigwell Founder, President & CEO

Antoine B. Craigwell is a National Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Journalist seen on ARISE TV, ABC Channel 7 “Here and Now, with Sandra Bookman”, “In Focus with Cheryl Wills” on NY1, BronxNet TV, and BRIC TV in Brooklyn. Through his personal experience, certification, and education he made it his priority to help Black gay men survive, thrive, and heal. He founded DBGM in 2013 to raise mental health awareness in Black gay communities. With a degree from Bernard Baruch College of the City University of New York and ample press coverage under his belt, in 2008, he won him two awards from The New York Association of Black Journalists. 

Antoine continues to generate mental health awareness in publications, radio, television, and social media appearances. He was featured in several magazines, exhibitions, and provides training in LGBT peoples of color cultural sensitivity. He lectures at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine on cultural sensitivity, and spoke at many national and international conferences.

In 2014, together with DBGM, he  hosted the first LGBT Peoples of Color Mental Health Summit at Rutgers University in Newark, which grew and became an annual two-day conference. Celebrating the Conference’s Fifth Anniversary, In My Mind was recognized by NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo as central to the State’s LGBTQ+ fabric and by NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio, who declared October 10, 2019, “In My Mind Day.”

Antoine produced the documentary “You Are Not Alone.” (external http://yana-thefilm.com/ hyperlink), a film speaking directly to DBGM’s target demographic and to break the silence, the shame and stigma surrounding mental health; it’s about overcoming and healing from depression.

Affiliations

  • Chair of the NYC DOHMH LGBT CSB Task Force
  • Founding member and executive of Guyanese In The Diaspora
  • New York State Suicide Prevention Task Force
  • NY State Multicultural Advisory Council
  • NYS LGBT Network
  • NYCDOHMH Community Advisory Board
  • NYC SGL Equality Coalition

Jeffery Gardere PhD Co-Executive Production

Jeffery Gardere, Ph.D. is Co-Executive Producer for the documentary “You Are Not Alone”. Better known as “America’s Psychologist”, Dr. Jeff is one of the most widely sought-after experts in the field of mental health. He is a regular guest on the NBC Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, HLN, The Maury Povich Show, The CBS Early Morning Show, Fox Business News, FOX News, Nancy Grace, Tru-TV Reality Specials, and court shows. Dr. Jeff has authored several books, including his controversial book, “Love Prescription.” He is also the co-author of “Practical Parenting” with Montel Williams. Dr. Jeff’s first book, “Smart Parenting for African-Americans: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Difficult World.” With a private practice, Dr. Jeff is on the faculty of the Harlem, NY-based Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Lauren Johnson PHR / Human Resources

Lauren has more than 20 years of experience as a Human Resources (HR) professional, and in payroll and facilities management. Working with DBGM, she uses her HR skills in formulating the organization’s policies and procedures, interpersonal and interagency relationships, and oversight to ensure accountability and transparency. She is actively involved in managing a monthly lunch program dedicated to feeding people in need. Bringing a wide range of experiences to the DBGM Board of Directors, she has worked in the music, retail, non-profit, fashion, and insurance industries.

Alex Joinville LMHC / Acting Treasurer & Prog. Director

Alex Joinville, LMHC, joined the DBGM Board following his participation in In My Mind Conference (2018) at the Metropolitan College of New York. He supervises a counseling program at the State University of New York Downstate STAR Program, where he provides mental health services to individuals diagnosed or at risk of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C infections. Prior to joining the STAR program, he was a mental health specialist with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) Manhattan Mobile Crisis Team, where he provided crisis intervention, assessment, and linkage to individuals experiencing psychological distress. He was also part of the VNSNY’s Act Team, Behavioral Health Transition Program, and Intensive Case Management Program. Alex worked at WIN West providing services to individuals living in a single women’s mental health shelter. He is experienced in providing mental health counseling in English and Haitian Creole and provides individual, couple, family, and group therapies. He has more than 17-years’ experience in the social service field, including mental health, substance abuse, and child welfare. Alex received his Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. As a Board Member, he is acting Treasurer and is responsible for the organization’s “I Am Working on Healing” program: “Sons“, a group for gay men of color struggling with mental health issues and HIV, and “HER“, a group for mothers and women of color, whose sons took their lives or died from HIV/AIDS.

Robert Schaffer Esq., Troutman Pepper, LLP / Legal

As a Partner with Troutman Pepper, LLP, Robert provides pro bono legal services for DBGM, as part of the law firm's community outreach. He ensures compliance with applicable federal and state regulations, and he assists with ensuring contracts and agreements are executed efficiently in the shared best interests of DBGM and its collaborators. He received the DBGM Supporter Award on Oct 9, 2019 for his commitment to the organization. This was celebrated at the “Together We Are @ The Table” Reception as part of the 5th Anniversary of the “In My Mind” Conference, hosted by the Twitter Open.