Save Our Babies

Join us for a heart to heart conversation about suicide and mental health for children of color!

Fireflies Unite has partnered with The National Alliance on Mental Illness Prince George’s County (NAMI PG) for its first event Save Our Babies. The event will include a panel with mental health professionals and advocates. 

Created by T-Kea Blackman, Save Our Babies: A Heart To Heart About Mental Health & Suicide For Children of Color was birthed out of necessity to end the stigma surrounding mental health, foster healing and promote mental wellness for children of color. The goal of this event is to create a safe space for mental health professionals, advocates, those impacted by mental illness and parents to discuss the mental health challenges that children of color face daily. The speakers will educate, dismantle stigmas, provide encouragement and resources to the attendees. A portion of the ticket sales/donations will be donated to NAMI PG. 

Did you know that?

African American children are taking their lives at roughly twice the rate of their white counterparts, according to a new study by JAMA Pediatrics.

Suicide by hanging has nearly tripled among black boys. Black youth are killing themselves far more frequently than their elders.

Every five days a child under the age of 13 dies to suicide, according to CNN.

Research has shown that increased time spent on a cell phone, tablet or computer contribute to symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts among teenagers, especially girls, according to the Journal Clinical Psychological Science.

Latina teens currently have the highest rate of suicide attempts among all adolescent groups in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


South Bowie Library

15301 Hall Rd, Bowie, MD 20721

Date & Time

July 21, 2018, 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Event Producer & Partner

Fireflies Unite is a mental health and wellness community curated by T-Kea Blackman (also known as Kea) and its goal is to end the mental health stigma through its podcast, articles, events, T-Kea’s speeches, and advocacy.

T-Kea is not only the event producer but she is a suicide survivor and lost her younger cousin to suicide. Saving children of color from suicide is a life long mission of hers.

Through Fireflies Unite first platform, the Fireflies Unite With Kea, a weekly podcast dedicated to bringing light into darkness (just like the fireflies) by sharing the stories of individuals thriving with mental illness within communities of color despite the disadvantages and racism that negatively impact their mental health.

She lives by the Toni Payne quote, "I rather be living my truth happily than living a lie miserably.” T-Kea was diagnosed with major depressive and generalized anxiety disorders. She previously worked in the television industry as a publicist and production/talent coordinator. Her diagnosis led her to use her communications and media skills to raise awareness for mental illness within communities of color.

To learn more about Fireflies Unite and T-Kea, visit

NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. For three decades, NAMI has established itself as the most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country. Dedication, steadfast commitment and unceasing belief in NAMI's mission by grassroots advocates have produced profound changes. NAMI's greatest strength is the dedication of our grassroots leaders and members.

NAMI is able to build on its success and continue to focus on three cornerstones of activity that offer hope, help, and healing to communities: Support, Education, and Advocacy.

NAMI’s programs include: Connection Recovery Support, Peer to Peer, Family to Family, Family Support Group, In Our Own Voice and Homefront.

NAMIPG is one of the local chapters in the state of Maryland which is a part of the national organization (The National Alliance on Mental Illness). 

To learn more about NAMIPG, please or visit to learn more about the national organization and find a chapter near you.


Tristeza Duncan

NAMIPG Board member & mental health advocate

Tristeza K. Duncan is a mental health advocate and speaker based in the Washington DC Metro area. She is the Founder of Mind Vibes, a jewelry company that supports Mental Health causes. Tristeza is passionate about telling her story and advocating for mental health issues. She has spent over 14 years working in corporate environments. Tristeza is currently a NAMI Prince George’s County Board Director. Tristeza enjoys art, music, and theater.

Paul Bashea Williams

Social worker & FOUNDER, Hearts In Mind COunseling

Paul Bashea Williams is a dedicated father, licensed clinical social worker, vlogger, blogger, relationship advisor and writer. Working with at-risk children, he specializes in individual, couples, marriage and family therapy and parent coaching. He writes about life, love, and fatherhood. His work has been featured on several popular websites including Huffington Post, national syndicated radio shows, television and movies.

Paul has over 15 years of counseling, mentoring, and coaching in the field of social work. He has been a strong force in every community he comes in contact with. It isn’t hard to see that he cares and wants to help those who need or want it.

Paul Bashea Williams has provided valuable insight on relationships, motivation, and parenting on a variety of panels and conferences. He is highly recruited and his work is valued as measurable and complete. He practices in Montgomery County, MD through his private practice Hearts In Mind Counseling.

Yesenia Villalta

Social worker & Founder, Cultivate love

Yesenia Villalta is a bilingual/bicultural licensed clinical social worker in the state of Virginia. She has 10 years of experience working with individuals, youth and families ranging from residential settings, outpatient settings, intensive in-home services, child protective services and wellness health promotion & prevention services. Yesenia works with survivors that have experienced disruption, youth that are considered high-risk, and traumatic stress as issues related to acculturation, assimilation, depression, and Trauma. 

Yesenia’s first experience in working with immigrant and refugee families began with herself as a first-generation daughter to parents from El Salvador who arrived to the DMV area. She currently serves as the mental health intake/youth sexual assault therapist at Consejo Counseling & Referral Services, a predominantly Latino serving agency where she also serves as Practicum Instructor for MSW students. She also owns her private practice in the state of Virginia where she conducts evaluations for immigration procedures. She received her MSW from Barry University, BSW from Virginia Commonwealth University and received training at the Trauma Center. She is dedicated to working with young adults, families including healers, emerging professionals while addressing the minority experience specifically 1st-generation.

Lisa Daughtrey

suicide prevention/Mental health advocate & speaker

Lisa Daughtrey is a suicide prevention/mental health advocate and speaker. She is the founder and CEO of Be MY Keeper and Co-Founder of Talk to Us Blog. 

Be MY Keeper encourages and educates minorities about suicide prevention and mental health. Her greatest passion and commitment is to create a voice for those unable to speak about suicide and mental health. She believes that when one experiences trauma or severe life-stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. 

In 2012, Lisa’s son (18) died by suicide which led to a suicide prevention pilot program with TC Williams High School and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Lisa has served on the board of directors for AFSP for two years and volunteered for Mental Health America (MHA). Because of her pilot program, the Alexandria Public School Board incorporated a suicide prevention program for the students’ curriculum. Lisa’s advocacy has given her a deep appreciation on how to improve the quality of life. She believes mental health education can save many, one life at a time. 

Lisa is a contributing author of Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t Over. It is a beautiful reminder of growth. The book includes essays and photos from suicide awareness organizations that have helped millions.

Dennis Gates


As the owner and primary clinician at Dennis Gates, Mental Health LLC, Dennis has been caring for patients across the lifespan providing holistic care performing diagnostic evaluations and/or medication management since 2013. He treats a variety of conditions to include; ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. He enjoys seeing children, teenagers, adults, as well as the elderly. He approaches things with a holistic approach looking at psycho-social stressors and life style. In his time working in mental health, he has learned there is no one set approach and everyone is unique in their experiences and daily stressors. Dennis makes every effort to meet the patient exactly where they are in their stage of treatment. He is motivated and dedicated to working with patients to achieve optimum mental health.

Prior to becoming a family psychiatric nurse practitioner, Dennis was a registered nurse working on the intensive care unit at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. It was there he decided to become advanced practice specializing in mental health. He received his Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Wright State University in Dayton, OH. He received his advanced degree in Family Psychiatric Mental Health from the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland. He has worked for multiple practices gaining experience and expertise working with a wide variety of patients with different socioeconomic backgrounds. He has gained sensitivity to work with all people no matter religion, sexuality, and or ethnicity. He is culturally adept to work with all.

Nyasha Chikowore

LCPC & Doctoral of Psychology student

Nyasha Chikowore is a former therapist with the University of Maryland School Mental Health Program in Baltimore, where she was a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). Working primarily in Baltimore City Public Schools, she conducted individual, group, and family therapy, as well as provided classroom and school-wide prevention activities for Pre-K to 12th graders. She will be entering her 3rd year in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology (D.C.) this fall. 

Considering children first encounter mental health in the school setting,  Nyasha seeks to promote help-seeking behaviors in the early years to take away the stigma that still exists. She recently contributed an article about accessing school counseling services for Teen Vogue, and has a children's book on the way. 'Giraffe Asks for Help' will be available Spring 2019 through Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association. 



Become A Sponsor!

We are looking for product and financial sponsors. Our sponsorships are perfect if your target audience is minorities, provide mental health and/or holistic services and/or products. If you are a therapist who recently opened a private practice and seeking clientele then this is the opportunity for you. Your sponsorship will support NAMI PG’s programs and those who struggle with mental illness. Learn about all the perks to becoming a sponsor for this event, please view the sponsorship package by clicking here to download the sponsorship package.pdf.

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