Hopkins Black Alumni Weekend 2021 - Health Equity Discussion "The Impact of COVID on the Black Community: How to Improve and Sustain Good Mental Health and Self-Care"

Equity Blocks image

Sponsored by the Society of Black Alumni 

The last 18 months have been unlike anything we've experienced before and have taken a toll on us all but have been especially challenging for the Black and African American community—and individuals aren't simply dealing with the effects of the pandemic. Join us for a moderated discussion about how to sustain and care for yourself in times of stress.

Brandon J. Johnson, Public Health '12
Brandon J. Johnson headshot


Brandon J. Johnson, M.H.S., MCHES, is a tireless advocate for positive mental health and suicide prevention services for youth and adults across the country.  Brandon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Morgan State University in 2008 and a Master of Health Science Degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2012, where he also earned a graduate certificate in Health Education.  In 2020, Brandon earned the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) credential from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.  Currently, he serves as a Public Health Advisor at the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the Suicide Prevention Branch at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS).  In this role, Brandon serves as a Government Project Officer (GPO) for various suicide prevention grant programs that respectively target youth, adults, and health care systems.  Brandon is also the GPO for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) which provides suicide-specific materials, webinars, and training to organizations and communities all over the country working to prevent suicides.  Another highlight of Brandon’s career is his current role as the Co-Lead of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Faith Communities Task Force.  The group works with faith communities all over the nation to equip them with tools and resources to combat the often stigmatized issue of suicide.  Brandon serves as the subject matter expert in suicide among Black people and has lead numerous projects to develop resources and materials to specifically prevent suicide among African-American youth.  In 2020, Brandon served as the SAMHSA representative on the HHS Report to Congress on African American Youth Suicide.  Previously, Brandon served as the Director of Suicide and Violence Prevention for the State of Maryland where he worked in communities throughout the state to help develop strategies to end violence in various forms, such as community violence and human trafficking.

Nfr KaRaa (Karen C.W. Drakeford), Arts & Sciences '79
Karen Drakeford headshot

Nfr KaRaa (Karen C.W. Drakeford) LCSW, APP  received her undergraduate degree in psychology from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD and her masters in social work from Hunter College in New York City. She is certified in hypnotherapy, play therapy, polarity and pranic healing (forms of energy work). She has studied family constellations/trauma work, aromatherapy, EFT (tapping), NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), nutrition and sound therapy. She worked as a clinical social worker in the New York City Public Schools for more than twenty-five years and maintains a wholistic private practice in which she works with children, adults, couples and families. She also provides experiential presentations and consulting for companies, organizations, etc. Her practice infuses a variety of traditional and holistic approaches. 
For more information, you may contact her at spectryms@yahoo.com; 914-406-5046. www.MutsMer.org  


Dr. Deidre Defoe '95 
Dredre Defoe
Deidre Defoe, MD, MPH is the medical director and COO of Innovation Health and is also one of the founders of the Johns Hopkins Health Equity Group. She received her MD from Howard University and MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 



The perspectives and opinions expressed by the speaker(s) during this program are those of the speaker(s) and not, necessarily, those of Johns Hopkins University.

 Event Date
Friday, September 17, 2021
Start Time: 12:00pm EDT

Johns Hopkins Alumni Association
(410) 516-0808

Registration Information

No items entered. Please add items below.

more items

Make a Gift


Payment Information