Taking mental health beyond conversation and into action.

Don’t miss the third virtual event by Black Places Equal Safe Spaces entitled #BridgesNotBarriers Healing Ourselves and Our Communities: The Role of Mentors and Community Leaders in Empowerment and Wellbeing” taking place on May 18, 2023, from 12:00-2:00 PM EST.  

In #BridgesNotBarriers, we will explore the power of building bridges and creating interactions that foster an environment of well-being, empowerment, and resilience. 

We’ll dig deeper into how mental health support can play a critical role in uplifting Black & Brown professionals — learning from experienced leaders across various fields who have successfully navigated barriers to create strong communities full of mutual care & respect.

Join us as we #BuildBridgesNotBarriers to heal ourselves and our communities.

The Next Event Is In









This B.P.E.S.S. event will feature powerful and inspiring speakers who will share their own stories of how mentors and community leaders have helped them to overcome obstacles in their lives. The discussions will explore topics such as the impact of mental health disparities in the Black and Brown community, coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and burnout, as well as ways to build supportive networks.

Kiersten Kindred-Clayton, CPCC

Owner of Kindred Communications, Kiersten Kindred Clayton, has a true passion for helping people with their career journey. In her career, she has assisted hundreds of consultants and candidates with achieving their career goals through effective staffing, recruiting, and post-college career preparation.

Her natural passion for linking people to their lifelong goals led her to become a certified life and career coach and Founder/CEO of Kindred Communications, a boutique recruiting firm with a focus on diversity and inclusion placement. Because of her enthusiasm for helping others find their ultimate dream careers, she has penned self-help journals and books, including the popular career book, “Five Steps to Landing Your Dream Career: A College and Post-College Guide.”

She applies her several years of experience in the communications, marketing, and community relations space to provide a unique twist to the staffing world.

Learn more about Kiersten:

Dr. Fanike-Kiara Olugbala Young

Dr. Fanike-Kiara Olugbala Young is a fighter for Wellness Revolution! She strategizes with FemPreneurs on how to heal their emotional and mental blocks so they can improve productivity and revenue in their businesses. Women have superpowers we have yet to access because society has conditioned us to hide them and hide us. Dr. Fanike works to liberate women from that thinking! 

She does this through her life-changing transformational program, The FemPreneur Lab™, Personal Advising, and through designing corporate wellness programs by honoring each person’s unique qualities and needs instead of providing generalized services. Her programs are based on the needs of the people and not the assumptions of leadership. She believes we all have qualities and experiences that make us who we are, and those things should be worn proudly.  

Dr. Fanike’s 20+ years of clinical training and 10+ years of training, design, and implementation allow her to assist organizations and companies with employee and customer retention, improving the overall wellness culture and strengthening the bottom line by incorporating value and care for the team. Her goal is to normalize organizations taking care of and caring for their people. 

Dr. Fanike is also a Keynote Speaker and the author of “What the F*ck is Your Problem?!: Becoming an Active Worker in Healing Your Trauma”.

Learn more about Dr. Young:

Jonathan Hood, Ph.D.

Jonathan Hood is a former linebacker and top special teams player in the Canadian Football League (CFL) who has recently been appointed an Assistant professor at St. Francis Xavier University, where he leads the Sport Management Program. During his athletic career in the CFL, Jonathan finished his Master’s degree at Western University and became a motivational speaker, leadership coach, and youth mentor.

Jonathan created the non-profit organization called Ahead of the Game, whose focus is to empower under-resourced youth to succeed. As a retired professional football player (CFL), Jonathan brings the lived experience of how organizational culture leads to victory. As a youth mentor, Jonathan understands the challenges that people in the margins face and how best practices of inclusivity can be implemented as a catalyst for change.

As a researcher, Jonathan is well-versed in research practices and knowledge mobilization to grow organizations and communities. As a speaker and leadership coach, Jonathan uses his EQ to appeal to diverse groups and empowers them to lead others to unlock their full potential.

Learn more about Jonathan:

Brandi (Montgomery) Riggins, PHR, CCDP

Brandi Riggins is a Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion Professional with over 20 years of experience in HR Management with extensive knowledge of Diversity and Inclusion, HR best practices, employment law, and organizational design. 

Currently, Brandi is employed as the Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Guidewire Software.  In this role, she is responsible for the Strategy and Execution of Inclusion and Culture, which includes Employee Engagement, Employee Resource Groups, D&I Sponsorships, and External Engagement. Brandi also partners with internal stakeholders and external partners to execute the Enterprise D&I Strategy and framework across the organization. 

In addition to her 9-5, Brandi is the Principal and Founder of Simply B Consulting. Her boutique firm focuses on executive coaching, diversity and inclusion, people and small business development as well as financial literacy. Her passion lies in teaching financial literacy to students throughout Mecklenburg County, mentoring 1st generation college students, and helping black women with the foundation of entrepreneurship.

Learn more about Brandi:


The mission of Black Spaces Equal Safe Spaces is to create a safe and supportive environment for Black individuals struggling with mental health issues and to reduce the rate of suicide in the Black community.

We are dedicated to empowering those who have experienced trauma while working alongside other organizations that provide support services specifically for the Black community.


We envision creating spaces dedicated to understanding and a supportive environment where individuals can share their stories without judgment or shame.


We are committed to providing evidence-based resources, education, and support for those experiencing mental health issues through a series of in-person and virtual workshops in the Black community.


We aim to turn conversations into key actions and resources to support Black communities with regard to mental health.

We strive to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help by increasing awareness around mental health challenges and providing real-world support systems through workshops, forums, peer groups, and advocates.


You may choose to volunteer your time and resources through the following:

Event Sponsorship  //  Speakership  //  Hosting  //  Event Management


This virtual event is free, however, if you would like to donate to a non-profit charity that is aligned with our mission and values you can view their information below.


To keep up with the latest developments or to partner with us, you may fill up this form here or send an email to


For Suicide Prevention:

For information on different mental health issues: 

Support the BPESS Swag Store

A portion of the proceeds from the B.P.E.S.S. swag store will be donated to a charity aligned with the mission of B.P.E.S.S.

Your support is greatly appreciated!


Join us as we #BuildBridgesNotBarriers to heal ourselves and our communities.

Through this event, we hope to inspire and uplift the Black and Brown communities to prioritize their mental and emotional health, connect with supportive networks, and find fulfillment in their personal and professional lives.

Save your spot today!