As an accomplished therapist, workshop facilitator, panelist, board member and author, Whitney Dodds is on a mission to shift the narrative of mental healthcare in black and brown communities, creating pathways for access and cultivating conversations to dismantle and eradicate stigma around mental health. She is a sought-after speaker, counselor and podcast guest, specializing in empowering women and youth, and uplifting communities of color.
Whitney is the Founder and CEO of the Wellness for the Culture Mental Health Organization. Under this umbrella is a growing mental health practice located in the heart of Springfield, MA, the “; One Day You Will Live” Scholarship Foundation, and the Cultural Wellness Network Association, a collective of black and brown counselors in Massachusetts. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (MA) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (CT), with a passion for addressing issues of inequity in access and quality of care in underserved communities. She holds a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from American International College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
With over five years of counseling experience, Whitney committed to showing that in the struggle for equity, “representation is half the battle,” and that “we don’t have to lose our culture to choose our careers or communities – Black is professional.” Her mission is to be part of a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable ecosystem of service providers who offer both professional services, as well as hosting and curating culturally relevant events and learning opportunities for communities that need it most.
Whitney’s presentation style is flexible, with signature speaking topics for larger conferences and events, as well as carefully curated and customizable workshops that facilitate spaces of vulnerability and healing for more intimate sessions. Passionate, inspirational and informed, Whitney’s keynotes are based upon the foundation of giving voice to the voiceless, advocating for representation, equity and justice in healthcare and self-compassion via self-care. She uses stories from her lived experience as a trauma survivor and as a licensed mental health practitioner as tools to engage her audience and empower attendees and participants to open up and experience transformation and restoration.
She presents on topics related to mental health, mental health equity and justice, entrepreneurship, women in mental healthcare, self-care via self-compassion, mental health advocacy, suicide prevention, entrepreneurship and more. She has had the opportunity to present for a broad range of in-person and virtual events, including regional conferences and workshop series.