Onyx Monthly Newsletter June 2021
June is here…
We are ready for all that summer 2021 has to bring and offer us!
Not only does June bring the first day of summer and Father’s Day, but it also brings the vibrance of Pride. Pride 2021 will be a special one, one that will most likely go down in the history books, and for good reason. Last year, we were in the heart of the pandemic and that set the tone for everything that we did for celebrations.
Summer 2021 is a different story, we are ready and Pride 2021 is back and here to stay. Major cities around the world are gearing up for their festivities and it seems like all signs point to GO! In 2020 Pride celebrated its 50-Year anniversary since its conception in June 1970. This year’s NYC Pride has an official theme of “The Fight Continues,” which is symbolic of the times we are living in. Although we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, there is still work to be done for LGBTQIA rights. Although President Biden has made a commitment to the community by being a champion for rights, the work comes from us. We are the voice for our fellow man.
Love and pride for ourselves and our community is the foundation for our lives as Black people. We have to start walking the walk of #Blacklove and #loveislove. Do you hold space for members of the LGBTQ+ community who are in your family and you are close with? Or do you pass judgement on lifestyles that you may not understand or have chosen to turn your cheek to?
Let the new season turn over a new leaf for you. Allow respect and love to be the driving forces for your relationships - familial or non familial. Celebrate life and celebrate the people that are living theirs to the utmost of their abilities by being their truest selves.
Still at the forefront of the mental health conversations within media and the community, the Onyx team continues to bestow upon the public their extensive knowledge of mental health as it pertains to ideals around perfectionism, getting our youth ready for college, and how to set boundaries for yourself during the dating phase.
Take a look at some of the ways we thrived in May and be sure to follow us at @OnyxTherapyGroup for upcoming events.
April 30th: What Women Know About the Science of Perfectionism
Chevon Matthews, Assistant Clinical Director gave her expertise on how and why Black women have ideas on perfectionism in today's society. Check out the article here!
May 6th: Spillin’ the Tea w/ Dr. P featuring Jessica Brown
Dr. P talks with Jessica Brown, founder and CEO of College Gurl Foundation, on how to maintain your mental health during these challenging times - especially for those young people embarking on their college journeys. Check out the youtube video below!
May 6 + 13: NYU Webinar -Assessment with Children and Families: Best Practices and Application
Dr. P. works closely with NYU to show the importance of client system assessments through a series of workshops that can assist in providing the best mental health experience for the client.
May 19th: Conversations With A Wounded Healer Podcast
Dr. Plummer joins Head Heart Therapy and The Wounded Healer podcast to speak on creating safe space for her intersectional marginalized communities.
May 20th - Onyx in partnership with Sidwell Friends School
Ayana Malone, Director of Education and Training partnered with our friends at Sidwell Friends School to chat about cultivating equitable spaces for children and families of African American and african descendants of slaves.
May 24th - BlackGrlThings x Onyx Therapy Group Communicating boundaries in the dating phase
Back at it again! Dr. Plummer chats with the women of Blackgrlthings about communication boundaries in this ever changing dating world.
Celebrating Black Fatherhood
Black fathers matter - point, blank and period.
Although society doesn’t provide a safe space for Black fathers to show love for their children and families often, we will celebrate and hold space for you.
Fatherhood looks different for a lot of men, but the overarching theme that is expressed is the desire to love unconditionally. Dwyane Wade and his daughter Zaya Wade personify that!
Wade says “Unconditional love, simply put, is love with strings attached. It’s love you offer freely. You don’t base it on what someone does for you in return. You simply love them and want nothing more than their happiness. This type of love, sometimes called compassionate or agape love.”
We salute you Dwyane Wade and all the other DILF’s that are doin’ the damn thang!
Convos with a special dad..
I had the pleasure of chatting with Dr. Plummer’s father, Mr. Vincent Plummer, on what black fatherhood means to him and how being a father shaped his life and his experiences as a man. He was so gracious to answer a few questions that I feel are so thought provoking and verbalize the experience in a beautiful way.
What does fatherhood mean to you?
It is a commitment to your children. It is fulfilling your responsibility. It is giving your undivided attention to your child when they need you the most. As a father, you have to develop a relationship full of vulnerability and share your feelings no matter what, and from a young age, I made sure that I strived to do all of that with LaNail.
What are your thoughts on mental health and fatherhood?
Mental health as a man and father are very important, I wish more men would take it seriously. LaNail came to live with me full time when she was in the 7th grade. I had no idea how to raise a child, let alone a young lady. I had to put down my ego and use my resources to ask for help when I needed it. Growing up, you were looked down on if you reached out for help, but I was the type of man that always reached out to the people I trusted, you have to. It also helped that as a Veteran, I knew that services were available to me, and I used them as needed.
What does self-care look like for you as a Black man?
Self care is being able to find out who you are!
For example, this notion that “boys don’t cry”. Why is it perceived that men don’t have emotions? We have feelings, and if you feel something, let it out.
I also love manicures, pedicures, and looking and feeling good. When I am put together, and looking my best, I feel my best.
How can society create safe spaces for the Black man and Black fathers?
We have to cultivate safe spaces in the home where we feel comfortable to express ourselves and this will empower and allow us to do it more. Make sure your relationships allow you that space as well.
Any last thoughts?
Don’t be afraid of the responsibility of fatherhood. Take it on, enjoy it, put your child ahead of you in life, it’s so rewarding to see your children grow and be who they are meant to be in life. This is truly the best job I have ever had.
When LaNail was younger, I told her - “You can’t save the world.” A couple of years ago, I had to take that back because she is saving the world, and I am so proud of her.
June 2nd - My Gay Playlist on Spotify
My Gay Playlist & Stories From OutSide the Closet explores the lives of the LGBTQ+ community, and their allies, exploring the different experiences each has had with coming out to friends and family. Listen here!
June 9th - High on Feminism
On the forefront of business and cannabis, Dr. Plummer sits down with the High On Feminism podcast to discuss the intersections of mental health and cannabis/CBD, raising her children with her wife and how to have conversations about same-sex marriages, how to choose a therapist, and so much more!
Juneteenth - The Onyx Way
Juneteenth photoshoot - to celebrate Black sisterhood and the ever-growing team at Onyx, we are excited to be doing a company-wide photoshoot with Black queer photographer Ornelle Chimi.
Convos from the Couch with Dr. Plummer
This month for Dr. Plummer's "Convos from the Couch" will focus on the LBGTQ+ experience - set to go Live on Instagram on Tuesday, June 8th.
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Contacts for Crisis
National Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-273-8355; or dial 988
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
Mental Health Crisis Hotline (DC): 1-888-7WE-HELP
Mental Health Crisis Hotline (MD): 301-429-2185
Mental Health Crisis Hotline (PA): 1-888-796-8226
Based in Washington DC, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, Onyx Therapy Group is dedicated to cultivating and strengthening the community through mental health practices. With a focus on direct clinical work, professional development/training, and sourcing, Onyx Therapy Group incorporates the values of integrity, respect, loyalty, community, culture, and excellence. As an organization, Onyx Therapy Group has over 15 years in mental health work and 20 years of education and skill-based practice that has positively impacted individuals, educators, and organizations nationally. Onyx Therapy Group is a Black, Woman, Veteran-owned business that believes in and designs transformative healing