“There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.”
― Arundhati Roy, Sydney Peace Prize Lecture
The mission of Healers of Color Collaborative of MI, Inc is to significantly improve the mental health and well-being of Black, Indigenous, Queer and Trans-people of color (BIPOC/QTOC) within the community through counseling, holistic practices, education, and support while decreasing the stigmas that are attached to persons of color who may experience mental health concerns.
Starting a non-profit organization that aims to address the wellness needs of the community has been the primary goal of Nedra Cannon, Founder and President of HEALERS OF COLOR COLLABORATIVE OF MICHIGAN INC.. In 2020, after “the world shut down” due to the pandemic, Nedra Cannon, Mental Health Therapist of color, saw an increase in people seeking services by professionals of color and the number of barriers to treatment. She recognized that some of the barriers were largely due to systemic racism as well as health disparities. Nedra Cannon started a FB group for Healers of Color to be able to collaborate and share resources and referrals for people within the community. This group grew to monthly virtual meet-ups to discuss trauma informed work, how to serve the community and how to educate communities who historically do not have good experiences with healthcare providers, law enforcement, educators or employers.
HEALERS OF COLOR COLLABORATIVE OF MICHIGAN INC. is born out of a spirit to serve BIPOC/QTPOC, with compassion, empowerment and emotional safety.
Nedra Cannon, LMSW, ACSW
Founder and President
Nedra Cannon has experience working in large community agencies and private practice with children, individuals, and families. She is an alumna of Grand Valley State University Advanced Standing Social Work program and holds Certifications in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). She is owner of Nedra Cannon and Associates, a private counseling practice dedicated to bringing together a dynamic group of BIPOC therapists serving the needs of the community. She also provides supervision to interns and limited licensed clinicians. For the last six years Mrs. Cannon has been a Field Liaison for Michigan State University School of Social Work Master of Social Work program.
"Think like a queen. A queen if not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness." – Oprah Winfrey
Cyndi Gallegos, LLMSW
Cyndi is a first-generation Mexican-American, who has experience in empowering clients of different backgrounds. She has clinical experience supervising clinicians in an acute partial hospitalization program and outpatient setting. She has experience working with first-generation college students by helping them navigate the college and cultural experience of a new institution. She has experience working hands-on with people who have Developmental Disabilities in the capacity of activities of daily living. She is an honored alumna of Michigan State University Clinical Social Work program. She enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
"I raise up my voice--not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard...We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back." --Malala Yousafzai
Eneziah Walters (she/her) has experience working in large community agencies and private practice with children, individuals, and families. She is an alumna of Michigan State University Clinical Social Work and Trauma Training program. Eneziah brings experience in civil rights advocacy trainings and licensed clinical social worker to create individual and community change. She volunteers in her hometowns local NAACP adult branch to build on community organizing efforts and advance civil and human rights.
"You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world--and you have to do it all the time." -- Angela Davis
Chase is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. She received a Bachelors of Communications with a double minor in Public Relations and Social Work. While on campus, Chase was active in her campus community. She worked as an Event Coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center, served on the executive board of two student organizations, Queer Unity for Eastern Students (QUEST) and Queer and Trans People of Color Collective (QTPOCC). In her last year, she worked as a Student Assistant for the Activities and Engagement department of Campus Life.
Chase is Nedra Cannon’s oldest daughter and has always dreamed of not only following in her mother’s footsteps but one day working with her mom to impact their hometown of Lansing, MI. One of Chase’s passions is to help marginalized communities have access to healthcare and mental health services that are otherwise difficult to acquire and afford. Her dream job is to be the owner of multiple community resource centers that provide safe spaces for youth and adolescents to be active and offer various life courses, resources, and technology to adults and seniors to continue to learn and grow for the better.
“Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives” - Michelle Obama
Head of Internal Affairs
Dessie has an impressive background in vocational assistance for the under-served. Her prior experience includes working as a vocational case manager and vocational services specialist helping people with cognitive, developmental, psychiatric, and physical disabilities return to work. Her skills include performing ergonomic assessments and job demand analysis, identifying and recommending work accommodations for employers, collaborating with health care teams to identify career goals and develop rehabilitation plans to make them happen, and communicating with employers to ensure a smooth transition back to work.
Dessie’s history also includes working with Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, where she advocated for people with disabilities by researching, interpreting, and utilizing law and agency policy to help them access employment services throughout Michigan. She has extensive knowledge in Michigan Auto No-Fault, the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. She is also a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist and a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.
Dessie is a servant leader with a passion for the underserved.
"Our business in life is not to get ahead of other people, but to get ahead of ourselves."
Lindsay Cotton, LMSW
Head of External Affairs
Lindsey Cotton (she/her) is an alumna of Michigan State University (BSW) and University of Houston (MSW). She has experience working in acute and long-term clinical settings, as well as providing supervision to staff and masters level interns. She entered this field of work with a mission to serve the people in her surrounding communities, helping them to heal and to increase access to quality care.
"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. " --Maya Angelou
Head of Governance
Illami (she/her) is a proud Afro-Latina immigrant from the beautiful island of Cuba. Illami is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is highly committed to the nourishment and empowerment of folks who have been marginalized by society. She has spent her entire career advocating for folks of color to receive equity and access to mental health needs and resources. As a therapist, she has worked extensively with individuals, couples and families in a variety of settings, including homes, schools, hospitals and correctional facilities. Illami firmly believes that everyone could benefit from a safe and sacred place where reflection, vulnerability, processing and healing can occur. In 2020, after working over a decade in community sectors, she launched her own private practice (Holistic Vida Therapy, LLC), with the vision of bridging gaps and continuing to positively impact the community. Her passion, expertise, conviction and commitment will serve to be an asset to HCCM, where she will serve as the Head of Governance Committee!
“Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.” Maya Angelou