This Week on American Black Journal:

Ministers’ mental health takes center stage during Mental Health Awareness Month

In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, a growing spotlight is being placed on a sometimes-overlooked demographic: ministers. These spiritual leaders play pivotal roles in their communities, providing guidance, support and solace to their congregations. However, the demanding nature of their responsibilities coupled with the societal pressures they face can take a toll on their own mental well-being.  

With mental health awareness gaining momentum, discussions surrounding the unique challenges experienced by ministers in the Black church shed light on the importance of prioritizing their mental health and fostering a supportive environment within religious communities.  

As Mental Health Awareness Month closes out, “American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson has a frank conversation with Rev. Dr. Carla Spight-Mackey, a clinical specialist at Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network (DWIHN), about the need for clergy to practice self-care, take time off and know when it is time to seek help. They talk about resources and ways ministers can get support. Plus, Dr. Spight-Mackey offers ideas on how to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness in the African American community.

16th annual Silence the Violence march advocates for ending gun violence in communities of color

In a resolute stand against the impact of gun violence in communities of color, the Church of the Messiah is gearing up for its 16th annual Silence the Violence march and rally on June 17. The community-led event, deeply rooted in principles of unity and solidarity, seeks to advocate for change and bring an end to the alarming rate of gun violence impacting communities of color.  

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, Black Americans experience gun-related deaths at a rate nearly 10 times higher than their white counterparts. Young people, in particular, bear the brunt of this epidemic, with gun violence being a leading cause of death among youth aged 15-24.  

Against the backdrop of these staggering statistics, the Silence the Violence march and rally will offer peaceful demonstrations, engaging speeches and heartfelt testimonials to shed light on the urgent need for comprehensive gun control measures, increased community resources and holistic approaches to violence prevention.  

Church of the Messiah Pastor Barry Randolph joins “American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson to preview the 16th annual event and talk about how the march honors gun violence victims. Plus, they talk about the growth of the event over the years, how other cities are joining the efforts by holding similar activities, and the importance of creating cohesive communities to help eradicate gun violence. 

Detroit Branch NAACP commemorates 1963 Walk to Freedom with June Jubilee events

The Detroit Branch NAACP is preparing for an exciting weekend of Black empowerment and celebration with its June Jubilee weekend of events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the 1963 Detroit Walk to Freedom, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first gave an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech before his famous national address two months later in Washington, D.C.  

At a news conference on May 23, Detroit Branch NAACP President Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony announced the weekend-long slate of events taking place June 22-25, kicking off with the Freedom Walk Summit. Celebrations will also include an unveiling of a Martin Luther King statue at Hart Plaza, the 60th-anniversary commemoration of the Freedom Walk, and the 68th annual Fight for Freedom Fund dinner at Huntington Place. 

In partnership with BridgeDetroit, reporter Micah Walker attended the conference and brings viewers comments from Rev. Dr. Anthony and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, as well as other city and community leaders involved in the planning of the walk and other June Jubilee weekend events. 

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.