Young, Gifted & Advancing

Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being Among Students of Color  


November 1, 2019
Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
​3800 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington, DC 20057​

Admission free | Space limited | Registration required

The Steve Fund’s seventh conference in the Young, Gifted & @Risk series, Young, Gifted & Advancing, will be held at Georgetown University on November 1, 2019. 

Young, Gifted & Advancing will explore the relationship between mental health and well-being, and student achievement and graduation—across stakeholder groups such as students, families, university administrators, faculty, and mental health professionals. Topics to be included are: the micro- and macro-climates in daily student life and how they impact college students of color in their ability to thrive on campus and ultimately graduate.

We will discuss the wide range of psychological, social, institutional, and systemic factors that undergird the campus experience of college students of color and seek to identify the levers to academic success in higher education for college students of color.

Through presentations from scholars, researchers, students, and practitioners, as well as interactive dialogue among attendees, this program will conclude by making recommendations for changing the educational experience and clearly identifying strategies for participants to maximize academic success in higher education.

Note: Information on speakers and schedules will be available in the coming weeks. Official registration will open in September.

November 1, 2019
Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
​3800 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington, DC 20057​

Admission free | Space limited | Registration required

Sherry Davis Molock, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dr. Molock teaches undergraduate and doctoral courses in the field of clinical psychology and conducts research on the prevention of suicide and HIV in African American adolescents and young adults. She was recently awarded a pilot grant from the DC Center for AIDS Research (DC-CFAR) to develop a HIV/AIDS testing and mental health intervention for youth in African American churches. Dr. Molock’s work has appeared in a number of professional journals, has served on a number of local and national boards, and currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Community Psychology. She also serves as a grant reviewer for NIMH, NIDA, CDC, and SAMHSA. In addition to her work in psychology, Dr. Molock and her husband, Guy Molock, Jr., are the founding pastors of the Beloved Community Church in Accokeek, Maryland. Their ministry focuses on “family healing” that is designed to bring spiritual, physical and emotional healing to the community.

David Rivera, PhD, is an associate professor of counselor education at Queens College, City University of New York. A counseling psychologist by training, his practical work in higher education includes college counseling, academic advising, multicultural affairs, and leadership development. Dr. Rivera’s research focuses on cultural competency development and issues impacting the marginalization and wellbeing of low-income/first-generation college students, people of color, and oppressed sexual orientation and gender identity groups, with a focus on microaggressions. Dr. Rivera is an adviser to The Steve Fund, faculty with the Council for Opportunity in Education, board co-chair of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies, on the executive committee of The Society for the Psychological study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues, and on the American Psychological Association’s Committee for Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. Dr. Rivera holds degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Wyoming. He has worked and trained at a variety of institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, the New School University, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Addiction Institute of New York. He has received multiple recognitions for his work from the American Psychological Association, the American College Counseling Association, and the American College Personnel Association.

Stay tuned for additional speaker announcements and information.


The Steve Fund is pleased to announce Dr. Sherry Davis Molock, associate professor in the Department of Psychology at The George Washington University and co-pastor of Beloved Community Church in Maryland, and Dr. David Rivera, associate professor of counselor education at Queens College at City University of New York and adviser to The Steve Fund, as keynote speakers. Their keynote session is titled Macro and Micro Climates: Challenges to and Protectors of Mental Health for Students of Color.

8:00 am to 8:45 am

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 am to 9:30 am

Welcome and Opening/Purpose

9:30 am to 10:30 am

Keynote Session

10:30 am to 10:45 am


10:45 am to 11:45 am

Response Panel

Noon to 1:15 pm


1:15 pm to 2:15 pm

Breakout Groups: Institutional Structures and Climates

  • The Residential Campus Climate: Fostering an Environment of Welcome and Inclusion
  • The Community College Climate:  Creating a Culture of Care
  • The Classroom Experience and Impact on Learning
  • The Role of Faculty: Supporting the Mental Health of Students of Color
  • Staff Engagement: Commitment and Diversity
  • Place and Proximity: Removing Barriers to Mental Health Services for Students of Color
  • Navigating College: Learning the Processes, the Rules, and the Guidelines

2:15 pm to 2:30 pm


2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Breakout Groups: Peer Connections

  • Religion and Spirituality:  Meaning, Purpose, and Belonging
  • Sexual Health and Incidence of Violence:  Autonomy and Safety
  • Intersectionality: Living into the Multiplicity of Identities 
  • Graduate Students: The Interplay of Independence and Isolation 
  • Student Peer to Peer: Models, Training, and Technology
  • Mental Health and the Right to Belong
  • Students of Color Well-Being by Design

3:30 pm to 3:45 pm


3:45 pm to 4:30 pm

Final Reflections