2022 Engagement in the Black Community: A Virtual NAADAC Summit
Black Professionals in Excellence: Overcoming Barriers by Stepping into Our Professional Growth

A Recorded Webinar

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Recorded on Friday, February 25, 2022 

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Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the addiction profession must extend beyond creating access to care for the patients we serve. True DEI must also address the disparities in career advancement and growth opportunities within the addiction profession. What strategies are needed for addiction professionals to advocate for their colleagues from the Black community? Can we discuss Black excellence within the scope of the addiction profession and behavioral health industries? This panel discussion will review the variety of methods to address disparities by creating opportunities. Members of NAADAC’s Critical Issues in the Black Community Committee will share their own strategies for career development, advancement, and honestly explore systemic issues within the Black community that hinder advancement and systemic barriers with the healthcare industry that need to be addressed.


Curtis Dorsey, MEd, CCS, CADC-II, ICGC-II, is an undergraduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, and a post-graduate of Lesley University Cambridge (MA). As a Master’s prepared counseling educator, he has over 20 years of experience and specializes in addition counseling with clinical and instructional experience related to both chemical and behavioral addictions. He is currently working for the Grady Health System in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, he provides clinical supervision for those seeking initial and recertification for addiction and gambling counseling as a board approved clinical consultant for the National Counsel for Problem Gambling.

Chanelle Lawson, PhD, LCAC, CADAC II, CCS, has over 20 years of experience working with adults and adolescents with severe and persistent mental illness, serious emotional and behavioral disorders, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders. Lawson is the Executive Administrator of Offer a Hand Up Counseling, LLC, established in Indianapolis, IN. She is dedicated to offering individuals a helping hand up from the despairs of mental health and addiction through recovery support, education, counseling, groups, and referrals. Lawson is a certified life coach, licensed clinical addictions counselor (LCAC), level II certified alcohol and drug coordinator (CADAC II), certified clinical supervisor (CCS), and medication assisted treatment specialist (MATS). She is also a Stephen’s Minister and a spiritual care volunteer at a women’s hospital.

Peter D. Mott, MA, ICPS, LCDC, has been in the behavior health profession for over 20 years. He is a Master’s level licensed clinician. Mott’s behavioral health experience has been based in an acute care hospital, residential, and outpatient treatment settings. For the last three years, he served as program director for a comprehensive IOP treatment program specializing in chronic pain, dependency, and opioid use disorders. Mott was elected to the Texas Certification Board in 2020 and he is the Immediate-Past President of the Houston Chapter TAAP. In August of 2020, Mott was selected to serve on NAADAC’s newly created committee, Critical Issues in the Black Community. He was voted Member of the Year for the Houston Chapter TAAP in 2018 and Counselor of the Year in 2016.

Joe Powell, LCPC, is in long term recovery with 31 years free of alcohol and other drugs. He is the President/CEO of the Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA) in Dallas, TX, a recovery community organization that provides peer-to-peer mental health and substance use recovery support services for individuals, family members, and the community. Powell has been a licensed chemical dependency counselor for over 25 years. He has a broad base of expertise regarding all aspects of behavioral health service delivery systems and their impact on families. He specializes in areas regarding recovery community support services, systems of care, and the holistic recovery management process. Powell is a servant leader, lifelong learner, innovator and initiator of telehealth peer recovery support services, and a national subject matter expert in the peer recovery movement. He is originally from Harlem, NY.

Helena Washington, MEd, LCDC, ICADC, MAC, is a licensed addiction specialist and mental wellness and behavioral health diversity authority. She has over 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and family systems. Her passion is using a holistic and collaborative approach to mental wellness, as well as educating communities, organizations, and corporations. As a CBT/DBT trained practitioner, Washington is also trained in Trauma & Grief Component Therapy-Adolescents and Adults, a part of the Texas Children’s Collaborative Group for trauma care and trauma-informed care. Presently, she runs her private practice and behavioral health consulting firm, Helena Washington Consulting & Coaching, a subsidiary of BraveBird Recovery and Wellness, PLLC, in Houston, Texas. Washington is the President of the Houston Chapter Texas Association of Addiction Professionals Board (a NAADAC affiliate).


Samson Teklemariam, LPC, CPTM, is the Vice President of Clinical Services for Behavioral Health Group (BHG). He is an accomplished leader with a history of driving organizational results with learning and development solutions. Known for implementing initiatives that support organizational priorities and produce measurable outcomes, he has been a leader in the field of addiction treatment for over ten years. He was formerly the Director of Training and Professional Development for NAADAC. He is a certified lead trainer for the Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse (CBISA) curriculum, Calm Every Storm: Crisis Prevention & Intervention curriculum, and experienced in treating trauma-related disorders using trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TFCBT) and Seeking Safety. Teklemariam previously worked for Phoenix House Foundation as the National Director of Learning and Development.

Learning Objectives
  • Participants will be able to identify the difference between equal opportunity and equitable opportunity. 
  • Participants will be able to describe a variety of solutions and best practices used to improve diversity in their treatment organizations. 
  • Participants will be able to apply empathic understanding of systemic issues within the Black community and systemic barriers in the healthcare industry that impede advancement of the Black helping professional in healthcare.
Content Level


  • Intermediate level courses provide information that builds on knowledge practitioners with some experience already have. These courses focus on skill-building or adding knowledge, possibly following a brief overview of basic information, and involve using information in concrete situations and understanding the underlying structure of the material.

Polls and Q&A.


Education is FREE to all professionals.

Earn 1.5 Continuing Education Hours (CEs)

To earn a CE Certificate for viewing this webinar, you must view the webinar in its entirety, complete the online evaluation, and pass the CE quiz.

  1. Upon completing the webinar, you will have access to the CE quiz within the course you are taking. Find the CE quiz in the NAADAC Education Center and click “purchase.” NAADAC members will be prompted to register for the CE quiz for free, while non-members will be prompted to pay a $20 processing fee to access the quiz.
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Who Should Attend

Addiction professionals, employee assistance professionals, social workers, mental health counselors, professional counselors, psychologists, and other helping professionals that are interested in learning about addiction-related matters. 


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