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Our Team

Our team addresses the needs of our community by providing a culturally-centered, holistic approach to mental wellness care.

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Camesha L. Jones, LCSW

Founder & Executive Director

Camesha L. Jones, LCSW is a Community Mental Wellness Changemaker who serves at the intersection of culture, community, and social justice. She is the Executive Director of Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness, a social enterprise providing low-cost mental wellness care that centers the experiences of Black women in Chicago. Since Sista Afya's founding in 2017, they've served over 1000 Black women through their innovative, community-driven programs. In 2020, she launched Sista Afya Community Care NFP, a nonprofit that provides free mental wellness care and education to women experiencing multiple barriers to care. Camesha's work at Sista Afya has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Vogue, Allure, TEDx, and Rolling Out. Camesha is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois who graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor's in Sociology and received her Master's in Social Work from the University of Chicago. Camesha strongly believes in eliminating barriers in the mental health field that people of diverse cultural backgrounds experience by creating affordable and accessible care that centers the well-being of the whole person.

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Monica Jordan, LCPC

Therapist

Monica is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with 15 years of experience in the mental health field working with individuals facing Depression, Anxiety, Psychosis, ADHD, PTSD, and  Personality Disorders. She spent many years providing Crisis services to individuals needing immediate interventions. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana and her Master’s degree from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Monica enjoys supporting others on their journey to self-fulfillment.  She uses an integrated approach to best suit each individual's needs while providing a warm and safe therapeutic environment. 

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Candice Gant, LCSW

Therapist

Candice is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Therapist. Her therapeutic approach is eclectic and incorporates multiple orientations and techniques to meet the client where they are. She believes in fostering the strengths of each person and working towards sustainable healing. She is certified as Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) and Financial Social Worker. She has trained in providing integrative evidence-based behavioral health services with young and middle-aged adults. She has previously provided services to people who have experienced trauma, anxiety, depression, domestic violence, substance use, sexual assault, developmental issues, and interpersonal difficulties. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her Master's degree in Social Work from Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Amber Jackson, LPC

Therapist

Amber Jackson is a Licensed Professional Counselor who is dedicated to helping clients become the best versions of themselves. Amber takes a collaborative and strengths-based approach to therapy, where she works with her clients, while also highlighting their internal strengths and abilities to promote positive change. Amber’s clinical specialties include working with adolescents, adults, and families, where she utilizes mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral techniques. Her areas of interest include: depression, anxiety, trauma, transitions and adjustments, interpersonal and family relational problems. Amber received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Iowa State University and her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. 

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Abajah Johnkin, MSW

Therapist

Abajah is passionate about helping the Black community with mental health awareness and wellness. She's been in the social work field for 5 years and has helped clients that struggle with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, postpartum issues, and trauma by using a client-centered approach which supports the people she serves through empathy and building upon their strengths. She received her Bachelors degree in Social Work from Western Illinois University and my Masters in Social Work from Aurora University.

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Ami Abdullahi, BA

Mental Health First Aid Trainer

Ami Abdullahi’s (they/them) passion is to work on initiatives and programs that are centered on the wellbeing and liberation of folks with multiple intersectionalities. At Sista Afya Community Care, Ami facilitates Mental Health First Aid trainings to provide community members with tools to respond to mental health crisis and extend community support to people living with mental health conditions. Ami is enthusiastic about servicing and empowering our Chicago community through professional development training and education. 

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Tanya Whitten, MA

Donor Relations Coordinator

Tanya is a creative strategist and project management professional with over 20 years of experience working with senior leaders and nonprofit organizations to strategically develop and successfully implement organizational objectives in the areas of fundraising, communications, and operations.

While she enjoys developing systems, structures and strategies for organizations, she is passionate about seeing people thrive and is dedicated to supporting people and organizations who are committed to providing equitable access to opportunities for growth.

Tanya holds both a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and a BA in Ministry Leadership from Williamson College in Franklin, TN .

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Amin Bell

Wellness Facilitator

Amin B, is a Chicago native, yoga instructor, intuitive, doula, and Divine Feminine Healer. Since 2019, she has dedicated her many spiritual practices in helping over 1,000 women heal their feminine energy. She has been featured in several articles and recognized by her community as a person of great influence. Her commitment to spiritual enlightenment and self-healing is reflected in everything she offers.  

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Carlyn LaGrone

Program & Events Manager

Carlyn (she/her) is the Program and Events Manager, dedicating her passion and expertise to foster open conversations about stigmatized and often overlooked aspects of health— mental and sexual health. Her journey has been one of personal growth, overcoming struggles with self-love and embracing her identity as a Black woman. Relocating to Chicago for college marked a turning point, inspiring her commitment to empowering and uplifting BIPOC folks . Carlyn holds an undergraduate degree from Loyola Chicago and a master's degree from Northwestern, both focused on healthcare and wellbeing. Her experiences and education have profoundly shaped her work, and she remains devoted to addressing disparities in marginalized groups wellbeing and mental health through cultivating community, effective communication, and meaningful connections.

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Sameka Gates

Community Care Program Intern

Sameka is an innovative, resourceful and forward-thinking educator and servant leader with a track record of meeting the needs of  diverse populations and creating safe environments for adolescents to authentically express themselves while providing them with the tools to be positive, responsible and respectful members of the community. Sameka loves working with youth and her therapeutic style is person centered, solutions based and holistic.  Sameka earned a Masters degree in Human Services and is currently matriculating through a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Masters program at Concordia University. 

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Alyssa Wilson, BA

She Heals Intern

Alyssa (she/her/hers) is this year’s She Heals intern. Alyssa utilizes an integrative, multi-dimensional approach to best meet individuals where they are on journeys of whole-person centered care. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology (with a minor in Global Health) from Duke University, and is currently pursuing her AM/MSW from the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at The University of Chicago. Alyssa’s past, current, and ever-growing experience has informed and continues to develop the manner through which she hopes to provide a responsive culturally-centered, holistic approach to mental wellness.

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Madison Sparkman, M.S.

Maternal Mental Health Intern

Madison is pre-licensed, radical, trauma-informed, professional counselor. Madison support the Maternal Mental Health program creating social events and psychoeducational workshops for Black women. She has notable clinical experience in community-based settings and a passion for empowering, educating, and collaborating with clients historically neglected and excluded from care. Her approach to therapy is person-centered,
narrative-based, and holistic. She believes in creating safe spaces for clients to
show up as they are. In therapy she is concerned with helping clients heal their
inner child, rise to their full potential, and learn healthy coping mechanisms. She received her bachelor’s in Psychology from Spelman College and her Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s degree program at DePaul University. 

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