International Conference on Stigma at Howard University

Howard logoChallenging Stigma Across Identities: Finding Commonalities & Developing Action Plans

November 20, 2015

Washington DC

B Stigma-Free is coordinating this workshop, our inaugural event, that brings together executive leaders from major national organizations for the first time ever to reflect upon how stigma has impacted their respective populations; recognizing commonalities, differences and lessons learned; and strategize best ways to work together to reduce stigma and create social change so all people are accepted and respected.


Garland Nixon, DC’s own witty radio host (WPFW) and TV progressive political commentator (Fox News), will engage the audience and panelists to participate in this dynamic panel discussion with his probing questions and positive energy. The focus will be on action steps that will begin our process of strategically identifying a collaborative plan to move forward to reduce stigma across all groups and populations.


Melinda J. Watman, RN, BSN, MSN, CNM, MBA
Board member & Weight Bias Committee Chair
Obesity Action Coalition

Patrick Hendry
VP of Peer Advocacy, Supports and Services
Mental Health America

Denise Spivak
Director of Member Relations & External Affairs
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Laurin Hodge, MS (candidate)
Executive Director
Mission: Launch, Inc.

Loretta Jay, MA
Executive Director
B Stigma-Free

Read biographies of panelists and moderator here.

Suggest questions to ask the panelists here.

Read more about the International Conference on Stigma here. 

Board of Directors:

Dana Beyer, MD

Thomas Kaylor

Marvin Pannell, MBA

Vernon S. Thompson, DMin, MEd, MDiv


Advisory Council:

Neelum T. Aggarwal, MD

Patrick Corrigan, PsyD

Irwin Krieger, LCSW

William B. Lawson, MD, PhD, DLFAPA

Andrea Leonardi, MA

Deborah Lipschitz, MD

Michael Morris, PhD

Rebecca M. Puhl, PhD

Catherine E. Semcer

Marilyn Price Spivack

Janie Victoria Ward, EdD, MEd