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May Bi-Monthly Task Force Meeting
May 4 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Featured Presentation: Man in the Mirror: Men and Mental Health
With Mental Health Awareness Month in May, our meeting will focus on Men and Mental Health. Society’s stigma surrounding mental health stops many men from seeking help when they need it most. While mental illnesses affect both men and women, men are less likely to receive mental health treatment than women and are more likely to die by suicide.
Featuring a panel of speakers, the meeting will feature honest and open discussions about the stigmas and challenges men face regarding mental health, and what we can do as a society to change our perceptions, address the stigmas men face, and encourage men to reach out for help when they need it.
The Task Force meets on the first Wednesday of every other month to further group goals and initiatives. All Task Force members interested in attending this meeting are welcome to attend.
Meet our Speakers
Jashon A. Banks Sr.
Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Tenured), Green River College
Dr. Jashon Banks Sr. is a Criminal Justice Professor at Green River College, where he devotes time and effort to contribute to the students of knowledge and skills of the changing criminal justice system of America. He is a tenure-track faculty member in the business and law division. His most recent activities have included working in the community with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) as a Non-Law Enforcement Community Representative reviewing in-custody deaths and use of force incidents. He also creates strategic partnerships and community relations for Green River College and develops practices with King County Pretrial Services to create a pathway for re-entry of individuals seeking to complete some education. His research revolves around victims of urban violence and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Deputy Director – Foundation for Tacoma Students/Graduate Tacoma
As a first-generation, American-born son of two Filipino parents, Elvin recognizes the unique opportunities he was granted and strives to support a system of equity, inclusion, and opportunity for others. In his current role as Deputy Director of the Foundation for Tacoma Students (FFTS), he advances educational and professional outcomes for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) youth by aligning the systems surrounding them, from healthcare and housing to college and career.
Prior to joining FFTS, Elvin served with multiple non-profit youth development organizations over the course of 18 years. His work led to his receiving the 40 Under 40 Award by the South Sound Business Journal, but his favorite form of recognition remains the hand-drawn “You Rock” cup given to him by a former Boys & Girls Club kid.
Dr. John Gaines
Community Relations Manager, TPU, Founder of Push for Dreams501c3, PUSH Inspiration Speaking & Coaching and rIDEALS
Dr. John “Push” Gaines is a professional speaker, best-selling author, leadership consultant, and mentorship expert. He has devoted himself to the world community. He has proudly appeared as a guest speaker at multiple national conferences universities, corporations, nonprofit events, NBA skill camps, school assemblies, and youth camps across the country. As a graduate of East Central University, where he was named Outstanding Student in Business and won a football championship as captain of the football team, he is the picture of success. With a Master’s degree in Business Leadership and a Doctorate in Business Administration, he demonstrates great dedication and personal achievement.
Assistant Customer Services Manager, Tacoma Public Utilities
Ricardo is a people and systems thinker who moves silently but decisively to bridge the gap between the underrepresented and marginalized and enters with the power and financial leverage to enact reform and transformation in those communities. In addition to serving as an Assistant Customer Services Manager at Tacoma Public Utilities, Ricardo is also a youth, collegiate, and master Track & Field Coach, an 8-year combat veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as an infantry officer, an angel investor for minority businesses, and a husband and father of two.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Matthew began working with couples in conflict in 2012, while leading a group of musicians at Disney’s EPCOT in Orlando, FL. He has master’s degrees in Philosophy and Counseling and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Washington State. Matthew has experience working as a school counselor, leader of relationship intensives, as a counselor in a juvenile justice facility, and as an in-home counselor for CPS-referred families in crisis with Institute for Family Development. He now works in private practice in Tacoma, specializing in trauma-Informed individual and couples counseling.
Capital Access Manager at Spaceworks Tacoma (Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce)
David Combs serves as the Capital Access Manager at Spaceworks Tacoma, a part of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. Spaceworks Tacoma has partnered with Kiva to launch a microloan program for small businesses in Tacoma. These loans utilize crowdfunding to give business owners the opportunity to get 0% interest capital for their growing businesses. Spaceworks is committed to supporting Latinx and Native entrepreneurs and small businesses.