Crowned: An Exploration of Mental Health & Prison Injustice Within the Context of Systemic Racism

Here with “Crowned” Radio Podcast, we build each other up and educate one another on issues that are affecting the community, while also providing our listeners with an outlet to make sure their voices are heard.

Through this collection of interviews, Yolissa Richardson (host) explores mental health within the context of systemic racism and/or prison injustice and mass incarceration, shining light on issues that are not normally given the spotlight, as well as showcasing organizations and efforts working to provide health services, community outreach, support systems, and accessible resources.

The “Crowned” Series

A Discussion with Dr. Alice Green on Minority Groups and the Law System

Dr. Alice Green is a member of the board of directors of the New York State Defenders Association. She is a founder of the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region and the Center for Law and Justice, where she is now the executive director. For over 20 years she worked as a prison volunteer.

During this interview we discussed the topics of recurring issues faced by minority groups and the law system. Also, Dr. Green speaks about the mental health state of prisoners and how prison facilities are at fault for their mental health decline. Further, we covered her feelings on the justice system and how its re-enslavement for minority groups. She also speaks on police interaction with the mental health community and its desperate call for change.

A Discussion with Luz Marquez on Survivorship, Healing and Movement Building

************* Trigger Warning **************
Luz Marquez Benbow is a sexual assault survivor and advocator. Luz is working on issues related to sexual assault, in particular within communities of color. As a survivor of child sexual abuse and incest, she is very passionate about ensuring that the voices of women of color are included in all aspects of ending violence against women.

This interview covers the importance of the voices of sexual assault survivors. Luz speaks on the importance of consent being taught to kids and it being practiced throughout their lives and not only being thought about when speaking about sex. In this interview she discusses how healing is important and varies for everyone so she primarily draws on her personal healing journey. Also, she talks about her efforts in movement building around this issue.

This is a song by Taina Asili in dedication of Luz Marquez, in her journey through abuse and conquering obstacles while healing.

A Discussion With Genesis Cooper on Black Girls Mental Health

Genesis Cooper is an active member of Troy for Black Lives and the Hope, Health and Healing Collective. Her work with the Hope, Health and Healing Collective focuses on helping the community with healing. She continues to be active in her community by bringing safe spaces to the community for the youth.

This interview brought a youth’s perspective on mental health issues that go on within the Black households and also brought a solution to the table. Genesis calls for more representation of the POC community. Also she shows concern of self hate that a black girl may face and encourages parents to teach self love.

A Discussion with Renee Powell on the Effects of Systemic Racism

Renee Powell is the president of the NAACP of Troy, New York. She works hands on with social injustices touching all corners from voters rights , educational justice, and the list goes on. She continues to be hands-on within the community to help provide a space of equal opportunities.

During this interview Renee Powell educates listeners on the history of systemic racism and how it affects the POC community. She speaks on the importance of voting and knowing who you’re voting for. Also she talks about the disadvantages the POC community is experiencing.

A Discussion with Dr. Xavier Coughlin on the Effects of Capitalism within the Medical Field
MediaSanctuary · A Discussion with Dr. Xavier Coughlin on the Effects of Systemic Racism within the Medical field

Dr. Coughlin is an emergency medicine doctor from the Hudson Valley. He is currently an ER doctor that works at Samaritan Hospital in Troy. He works hands-on with The Sanctuary to help develop the People’s Health Sanctuary and provide the community with access to a safe place. With 7 to 8 years in the medical field, he continues to work to provide safe spaces for his patients.

Within this interview we discuss how the community has a lack of quick access to doctor offices and pharmacies. Dr. Coughlin also speaks on how capitalism puts us in a draining environment. He touches on how addiction and capitalism go hand and hand and how common addition is in the mental health community.

More to come…

Host Biography

Yolissa is 17-years-old and just recently graduated from Albany Leadership High School for Girls in the Top 10 of her class. She is pursuing a Master degree in Forensic Psychology. Her interest in becoming a Forensic Psychologist helped her center her show on the injustices within the prison systems and mental illness community. She plans on educating the community on ways to help create solutions for those who face these day-to-day challenges. Her reason behind beginning this show was to provide a voice for those who are silent by letting them know that they are not alone.

MediaSanctuary · The Creation of “Crowned”

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