Meet the Panelists for Our Black History Month Event

Click here to register for this event on Zoom.

 Join NYABPsi for our annual Black History Month Celebration! This year will feature a virtual showcase of Black authors and illustrators of children’s books and an interdisciplinary panel that explores the use of literary arts and storytelling as powerful tools in promoting cultural pride and healthy racial consciousness in youth.

Meet our talented panelists below and click the links to access their works!

Ray Anthony Shepard 
Author, historiographer, educator, school book publisher

Featured Work:
Runaway: The Daring Escape of Ona Judge
Now or Never! Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery


Read Ray Anthony Shepard's bio here
Ray Anthony Shepard writes biographies for his grandchildren’s generations. After retiring from educational publishing, he launched an encore career: writing for young readers about Black lives, real-life stories that give readers an affirmative perspective on the many ways people stood up to racial oppression and its flawed assumption of a human hierarchy.

Runaway: The Daring Escape of Ona Judge, a picture book biography (FSG 2021), received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. Booklist called it a must for every collection.

His dual biography of two Black Civil War correspondents, George E. Stephens, and Henry James Gooding, Now or Never! 54th Massachusetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery (Calkins Creek, 2017), was a Carter J. Woodson Honor Book and listed by the New York City Library as one of the best books year (Teens) and by the Massachusetts Center for the Book as a Must Read.

Dr. Denise Hinds-Zaami
Author, Psychologist

Featured work:
Diversity for Children Through Language & Song
Our Family Cookbook

Email: [email protected]

Read Dr. Denise Hinds-Zaami's bio here
Dr. Denise Hinds-Zaami is on the Board of Directors for The New York Association of Black Psychologists and Chairs their Legislative and Social Action Committee. She has served as their President on two occasions (1999 and 2001). She holds a BA in Psychology from the City College of New York; MS in Social Work from Columbia University; MA in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin; and an Executive Ed.D. from Seton Hall University.

Much of her life’s work has been as a Psychologist, a Psychotherapist, a Counselor, a Social Worker, a Mental Health Coordinator and Director, an Advocate, and an Educator, teaching Preschool, Elementary, Middle, High Schools, and College. She has traveled through all 7 continents and has created 3 separate establishments:
1) The Moveable School 2) a Group for Families with Multiethnic and Multicultural members, and 3) The Healing Women’s Circle.

Dr. Denise Hinds-Zaami has published articles as well as 3 books: 1) Diversity for Children, Through Language and Song. 2) Our Family Cookbook, and 3) Reflections of My Life: A Book of Poems and Thoughts. Currently working on her next books about education, psychology, and Africa, she endeavors to help expand and elevate minds and souls.

Stephanie Fleary
Author, Educator

Featured work:
Chocolatey Brown
Email: [email protected]

Read Stephanie Fleary's bio here
Stephanie Fleary, empowerment facilitator, author, event curator and mother of two is a force to be reckoned with in the personal development industry. As an educator for over 15 years, she counsels overwhelmed mothers, enlightens children, and supports families in building legacies; aiding in their unification and desire for growth. She is the author of Dear Black Man-Letters From Your Strong Black Woman, which has given a voice to many whose stories have gone untold.

Chocolatey Brown is her second self published project which is not only a children’s book teaching young girls to love their chocolate skin no matter the shade but a movement to inspire all women of color to love who they are and believe in who they are destined to become.

Her latest ebook Parenting Through A Pandemic, supports parents in navigating through the unknown to get to a place where they can parent in a healthy and impactful way. Stephanie has supported and produced many events including Daddies Do Hair, The Big ASK Conference and Curlfest NYC. Stephanie’s life goal is to heal the hearts of many so they too can heal the hearts of many more.

 Baoku Duduyemi 
Author, Home School Program Director of Research

Featured work:
A is for Afrika, S is for Sovereignty

Read Baoku Duduyemi's bio here
Baoku Duduyemi is the Director of Research for Kibolebole Educational Institute—a full-time, independent, Afrikan-centered, home school program, that has been serving Afrikan children, from preschool to high school, nationally and internationally, for eight years. Kibolebole’s offerings also include programming for adults and institutions.

Baoku, along with his wife, Evelyn, is a co-facilitator at Homemade Joy coaching services, where Baoku guides Afrikans in becoming skilled at countering the effects of oppression on academic achievement, relationships, and personal development. Baoku is an AYA Educational Institute Warrior Healer Builder Facilitator. The WHB mindset and skillset is the foundation of Baoku’s personal and community work, and the resources he creates.

Baoku is the author of the alphabet book, A is for Afrika, S is for Sovereignty. Nana Marimba Ani calls it “… a ‘primer’ for Afrikan consciousness.” Mwalimu K. Bomani Baruti says, “… this is one of those books that will make front-line parenting so much easier.” Queen Taese refers to it as a “… complete story of how great we are.”

Born in Rochester, NY, Baoku currently lives in Atlanta, GA, where he supports the healing of Afrikan families, Afrikan people, and the world, in that order. Baoku has used A is for Afrika, S is for Sovereignty to coordinate the goals and aspirations of middle and high school students with those of our people, help parents find and share family lore, and train counselors in the Afrikan world view for after school programs. He uses the excitement generated by his books, courses, and programs to build trust in Afrika, trust in Afrikan people, and trust in our way.

Baoku has been married to Evelyn for 20 years. They have two children, Ayodele, and Aperin.

Niaren Binford DeSilva

Featured work:
Autumn Loves
Email: [email protected] 

Read Niaren Binford DeSilva's bio's here
Niaren Binford DeSilva is an artist based in New York City. She is an elementary school art teacher, artist, wife, and mother. Niaren is best known for her paintings and drawings of female subjects. The women represent the African diaspora, from many walks of life. She decided to give these women of color a place in the art world. In her work, she seeks to highlight the beauty, style, and grace of women of color.

Niaren wants her audience to see the beauty that she recognizes in her subjects through the use of many materials: paint, dry media (colored pencil, markers, pen), fabric, beads, and other found objects.

Niaren has also illustrated a few children’s books, ‘Handicapable’, ‘Handicapable – Lola
Goes to School’, ‘Oh Boy Summer’, ‘Mr. Winter’, and ‘Mommy Do You Work
Tonight?’…to name a few.

Read Dr. Bedford Palmer's bio here
Dr. Bedford Palmer is a licensed psychologist and an Associate Professor and Department Chair at Saint Mary’s College of California. He holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and researches issues related to social justice and cultural factors. Dr. Palmer maintains a small private practice in Oakland California, where he works with a diverse clientele and provides multicultural competence training to individuals and organizations. He is happily married to the most amazing woman that he has ever met, and he has two dogs that are definitely smarter and cuter than yours (at least in his eyes).

Chiquita Camille
Author, Dancer, Actress

Featured work:
Just Because


Read Chiquita Camille's bio here
Chiquita Camille is an Actress, Dancer, and Author of the award-winning children’s book, JUST BECAUSE. Chiquita has a Masters of Science in occupational therapy and has been writing poetry for years, but her vibrant son inspired her to pursue book writing; hence this is the beginning of another wonderful journey.
This native Chicagoan now resides in Brooklyn, New York. For more information, you can contact her at [email protected], visit her website,
Follow Chiquita on FB/IG/Twitter @ChiquitaCamille


Dr. Dana Collins
Counseling Psychologist
NYABPsi President

Email: [email protected]

Read Dr. Dana Collins' bio here
Dr. Dana Collins a licensed counseling psychologist committed to the empowerment of marginalized individuals and communities, promoting social and racial justice, raising awareness about mental health and reducing stigma, addressing trauma, and healing through alternative methods. Dr. Collins has provided direct mental health services to youths, adults, and families, and particularly enjoys working with youth of color. She has also conducted, presented, and published research on a wide range of topics related to race, including racial identity development, and the ways people understand and discuss race.

Originally from Oakland, CA, Dr. Collins received a B.A. in psychology from Spelman College, a Master’s degree in counseling and counselor education from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Boston College. She recently relocated to New York to work with adults who face mental health barriers to employment. Before being elected President in 2020, Dr. Collins served as NYABPsi’s President-elect and considers it an honor, privilege, and gift to serve and contribute to the mental wellness of the Black community.

Dr. Jamila Codrington
Counseling Psychologist
NYABPsi Past-President
Program Planning and Development Committee Chair

Asili Services, Inc.
Email: [email protected]

Read Dr. Jamila Codrington's bio here
Dr. Codrington is the founder and CEO of Asili Services, Inc., which provides strength-based and culturally-relevant therapeutic, educational, and consultation services and empowers communities through raising awareness of mental health and social justice issues. She maintains a private practice in Brooklyn, NY, is a clinical supervisor with 17 years of service at Astor Services for Children and Families, and an Adjunct Professor at New York Theological Seminary.

Dr. Codrington is a Past President of the New York Association of Black Psychologists and has served on the Board of Directors for over 10 years. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Maryland at College Park and received specialized postdoctoral training in the evaluation and treatment of court-involved/high-risk youth. As an acknowledgment of her service and impact, Dr. Codrington was awarded the 2010-2011 distinguished Bobby E. Wright Award by the Association of Black Psychologists for her exemplary commitment to community service and empowerment. She also received the 2014 Healer/Warrior Award at the Association of Black Psychologists Annual Convention by the Eastern Region. The award was given in recognition of Dr. Codrington’s outstanding professional work and advocacy on behalf of African ancestry families and children. Dr. Codrington also received the 2019 Malcolm X Black Unity Award from the National Association of Kawaida Organizations (New York Chapter) and the International African Arts Festival for her service in community mental health, artistic development, and organization and institution building.

Through public forums, consultation, guest lectures, radio interviews, and organizational partnerships, Dr. Codrington has addressed a wide array of mental health, education, and social justice issues affecting individuals and communities of color. She has publications in numerous professional journals including the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, Dreaming, and Cultural Studies of Science Education, as well as a book chapter in Helping Beyond the 50-Minute Hour: Therapists Involved in Meaningful Social Action, and the Association of Black Psychologists’ position paper on Special Education and the Mis-education of African American Children.

Click here to register for this event on Zoom.