Black Psychology Section Executive 2023-2024

Dr. Helen Ofosu

CHAIR
Dr. Helen Ofosu

Email: helen@ioadvisory.com

Dr. Helen Ofosu has been practising industrial /organizational psychology (also known as work or business psychology) in the public and private sectors for almost 20 years. She completed her studies at McMaster University and the University of Windsor. In addition to career and executive coaching, her specialties include the assessment and development of leadership skills, and navigating the complex issues of workplace bullying, harassment, diversity and inclusion.

Prior to starting her consulting practice in 2012, Dr. Ofosu worked for the federal public service at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (now Global Affairs Canada), the Department of National Defence, and the Public Service Commission. She has developed online screening tests, structured interviews, role plays and simulations, etc. for evaluating job applicants’ skills and behaviours as part of the hiring and promotion process.

Dr. Ofosu has always been interested in business and entrepreneurship. Consequently, she’s excited about her new role as a board member with the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce. She’s also thrilled to be one of the founding officers of the Section on Black Psychology, CPA. In addition to the official/stated goals of the section, she hopes this becomes a safe space and community for black students and practitioners of psychology (and their allies).

Click here to learn more.

CHAIR-ELECT
TBA

 

Kafui Sawyer

PAST-CHAIR
Mrs. Kafui Sawyer

Email: kafuisawyer@joyhrc.com

Kafui Sawyer is a Psychotherapist and a Mental Health/Trauma Consultant for Health Canada. She is also the Clinical Director for Joy Health and Research Centre (a mental health clinic in Ottawa), providing clinical supervision and training to clinicians. Kafui is the Founder and Chair of the Black Psychology Section of the Canadian Psychological Association. Kafui is a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Trainer and a specialist in treating personality disorders. Kafui has provided mental health services and training to numerous clinicians across Canada, including the Arctic Region. Kafui completed her graduate studies in Counselling Psychology at Trinity Western University, British Columbia and extended her Community Mental Health Education and Research in Queensland, Australia. Kafui also worked as a clinician and suicide prevention coordinator for the Ministry of Children and Family Development in British Columbia. While working for the BC government as a clinician she also provided trauma and addiction services to a treatment centre that primarily served Indigenous youth and their families. Kafui is a creative entrepreneur passionate about advocacy that engages low socio-economic groups, complex clients, and varying cultures. Kafui has been featured on CBC news and several radio stations in Canada. Kafui has long advocated for mental health programs in schools and faith communities, as well as racial inclusivity in the discipline and profession of psychology. Kafui is grounded in Christian spirituality and strives to bring hope to the hopeless and to serve in her professional capacity with joy and freedom. Kafui is a loving mother of 3. She resides in Ottawa with her family.

Erin Beettam

SECRETARY-TREASURER
Dr. Erin Beettam

Email: ebeettam@gmail.com

Dr. Erin Beettam is a child and adolescent psychologist who has been practicing in hospital, educational, and community mental health settings for almost 10 years. She enjoys working with children, youth, and parents as a practitioner, an educational consultant, and clinical supervisor. She completed her training in pediatric psychiatry at both the Douglas Mental Health Institute and the Montreal Children’s Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, where she lives.

Her specialized clinical interests include treating anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders, body image and eating disorders, interpersonal effectiveness skills development and emotion dysregulation in youth. She also enjoys providing parent coaching and school supports for youth facing challenges that impact on schooling. Her therapeutic approach emphasizes pragmatic problem-solving skills, cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural therapy, and attachment-informed parenting solutions.

Erin’s approach and orientation are sensitive to the impact of trauma on everyday functioning as individuals, and within family systems. She is deeply passionate about applying the essential pillars of DBT to everyday life. Her approach strongly emphasises parents and teens working together to create more harmony in their families and more balance in children and adolescent’s lives. It is Erin’s desire to be a collaborative, intentional, ally working in solidarity with other members of the new Black Psychology Section of the CPA. Erin spends her time off from her practice partying with her 2 children, spouse, & dog. She tries to practice mindfulness while gardening, sewing, cooking, & watching tonnes of Marvel movies.

Dr. Monnica T. Williams

OFFICER-AT-LARGE
Dr. Monnica T. Williams

Email: Monnica.williams@uottawa.ca

Dr. Monnica T. Williams is a board-certified clinical psychologist and Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Disparities at the University of Ottawa. Her work focuses on mental health in communities of color, psychopathology research, and interventions to reduce racism. Dr. Williams has published over 150 scientific articles, primarily on obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma, and cultural issues.  She serves on the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) and the Racial Equity and Access Committee of the Chacruna Institute. She is a member of the Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies (ABCT), where she is an associate editor of the journal Behavior Therapy. Her work has been featured in major media outlets, including CTV, CNN and the New York Times.

Jennifer McWilliams

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE & NEWSLETTER EDITOR
Ms. Jennifer McWilliams

Email: jsanfor1@unb.ca

Jennifer McWilliams is a PhD Candidate in Experimental Psychology at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton campus. Her research interests include the psycho-social impact of social and cultural practices on the daily lives of marginalized populations and women in men-dominated occupations, the effects of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination on Black women and men, exercise prescription practices of mental healthcare professionals, and how exercise may buffer the negative affects of microaggressions on marginalized individuals’ quality of life and well-being. During her Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded Master’s project, she examined the experiences of ageing career women firefighters in Canada. Her PhD thesis, which is supported by SSHRC and the O’Brien Foundation, focuses on mental healthcare professionals’ exercise prescription practices for individuals with mental health disorders. During her graduate degree, she has also conducted research that focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on recently graduated undergraduate students in Canada and hiring discrimination against Black women in engineering occupations. Jennifer is excited and honoured to act as the Graduate Student Representative for the Section on Black Psychology, CPA!

Barbara Afram

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE
Ms. Barbara Afram

Email: barbarajafram@burmanu.ca

Barbara Afram is a 4th-year psychology student at Burman University. Barbara was born in Toronto, but she is a proud Ghanaian.

Barbara is passionate about spirituality, family, and her future. She is currently working as a research assistant in the Selection and Recruitment Lab at the University of Calgary, but has other research interests in human sexuality and its expression in Christian denominations.

In her free time, Barbara enjoys reading, travelling, and practicing self-care in efforts to manage stress.

Psychology has a vast number of sub-disciplines, making the pursuit of higher education in the field daunting to students; especially Black students who already face crippling educational disparities. As Undergraduate Student Representative for the Black Psychology Section, her aim is to empower Black undergraduate students by directing and providing them with information and opportunities.

“…it’s time we ignite a passion for psychology in Black students who have no idea about the number of opportunities available in the psychology profession.”