Black Lives Matter, Psychedelics and Anti-Racism w/ Dr. Monnica Williams in conversation with Dr. Bia Labate

Wednesday, July 8th, from 12pm-1:30pm PST
Presented Live Online via Crowdcast


This event is part of Chacruna’s “Empowering Therapists of Color” Series. 

How is the Black Lives Matter movement impacting the psychedelic landscape, and what effect specifically is this having for black therapists and activists? Historically, most of the research and culture of psychedelic science has largely excluded people of color, and left important questions unaddressed for these populations. But as the current cultural moment brings global awareness to the issues of police brutality, systemic racism and race-based trauma, there is a vital need to find ways we can promote equity and access for people of color to participate in psychedelic medicine, both as recipients and providers.

In this timely conversation with Dr. Bia Labate, renowned clinical psychologist and expert on racism Dr. Monnica Williams will share her research on ethnic minority health and race-based trauma, and help us to understand the roots of why people of color have been left out of psychedelic healing. This links back to the War on Drugs, which was itself deeply rooted in racism, and to the historical trauma from medical experiments performed on black and brown bodies by the white medical establishment. For POC folks, psychedelic-assisted therapy has often been stigmatized and viewed as “white people’s treatments’. Dr. Williams will offer tools for healers and activists of color who are hoping to get more involved in psychedelic work, and present next steps to help ensure that culturally-informed clinical training and care are prioritized as psychedelic medicines become increasingly mainstream.

This conversation will be followed by a period of audience Q+A with Dr. Williams, facilitated by Dr. Bia Labate.

Scholarships Available: APPLY HERE.

Monnica T. Williams is a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Psychological Sciences and Department of Psychiatry. She is also Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic, where she provides supervision and training to clinicians for empirically-supported treatments. Prior to her move to Connecticut in 2016, Dr. Williams served as the Director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Dr. Williams’ research focuses on African American mental health, culture, and psychopathology, and she has published over 100 scientific articles on these topics. Current projects include the assessment of race-based trauma, unacceptable thoughts in OCD, improving cultural competence in the delivery of mental health care services, and interventions to reduce racism. This includes her work as a PI in a multisite study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. She also gives diversity trainings nationally for clinical psychology programs, scientific conferences, and community organizations. Dr. Williams is a member of Chacruna’s Racial Equity and Access Committee.

Dr. Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate) is a queer Brazilian anthropologist. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines ( She is also Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty-one books, two special-edition journals, and several peer-reviewed articles (

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