6 - 8 PM June 11, 2015


Art League Houston is excited to invite the public to DeMystifying DaMask, a panel discussion in conjunction with the current exhibition 'DaMask' by Lovie Olivia. The panel discussion will address the stigmas and challenges associated with the mental health of African American women in hopes to extend the conversation beyond DaMask and beyond the walls of the gallery. Artist Lovie Olivia and a collective of diverse minds and voices will gather to engage in a conversation about the intersections of being black, woman and mentally ill. 

The event will kick of at 6:15 PM with a movement piece designed by Harrison Guy entitled What the Mirror Won't Show featuring dancers Lauren Burke and Stacey Allen.

The panel will be moderated by Lovia Olivia, and panelists include Dr. Alicia Jackson, Dr. Andrea Battle LPC., Josie Pickens, Cheryl Dawn Dearborne, Dr. Uchenne Ossai. Jennifer Watson, and Uche Wogwugwu. 

This selection of artists, professors, community leaders, Doctors, Journalist and culture critics will offer commentary via their experiences with the intention to inspire awareness, promote support and encourage methods of survival

Special thanks to Hook-Epstein Galleries and Linda Darke for supporting this event. 


ALICIA JACKSON Alicia became interested in natural medicine after she struggled with personal health challenges that eventually put her at risk for chronic illness.  In the search of wellness, it was the elders in her community that provided Alicia with the necessary resources to heal herself naturally, which later encouraged her to study allopathic and clinical medicine while also working for the Department of Defense in military hospitals across the nation.  Although Alicia received the highest award allowed to a civilian from the United States Army, The Civil Service Award, alternative medicine was about healing all of the bodies (emotional, mental, physical and spiritual), which is an uncommon practice in clinical medicine. Alicia received a certification as a Holistic and Wellness Practitioner from A Life of Peace Wellness Center and holds a Second Degree certification as a Reiki Therapist. An Advanced Meditation Therapist and Spiritualist Alicia has recently graduated with her Associates of Art from Houston Community College and will complete her studies at the University of Houston in Metaphysics and Philosophy in the fall of 2015


ANDREA BATTLE, M.Ed, LPC earned her licensure in professional counseling in 2012 and has degrees in international studies, not-for-profit management, and counseling. She previously worked at Rice University in the Office of International Programs where she helped students experiencing mental health crises abroad before joining the Women’s Home as manager of Vocational Services in 2011. She currently works as a clinical team leader at MHMRA of Harris County, a service provider to populations with limited financial resources. In addition, she facilitates free and confidential support groups for Depression Bipolar Support Alliance of Greater Houston.



CHERYL DEARBORNE (Chezza) is an up and coming social media personality, writer, empath and all around Renaissance woman. She can be seen on her youtube channel Chezza Outta Nowhere where she educates her audience on the general meanings of tarot and vlogs her thoughts on life and human behavior. Chezza is often known for passionate social media rants and considers herself a modern day philosopher; she aims to make you think or laugh, either response satisfies her.



JOSIE PICKENS A great African Proverb reminds us that until the lions have their own storytellers, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.  Josie Pickens’ life work is to help the lions of the world tell their stories. Pickens—who is also affectionately known as Jo Nubian, or simply Jo—is an activist, culture critic, scribe, educator and soldier of love.  She utilizes all of her various talents and passions to uplift and translate the narratives of women and people of color through the lenses of creative writing, journalism, performance and professorship




JENNIFER WATSON earned degrees in English from the University of Houston and the University of St. Thomas – Houston. She covered art exhibits and programs as a writer and editor for the Community Artists’ Collective, worked as communications staff for Writers in the Schools, served as communications chair for Women in the Literary and Visual Arts (WiVLA) and led creative writing workshops at the Women’s Home. Her short stories have appeared in Laurels and other publications. She teaches English composition at Lone Star College and Houston Community College.



UCHENNA OSSAI PT,DPT,WCS Dr. Uchenna Ossai  joined for the Center for Restorative Pelvic Medicine at Houston Methodist in May 2013, where she has developed a pelvic rehab program as part of a multidisciplinary practice that treats male and female sexual dysfunction, bowel and bladder dysfunction, complex pelvic pain, pregnancy and postpartum-related dysfunction, female athlete triad, and musculoskeletal dysfunction related to osteoporosis, cancer treatment, and menopause.  Her research interests include: pelvic/genital pain, male and female sexual dysfunction among ethnic and racial minorities as well as the LGBTQ population.  She received her doctorate from University of Illinois at Chicago and completed her women’s health residency at Washington University in St. Louis.   She currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board of Directors for the APTA Section on Women’s Health.




UCHE WOGWUGWU is a media professional and culture curator. Most known as the creator and outspoken co-host of (HH4L). A weekly online radio show/podcast exploring the many platitudes of gender, sexuality and intimacy in Hip Hop. HH4L is presently on hiatus until the Fall 2015.