Are You Lost in the Shadows? - Panel Discussion

Look at you!  Bold, Black, Beautiful, Brilliant, Bounteous, and Blessed!  Do you know this about yourself?  Have you considered the depth and richness of your heritage?  Have you witnessed the downward shift in Morals, Mindsets, and Motives and wondered where are our current leaders and thinkers as those of old? The answer is simple!  When you look in the mirror you will see them.  We bear the image of our forefathers and foremothers who, despite the degradation and discrimination they experienced, were too magnanimous to let that thwart them from overcoming!  There will be many more modern leaders and thinkers to behold as we begin to see ourselves as wonderful and having great worth.  It takes, both, guidance and courage to separate from shadow groups and admire the distinct image that you bear. We invite you to attend. Are you lost in the shadows? 

Learning Objectives:

  1. To be introduced to “the father”.
  2. To discover the reasons why it’s critical to continue to sow the seeds of Black History into the soils of minds, locally and globally.
  3. Motivate participants to a call to action to the question of; “Why me and why now?”
  4. To understand how Black History is directly related to our nation’s psychological health.


 Camille Lafleur, PhD

Camille Lafleur, Ph.D., LMFT is an Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Oklahoma Baptist University and is
 an AAMFT Approved Supervisor. While also providing clinical supervision, mentoring, and supervision trainings, she focuses her clinical work helping couples and families live as their most authentic selves at her private practice, Moving Forward Together (MFT) Therapy and Consultation. Dr. Lafleur has over 20 years of clinical and supervisory experience from working in different environments such as community mental health, private practice, and academic settings. She served on the advisory committee with the Kansas Behavioral Regulatory Board as well as served with both the Kansas and Oklahoma Associations for Marriage and Family Therapists. Currently, Dr. Lafleur chairs the AAMFT Topical Interest Network, “Margins to Center: Cultural Connections among CMFTs” which seeks to increase cultural humility to better serve diverse client populations while also increasing networking and other professional opportunities for CMFTs of color and allies.

 Barbara Dunn

Wife, Mother, Author, Lecturer, Lay Historian, Scholar/Activist
Barbara Spencer Dunn's legacy of service is exemplified as an advocate for youth and families. Her 2011 release, 'Before and Beyond the Niagara Movement: As the Youth See It' and co-authored [with her son] companion workbook 'Training with a Purpose', are professional development tools for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in discovering the truth about our shared history inclusive of the African American account. Dunn's book titled 'Lessons Learned from My Parents' is a masterful guide for parents to raise children who will learn the importance of obedience, keeping their commitments, love of self and service to others. Dunn's motto is "the more you learn, the more a servant you become." The 2014 recipient of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH’s) Mary McLeod Bethune Service Award, Mrs. Dunn is a graduate of Bowie State University (BSU) and served as Governor appointed Commissioner on the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC) from 2013 – 2018.  Mrs. Dunn currently serves as Co-Chair of the Woodson Home Committee [supporting the restoration of the Carter G. Woodson Historic Site], the ASALH's National Heritage Sites Research Committee [managing a master cooperative agreement between ASALH and the National Park Service (NPS), and the Professional Development Team for a newly released textbook entitled 'Black History 365' dedicated to Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History.  [Dunn wrote BH365’s tribute to Dr. Woodson in the textbook.]  Married to Carl M. Dunn since 1968, she is the mother of Carlvern (wife Paula; daughter Tayona), Byron and Rhonda—her family has supported her in all of her endeavors as they work as a family to help make this world a better place to live.

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Lost in the Shadows

Within the multitude of messages, suggestions, influences, and pressures that we face daily, it becomes increasingly difficult to identify as an “absolute” self. Fragmented ideas of identity that infiltrate our minds through what we personally observe, touch, taste, feel, and smell bound together within the context of the relationship of what our family members/friends/acquaintances personally observe, touch, taste, feel, and smell often leaves us, philosophically, “Lost in the Shadows”. Whenever a group of people gather under the radiance of the sun they cast a shadow, but the ability to distinguish one individual from the other is diminished greatly until they begin to divide.

How does this division occur? Should it occur? What’s the danger of dividing too early? What’s the danger of dividing too late? What happens if this division never occurs?

Learning Objectives:

  1. Engage in an experiential activity to understand what it means to be Lost in the Shadows.
  2. Discuss the reasons why we enter and/or withdraw from particular "shadow groups" that impact our personal identity, reputation, and behavior.
  3. Encourage participants to begin to search for the hidden treasures of history.


 Robert M. Cunningham, Jr.

Robert M. Cunningham Jr., is the founder of R.M. Cunningham Consulting, L.L.C., a mental health private practice in Salina, Kansas.

Robert is also the founder of Raise the C.L.I.M.A.T.E., a local civic learning initiative that was inspired by the study of Black History. The purpose of the initiative is to bring the community together through interactive, fun, and engaging activities for the primary purpose of ensuring that Black History is passed down from generation to generation to encourage self-love and dignity and to diffuse false narratives that threaten African Americans relationship with others.

He is the Director of Special Programs at The City Teen Center where he has served in leadership since 2009. He is also the Interim Pastor of Loyd Memorial COGIC (soon to be renamed LIFT Church) whose mission is to Uplift the Body of Christ to Boldly Pursue God: Full Heart, Full Soul, Full Mind.

Robert enlisted in the United States Army as a Military Police Officer. He was honorably discharged in 1996 and began to learn the value of discipline, leadership, and focus after having an “undeniable life-changing experience” that enhanced his view of the world. Robert credits his relationship with God and family as core components for his personal and professional success.

He has been married to his wife, Vesa, for 20 years and they have 3 beautiful children and 2 grandchildren. He earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Kansas Wesleyan University and a Master of Science Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Kansas and desires to pursue a Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Robert is a professional member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). He served as a Board Member for the AAMFT Board of Directors, 2020-2022.  Within this capacity he also served 2 Terms on the Elections Council.

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AAMFT Webinars

  AAMFT and Margins to Center: Cultural Connections Among C/MFTs are proud to honor Black History Month through a new free series focusing on The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.

Series 1: The Essential of Playing for Keeps with Dr. Josiane Bonté Apollon

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Series 2: The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity

Featuring: Camille Lafleur, PhD
Dr. George James, LMFT
Joslyn Armstrong, PhD
Dr. Michael Lee Cook
Dr. Porshia Cunningham Watch on Demand

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