This Pride SoulCare Sunday was a collaboration between the National Benevolent Association and Disciples Alliance Q for an intentional time of care and compassion with our LGBTQIA+ siblings. Let us envision a world together where lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer people, with our intersecting identities, can thrive and express themselves freely. This SoulCare session also held space for the seventh anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting. You can rewatch this hour-long presentation meant for pausing, processing, and joy below.
Rev. RJ Robles (he/they)
Rev. RJ Robles is an Afro-Puerto Rican queer and trans community organizer, Disciples minister, chaplain, and council member for the Disciples Alliance Q. They currently serve as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Metro Human Relations Commission. RJ also supports trans youth through healing justice-based projects with the National Queer & Trans Therapist of Color Network. In RJ’s spare time they work closely with children and youth seeking mental health treatment at Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital. RJ believes a new world is possible when we center ancestral wisdom, practice radical love, and continue organizing.
Joselyn Spence (she/her)
Joselyn Spence serves as the Director of the NBA’s Mental Health and Wellness program. In this role, Joselyn works to design and implement programs that promote holistic wellness across all NBA programs. This work is done through the creation of learning resources for clergy and community leaders, addressing the needs of pastors in a variety of ministry settings, and sharing the stories that help to eliminate stigmas related to mental health and wellness. She is passionate about mental health care, holistic wellness, communal care ethics, and spirituality.
As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Art Therapist (ATR), she received advanced education and training to provide trauma-informed services to diverse groups of people of all races, backgrounds, and ages from 3 to 80. She has worked in community agencies, school systems, and psychiatric hospitals working in acute adult mental health and with forensic patients in the prison system. She also has several years of teaching and supervising experience as an adjunct teaching faculty member in two graduate art therapy and counseling programs.
Joselyn received a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, a Master of Science in Art Therapy and Professional Counseling from Eastern Virginia Medical School, and a Bachelor’s degree in Women and Gender Studies and African-American Studies from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.