Building Community by Reducing Stigma and Creating Access to Mental Health Care.
What would it look like if people carried each other’s burdens and worked together to solve one another’s problems? Olinka Clark has a word for that: Ujima. A Kwanzaa principle of collective work and responsibility, Ujima promotes building community as people come together to share challenges as well as achievements.
Olinka has dedicated herself to helping people do just that. With years of education and experience serving the homeless and those navigating the criminal justice system, Olinka is working to expand access to mental health care to those who need it but may not seek it out.
As an African American provider, Olinka founded UJIMA Therapeutic Services to offer mental health care to those who may feel hesitant to look for it. She believes in the power of connection and relatability between providers and clients with similar racial backgrounds. Through her work, Olinka aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health concerns in the African American community and wants to increase access to care.
Olinka currently serves clients in her local office and is looking to team up with other therapists to advance Ujima’s mission to help people become the best version of themselves. She plans to specialize in group therapy, primarily serving those who come to UJIMA from the court and criminal justice system.
She will use her grant to purchase curriculum and workbooks to help facilitate upcoming group therapy sessions. Down the road, Olinka envisions owning a building and running a thriving practice in collaboration with other therapists on staff and members of the community.