Social service agency honors community leaders

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Dr. Olga Osby, Dr. Wendy Mahoney, Ms. Cassandra Welchlin, Ms. Rukia Lumumba, Ms. Willie Jones, and Dr. Mary Nelums

JANS – On December 7, 2023, Clean Slate-MS recently held an awards ceremony and reception at the Mississippi Museum of Art. The event announced the organization’s transition as a non-profit into Clean Slate Behavioral Health Solutions (CSBHS), a for-profit agency. The mission of Clean Slate-MS was to assist communities of color to become healthy, stable, and innovative. The event also acknowledged the contributions and support of Clean Slate-MS’s exiting board members: Judge Latrice Westbrook, Dr. Trenia Allen, Mr. Lucas Watson, Dr. Warren Yoder, and Mr. Don Clauson.

Dr. Olga Osby, Dr. Warren Yoder, Dr. Trenia Allen, Judge Latrice Westbrook, Mr. Lucas Watson, and Dr. Mary Nelums

The Co-Managing Partners, Drs. Mary Nelums and Olga Osby stated all their work will be under the umbrella of Clean Slate Behavioral Health Solutions. Its mission is to promote the recovery and healing of individuals, families, and communities affected by life circumstances that hinder mind, body, and spiritual development by offering treatment for chronic, generational, and historic trauma.

CSBHS also introduced the inaugural Gwendolyn N. Loper Award, named after the pioneer social worker who broke barriers for Black social workers in Mississippi. The annual award will ensure that her trailblazing efforts to break racial barriers for social workers of color will be remembered.

The inaugural recipients were Ms. Rukia Lumumba, Ms. Cassandra Welchin, Dr. Wendy Mahoney, and Ms. Willie Jones. 

“The link between our mental health, immediate environment, and lived experiences is clear,” says Dr. Nelums. “Those who reside in neighborhoods that harbor good social support systems, economic stability, high functioning school systems, developed green spaces for recreation, and safety tend to have lower rates of mental illness, health disparities, poverty, and other social problems.”

Sharing that same sentiment, Dr. Osby commented, “Neighborhoods matter. What is accessible in your neighborhood matters to your overall health and well-being. Neighborhoods can either offer opportunities for a better life or become areas that fill residents with hopelessness and despair.”

To learn more about Clean Slate Behavioral Health Solutions, visit

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Social service agency honors community leaders

By Jackson Advocate News Service
January 22, 2024