To provide support and professional development to clinicians of color in order to elevate the standards of care and therapeutic services for diverse populations.


We believe clinicians have the right for their work to reflect their whole selves. We believe clients have the right to access quality care that respects their cultural experiences.


A supportive network that empowers clinicians of color and builds capacity for providing culturally responsive mental health treatment.

Who we are

We honor our collective experiences as people of color, while acknowledging and respecting our intersectional identities and their impact on our work. People of color are those who identify as non-white and share some common experiences related to systemic oppression and marginalization in society.

What we strive for


CVCCN has been an invaluable asset for my career growth. It has allowed me to effortlessly connect with professionals in my industry, making it an essential resource for anyone serious about their professional network.

Michael Williams


BIPOC Clinicians were trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and healing Culturally-Based Trauma through our Network.

EMDR is an evidence-based modality that has been shown to effectively treat a wide range of mental health issues.



BIPOC Clinicians were trained in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder: Components of Care through Postpartum Support International.



BIPOC Clinicians of them have formed ‘Recentering Mommas of Color Collective’ (RMCC) that is partnering with Birth Sisters of Charlottesville to be a referral source for BS’ clients, and provided consultations and education offerings to the doulas.


Intern now employed as a BIPOC clinician in the Charlottesville community.


Meet our Leadership team

Shea Graham

Shea Graham is a licensed psychotherapist and private practice owner in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is a current Ph.D. student in clinical sexology at Modern Sex Therapy Institute. Her dissertation focuses on identifying, adapting, and integrating clinical reasoning methods into clinical sexology with the ultimate goal of helping sex therapists improve the quality of care their clients receive.  In 2021, Shea was awarded a research fellowship from California Institute of Integral Studies, where she explored sexual preferences across sexual orientations. She holds a Master of Science degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia. 

She is the founder of Soulful Wellness, a program that provides field practicum supervision and training to social work graduate students at Fordham University, Arizona State University, Ohio State University, and Tulane University. She is the host of “In the Mood,” a podcast for people who identify as women to improve their sex lives. 

To date, her Facebook Reels have garnered over 1 million views. In 2021, Shea was appointed to the Board of Directors for Community Investment Collaborative, a nonprofit that provides financing and support to under-resourced entrepreneurs.

Shayla Ferris

Shayla is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia and Maryland. She believes people strive to live the best life they possibly can. At times, life can throw in a few challenges and reaching out for help is not always easy. She strives to help! She is passionate about partnering with individuals and couples in the therapeutic process to help them find their peace and get closer to their goals. She specializes in relationships and working with trauma. She is committed to excellence and providing culturally competent mental health services to the community.

Shayla has over 10 years of experience working in various mental health settings including private practice, crisis facilities and community-based services. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Virginia State University, her master’s degree from Liberty University specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy and  her post-graduate certificates from North Central University in Autism Education and Marriage and Family Therapy. She is Harvard Medical School trained in treating couples. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is currently working towards her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Couple’s Therapy.

Nicholas Wright

Nicholas Wright is a Virginia Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner in Charlottesville, VA. In addition to his work in private practice with anxiety and depression, he also provides culturally responsive mental health services through an affiliation with the Central Virginia Clinicians of Color Network. Nicholas has made a career of helping people meet their goals by working through obstacles for over 10 years. In his free time, Nicholas enjoys hiking and exploring nature.  

“I help clients cope with trauma by helping clients change their inner life, so they can more effectively change their outer world.  I think too many therapists ONLY strive for changing a client’s self and leave them in a position to adapt to the world, instead of working to put them in a position to change the world.” -Nicholas Wright

Kimberly Sanders

Kimberly is a board certified psychiatrist practicing in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. She completed residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois after receiving her doctorate from Ross University. She has had the pleasure of working in diverse settings, caring for patients in the psychiatric emergency room, as well as outpatient clinics. She has cared for patients with a range of diagnoses including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia and has significant experience in treating trauma related disorders. She maintains a focus on holistic approaches to mental health and has a special interest in working with women and people of color.

During her education, she became intrigued by the human mind, and although the focus is often its propensity to break down, she was amazed at its ability to heal. She looks for ways to educate patients and empower them to hopefully stir some of the same excitement and hope that she developed while learning about the human mind. As a psychiatrist, she enjoys spending time educating many of my patients on the “brain basics” and exploring the relationship between our thoughts, emotions and actions. Her experiences have intensified her commitment to embracing a whole person approach to obtaining optimal mental health.

And on a personal note:

She is, at once, a mom, wife, friend, daughter and psychiatrist. When she looks at her children, she not only envisions the things she wants specifically for them, but also what type of world she would like to leave them. She envisions them in a world where preventive care is the norm and not the exception, where mind-body wellness is accepted and integrated into allopathic models, and where disease management becomes less of a percentage of how we spend our healthcare dollars. She would like to see them and their friends and colleagues thriving as opposed to merely surviving.

Juanika Howard

Juanika Howard or Juan as she is affectionately known, was born, and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia and works at the intersection of human services, education, and community development. After matriculating through Charlottesville City Schools, Juanika went on to double major in Psychology and Counseling at Old Dominion University. Upon completion, Juanika came back to her hometown of Charlottesville to put her education to use by serving and making an impact in often under-resourced and marginalized communities.

Juanika has well over 12 years of mental health experience, working with children and adolescents through Region Ten Community Service Board, Albemarle County and Charlottesville City Schools. She is currently a Therapist & Education/Outreach Support Specialist for The Women’s Initiative and is passionate about working within the community to normalize mental health. Juanika began her journey as a runner in 2012 to support a friend’s goal but quickly discovered a new self-care practice. .

Juan is a lifelong learner and has a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Longwood University which allowed her to become a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Virginia.  Juanika is known widely for her ability to build community and to bring light into dark places.

Carolyn Mitchell Dillard

Rev. Dillard is a native of and resides in Keswick, VA, and a descendant of Castle Hill Plantation in Albemarle County. Her joy is being the wife of 22 years to Michael Dillard and the mother of their two children, Alexandra and Kenneth and is the proud grandmother of Drue Alexander Campbell who was born in April of this year.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in 1988 from George Mason University, and a Master of business Management in 1996.

She is a 2014 graduate of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University where she received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) She is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Ministry program from the same institution, with a focus on “Trauma Informed Care Practices for the Black Church and Community”. It was in 2011 at the beloved School of

Theology that she heard the Call from God to preach the Gospel. She is employed with the University of Virginia in the Division for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as the University-Community Liaison, focusing on community partnerships and programming and initiatives for the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers. Carolyn is a founding board member of the

Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA (DEC-UVA). The DEC’s goals are to reclaim, honor and repair.

She is the first female pastor of her home church, Zion Hill Baptist established in 1870. She was installed in November of 2018. There are many people who have influenced her life and to all she is most grateful. She is most thankful for her parents, Kenneth and Bernice Mitchell who ensured she had a life-long, Christian Foundation to build upon. Rev. Dillard loves teaching, preaching and sharing the precious love of Jesus Christ through ministry. She strives to show her love for people by saying, yes to the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

For her, being called by God is not a choice but a gift to spread the Gospel.