Sharing the Voices and Experiences of Black, Neurodiverse College Students through Art and Storytelling

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August 11, 2022

African American Mental Health and Wellness (AMEN) team is collaborating with KAZI FM 88.7 in producing a radio series to highlight the importance of addressing mental health and physical wellness in the African American community. The monthly series will feature AMEN team members from the School of Nursing, leaders from Mt. Zion Baptist and Rehoboth Baptist churches, and community organizations who provide mental health resources and support in Travis County. 

Sharing the Voices and Experiences of Black, Neurodiverse College Students through Art and Storytelling

August 10, 2022 Podcast:

Audio file

Co-moderators Shannon W. Jones and Jacki Hecht interviewed Velta Brenya – a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a passion for reducing the stigma around mental health. Velta describes herself as a Black, neurodiverse student, who understands first-hand, the importance of building support systems and destigmatizing conversations around seeking mental health care. She created the Double Diversity Digital Art Gallery to highlight the experiences of Black, neurodiverse college students by using one of her own support systems, creative art.


Velta Brenya got the idea for her storytelling project when she began navigating through her own experiences with accessing mental health support. She describes being diagnosed with ADHD as an impactful journey and noticed a positive difference in her life once she was able to get the mental health resources that she needed. With this project, Velta hopes to raise awareness and reduce the stigma often associated with neurodiversity as being a health and social disability. Velta strives to encourage other black individuals to embrace their differences, focus on the strengths of their unique characteristics and abilities, and seek resources they may need for added support.

Brenya notes that time management skills and staying focused can be very challenging as a student with ADHD. Overtime, she has learned to ask for advice, delegate tasks, and recruit help, which have helped her to complete this ambitious project. Brenya plans to continue raising awareness about neurodiversity by engaging with other organizations to create new art.

Velta offers this important advice to Black college students and young adults who are struggling with their own neurodiversity: “Remember that you are not alone!” She reminds listeners about the importance of embracing your uniqueness, rather than being ashamed of it. Your uniqueness may just be your superpower!

For more information about this project, contact Velta via email at or visit the Double Diversity Digital Art Gallery.


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