Welcome to “Sharing Our Stories: Connecting the Mind and Body™”

In 2014, the Sharing Our Stories Planning Committee (SOSPC), launched the first annual Sharing Our Stories: Connecting the Mind and Body interactive community workshop. This is a One-Stop-Shop-event emphasizing the connection between mental and physical wellness for today’s youth. Our events are held in East St. Louis and in Belleville, IL and are presented free of charge to all attendees. In the past two years, our events have grown from just over 150 to over 250 people at one of our recent events.

The SOSPC is now comprised of community leaders representing organizations including Family Renewed, LLC, the Family Renewed Foundation, the Karla Smith Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness — Southwestern Illinois, the St. Clair County Mental Health Board, Jack and Jill of America, Inc.— St. Clair County Chapter, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. — Belleville O’Fallon Alumnae Chapter and East St. Louis Alumnae Chapter, Gateway Regional Medical Center, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – East St. Louis Chapter, St. Clair County Juvenile Justice Council and the Leslie Bates Davis Neighborhood House Foundation.

Youth groups interested in presenting in our upcoming Sharing Our Stories: Connecting the Mind and the Body events, please call us at 618-930-2725.

Past Events

6th Annual Sharing Our Stories: Connecting the Mind and the Body

featuring Jason Davis

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 — Interactive Youth Evening Program

Christian Activity Center, 540 N 6th Street, East St. Louis, IL

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 — Panel Discussions and Resource Fair for Adults

Panel topics include: Advocating for Your Child and Community Resources of Youth/At-Risk Youth

Student In-School Programs

ESL High School — Monday, March 12, 2018

ESL Alternative High School — Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Cahokia High School — Thursday, March 15, 2018

ESL Charter High School — Friday, March 16, 2018

21st Century Programs

Lincoln, MS — Monday, March 12, 2018

Madison High School — Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mason/Clarke MS — Thursday, March 15, 2018

5th Annual Sharing Our Stories: Connecting the Mind and the Body

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Middle school and high school students are invited to attend this FREE Sharing Our Stories event. The full-day program includes interactive youth workshops and panel discussions designed specifically for our youth. Also hear from the featured speaker Jason Davis, a peace advocate, author, poet, gang specialist and father. For more information on our speaker, visit www.reimaginingjustice.com.

4th Annual Sharing Our Stories: Connecting the Mind and the Body

Saturday, November 5, 2016

We brought together youth sixth grade and up and their parents, caretakers and adults in their lives for a powerful day of information and support. There were interactive educational forum featuring presentations and breakout sessions by mental health and social service professionals, youth groups with professional service providers and keynote speaker Erika J. Kendrick.

Inaugural Event – Sharing Our Stories: Keeping Our Communities Safe by Encouraging Healthy Mind – March 29, 2014

Event featured Terrie Williams, Mental Health Activist and Public Relations Expert, and Jason Davis, Author and Inspirational Speaker
Why We Started
In 2013, Dr. Dawn M. Porter, recognizing the impact of life’s challenges on our youth, families and communities, with the help of community liaison Jim Isaac, assembled the inaugural committee of community leaders representing organizations including Gateway Regional Medical Center, the Karla Smith Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness – Southwestern Illinois, Family Renewed, LLC, the St. Clair County Mental Health Board, the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House Foundation, the 40 Days of Non-Violence Initiative and Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

Dr. Porter spearheaded the initiative and continues to do so as SOSPC Chairperson. By working collaboratively we can begin to increase mental health awareness, decrease the stigma, and promote local and national resources that support overall health and wellness.

Sharing Our Stories: Connecting the Mind and the Body Events

Roland Williams - Photo-cropped8/29/15

Featuring Roland Williams, formerly of the St. Louis Rams, Rookie of the Year and Super Bowl XXXIV Champion. Event was held at Belleville East High School in Belleville, IL.


Featuring Carey Davis, former Pittsburgh Steeler and Super Bowl XLIII Champion. Event was held at East St. Louis High School in East St. Louis, IL.


Featuring Erika J. Kendrick, mental fitness junkie, Stanford graduate and former Chicago Bulls cheerleader. Event was held at Belleville East High School in Belleville, IL.

Sign Up Forms

If you are attending or sponsoring a Sharing Our Stories: Connecting the Mind and the Body event, please read and/or complete any relevant forms below: