Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

The Black Scholar Series: Dr. Obari Cartman

Dr. Obari Cartman

We welcome our first speaker for the 2023-2024 Academic Year, Dr. Obari Cartman, a father, son, brother, uncle, thinker, writer, therapist, photographer, drummer, and grassroots mental health advocate. He is a Chicago native, where his cultural and educational foundations were cultivated by several African-centered institutions. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Hampton University and a Ph.D in clinical & community psychology from Georgia State University. His recent work includes being a trauma focused clinician, restorative justice coach and program evaluator with H.E.LP., LLC (Healing Empowering and Learning Professions). Dr. Cartman has served as a professor of psychology at Georgia State University and the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies at Northeastern University. Dr. Cartman recently created a male rites of passage curriculum called MANifest that is being implemented in juvenile detention centers, schools and other community settings across the country. Dr. Cartman is the former program director for Real Men Charities, Inc. where for three years he facilitated weekly men’s wellness and African drumming circles and was the associate editor of the South Side Drive magazine. Dr. Cartman is the current President of the Chicago Association of Black Psychologists and curator of a directory of Black mental health providers. He is also currently a national training coordinator for CARES Mentoring organization. As a consultant Dr. Cartman facilitates trainings for adults and workshops with youth about maintaining good mental health, critical analysis of hip-hop and media, racial and cultural identity, developing authentic manhood, and healthy relationships. Dr. Cartman is currently completing his second book about Black Spirituality which will be released this year.


Wednesday, September 27th | 1:00 – 2:30 PM CT
Main Lecture: Decolonizing Mental Health: The Role of Culture in Community-based Wellness Interventions

Black communities continue to withstand structural assaults that require specific restoration. Elements of the mental health field have been complicit in academic and economic interests to maintain racial hierarchy resulting in the misuse of science in harmful ways. This presentation will share innovative strategies to design and implement wellness practices that center Black cultural healing practices within community settings intended to reach individuals and families who may otherwise be resistant to Western mental health approaches.

Wednesday, September 27th | 3:30 – 4:30 PM CT
Special Session: Hip-Hop Therapy: The Use of Music in Facilitation of Wellness Programming for Young Black Men

The therapeutic benefits of art, music and movement are becoming increasingly acknowledged. Hip-hop is uniquely effective for curating wellness activities targeting some of the most vulnerable, overlooked and difficult to reach young men in Chicago, who are also more likely to express emotional distress via destructive internal and external means. During this conversation we will explore a variety of examples of music, lyrics and videos that can be useful for engaging young Black men. We will also discuss strategies to increase critical consumption of corporatized hip-hop with potentially deleterious impact on the mental health of young men.

Thursday, September 28th | 1:00 – 2:00 PM CT
Affinity Session: The Affinity Session provides the opportunity for Black students, staff, and faculty to come together in community with each other and the visiting scholar to collectively reflect on their realities of being Black and in the field of psychology.

Submit your RSVP for all sessions here.

**Zoom Auto Transcription is provided for virtual attendees. If you require a Live Transcriptionist, please email Dr. Loretta Hsueh ( or Dr. Dennis Sparta (