Shalawn James, Executive Director

A native of Annapolis Maryland, Shalawn L James, is a mental health educator, advocate and policy influencer who focuses her work around increasing visibility, equity and access for underserved and marginalized communities. Her two-decade long career has been spent counseling survivors of domestic violence, working with children and adolescents at Milton Hershey School, providing counseling services to abused and neglected children and their families and advocating and policy reform for the LGBTQI+ community, mentally ill, BIPOC community and justice reform.

Shalawn has spent the last several years in leadership of the statewide Mental Health Association (MHA) for Pennsylvania  where she worked directly with State leaders to transform the care, treatments and access to mental health services on both a local and statewide level for BIPOC and LGBTQI+ communities. She serves as a member of many boards including but not limited to the Governor’s Appointee (newly appointed to her 2nd Commission) on the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board as a Patient Advocate and the Mental Health Planning Committee, Children’s Committee. Shalawn has been the keynote speaker and presenter for Comcast, Keller Williams, South Central Sickle Cell Council, Pennsylvania State University and many more, on a wide range of mental health, and Diversity, Inclusion & Equity topics.

Shalawn’s formal education includes degrees from Delaware State University, York College of Pennsylvania and Eastern University. She is currently pursuing a dual Masters/Doctorate in I/O Psychology from Purdue University with the hopes of furthering her impact for change within her local community and nationwide.

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