YMCA Virtual Women’s Wellness Speaker Series, February 2021


Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021 6-8pm

Register here.

Dr. Brittany Williams, Ph.D., NCC is a visiting assistant professor in counseling at Syracuse University. Dr. Williams is invested in fostering alternative environments to assist people with mental health concerns, and who have had traumatic life experiences. She will discuss the mental health of Black women in a global pandemic, and offer specific tips to improve one’s mental wellness.

Dr. Nelly Kazzaz, MD is a cardiologist at SJH Cardiology Associates. Born and raised in Amman, Jordan, she is a passionate medical leader and advocate for her patients’ health and with tireless emphasis on preventive care. She believes that if you passionately believe in the need for change then you must be an instrumental part of it. She is also a strong advocate for other young women aspiring to pursue careers in science.

Tuesday, Feb 9, 2021 6-8pm

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Dr. Shanelle Benson-Reid is a consultant, coach, author and professional speaker. She is the President and CEO of Global SAGE Wellness, ACCESS Global Group, and ACCESS Global Enterprises. Dr. Benson will share her personal story of resilience in the face of challenging life circumstances, and the impact wellness practices have made on her own life and those around her. She is committed to inspiring individuals to pursue self-discovery, and empowering them to be innovative, progressive, and revolutionary in thought--motivating other to become global activists.

Desiree Odom is the CEO and Founder of Holistic Desires Mind Body Spirit Wellness. She is a yoga and reiki practitioner who specializes in stress reduction techniques, diet, and yoga for the mind, body, and spirit.


Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 6-8pm

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Precious Walker is a Syracuse native. Married with four children, she is the owner and operator of Simply Precious Hands. She is a massage therapist, coach, youth minister, and volunteer within her community. She is well known and admired for her knowledge, success, and support of charity events including the Susan Komen race for the cure and Red Cross Go Red For Women event.

Jayvanna Rucker was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. She is a graduate of Nottingham High School & Contemporary School of Beauty. She is the Owner & Operator of Divine Destiny Creations, located at 755 N Salina St., Syracuse, NY. Her love for hair has allowed her to share her gift with many people for over 25 years. She is a Master Barber and certified in Hair Loss, Keratin Treatments, Eyelash Extensions, Pravana Hair Color, Babe Extensions, and more. She believes that knowledge is power, and travels across the world to educate other and learn new techniques.


Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021 6-8pm

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Keturah Cochren-Albright, MSW, MFT is a social worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, health minister, maternal health and maternal mental health expert, certified lactation consultant, and doula. She is based in Syracuse, NY. She will be discussing Faith Community Nursing.

Keonna Yearwood is a personal chef and business owner who has worked tirelessly in the areas of nutrition, and food security. Her mission is to reduce the percentage of chronic illnesses in communities of color by providing access to free wellness programming. She believes it is imperative that people of color have the knowledge and skills to live happier, healthier lives. She attended the world-famous Johnson & Wales University, where she received two degrees and the Emeril Lagasse Scholarship for her culinary talent. As Keonna grows in her influence in the fight for healthier communities; she shares her own experience battling obesity as a teenager, and what makes her want to keep fighting the good fight. chefkeonnayearwood.com  

Heather M. Shannon, MS, CNM, WHNP, MPH is a staff nurse practitioner for Oswego County Opportunities (OCO), NYS licensed midwife, women’s health nurse practitioner, and OB/GYN nurse practitioner. Among her many achievements, Ms. Shannon developed and implemented Upstate’s Midwifery & Gynecology, which was designed to help women in the Syracuse area have quick access to quality women’s health care within a large health care system. She currently practices as a woman’s health nurse practitioner providing a wide range of reproductive health care services. She is a regular contributor to Syracuse Woman Magazine with a focus on women’s health, and will discuss information about premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).