Advocating and Organizing for the Mental Wellness of Black and Brown People

Chaka Holley, MDiv, LCSW

Chaka Holley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Where she received a Master of Social Work Degree from Western Michigan University with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. She began her career as a therapist working with college students predominantly addressing academic and family concerns. Throughout the years, she has provided both psychotherapy and Spiritual care and counseling to people from an array of backgrounds. Her clients have included people experiencing the challenges of homelessness, incarceration, juvenile justice, foster care, chronic illness, and poverty, as well as clergy, activists, people navigating the
professional work world. She specializes as a Mental Health Integrative Medicine Practitioner, Brainspotting Therapist, EMDR Therapist, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and certified Prepare/Enrich Premarital counselor.

In addition to counseling, Chaka has been known for her advocacy work in various cities across the country with organizations like Black Lives Matter, Our Kitchen Table, Michigan Organizing Project, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. She is trained in various forms of community organizing and has worked on campaigns to end Mass Incarceration, Education Reform, Food Justice, and more.
Chaka also received a Master of Divinity Degree from the Chicago Theological Seminary. Chaka is an ordained minister and has been known for providing memorial services and officiating weddings for people experiencing homelessness. She has held many religious leadership roles including senior pastor and Chaplain.

Chaka’s career has provided her the opportunity to provide services in places like the Cook County Jail, Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, ACCESS Community Health Network’s Suboxone clinic, and HIV clinic, The Women’s Treatment Center.

To give back to her community Chaka has volunteered as a state of MI certified HIV, Hepatitis C test counselor. She initiated and led the planning for a citywide 7-day Kwanzaa event, Juneteenth event, Stop the Violence event, and Know Your Rights event in the city of Grand Rapids MI. She volunteers as a trainer with Ujima Medics teaching people on the south and west sides of Chicago how to respond to gunshot wounds and asthma attacks.

Chaka is a skilled public speaker and has conducted workshops, speeches, and keynote addresses on various topics including Spirituality, Women Rights, Social Justice, The Prison Industrial Complex, Vicarious Trauma, and Self-care.

She currently resides in Chicago, IL where she is the CEO of A New Day Mental Wellness Center. A New Day Mental Wellness Center was born out of her vision to create a counseling center with additional wellness services for marginalized people which focused on social justice. She is also the President of Coloring Mental Health Collective, an organization that works to advocate for the mental wellbeing of Black and Brown folks.