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T-Kea Blackman provides support to the Maryland Employment Network as the peer career advancement specialist and serves as one of the leads for the Intensive Peer Support and Benefits Planning Pilot Program. The program is in collaboration with Cornerstone Montgomery, a non-profit that provides resources to individuals with mental illness, and will  examine the effects of enhanced peer support services and benefits on career advancement to demonstrate the importance of peer support and benefits planning in increasing Social Security beneficiaries’ earnings and self-sufficiency.

T-Kea is also the creator and host of the Fireflies Unite Podcast, a weekly podcast dedicated to bringing light into darkness (just like the fireflies) by sharing the stories of individuals thriving with mental illness within communities of color despite the disadvantages and racism that negatively impact their mental health. Her articles have been published on The Mighty, Urban Faith, Blavity, and 21 Ninety, and garnered over 50,000 views and encouraged individuals to seek treatment. 

Additionally, T-Kea has been a guest on Good Morning Washington, That Anita Live Show, The Blessed & Bossed Up and Minding My Black Business podcasts to discuss topics such as wellness and recovery, faith, suicide among children of color and her personal story of surviving suicide. She served as a cast member and producer for This Is My Brave, a non-profit that gives those with mental illness the opportunity to share their story through creative expression live on stage.

T-Kea is currently pursuing her peer recovery specialist/recovery coach certification through the Maryland and Behavioral Health Professional Certification Board. She earned a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University, and a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film production from Howard University. 

Check back frequently for more updates from T-Kea and our Peer Counseling Project!