At the AAKOMA Project, our mission is to help diverse teenagers and their families achieve optimal mental health through dialogue, learning, and the understanding that everyone deserves care and support. AAKOMA is uniquely positioned to both create the scientific knowledge that can lead to behavior change and implement this science using patient-centered, culturally relevant and community-engaged practices.

We define optimal mental health as:

  • recognizing mental health challenges when they arise
  • understanding where to go for help
  • supporting friends and loved ones to seek help


At AAKOMA, our mission is active and goal oriented. Thus, we seek to:

  • Engage with More People by building new practices informed by culturally relevant evidence based to address the needs of all youth.
  • Better Serve People by helping teens, parents, families and communities achieve optimal mental health.
  • Change Minds by creating greater awareness and de-stigmatization of mental health in ways that resonate with diverse communities.

Strategically, we operationalize our goals by:

  1. Implementing and generating academic-facing, culturally relevant research evidence to broaden adoption of our practices (to Engage with More People) through:
    • Research (Clinical, community-based studies on depression and suicide prevention)
    • Publications (Press, Blogs, technical writing in academic journals, books)
    • Presentations (Nonprofits, federal agencies, advocacy organizations)
  2. Providing holistic care options (to Better Serve People):
    • Workshops / bootcamps
    • Supporting Free virtual psychotherapy under COVID-19
    • Outreach and engagement of diverse communities (webinars, community outreach)
  3. Raising awareness and de-stigmatizing mental health and its disparate effects on communities of color (to Change Minds) through:
    • Television (national and cable news programs CNN, NBC, PBS)
    • Online and Print Media (Refinery29,, NBC online,
    • Social Media (Collaborations with national orgs e.g. Mental Health America, AFSP)
    • Celebrity collaborations (Lexi Underwood, Usher Raymond IV, Taraji Henson, etc.)

AAKOMA leverages critical partnerships, collaborations and supports to move our work forward. Some of our recent partners, collaborators and supporters include:

Engage with More People

Research and information sharing

  • AcademyHealth
  • Alliance for Health Policy
  • Mt. Olive Baptist Church
  • Taylor Strategy
  • Hemera Foundation
  • NAMI
  • SoPhE
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Better Serve People

General operating financial support to expand operations to reach and serve more youth and communities

  • Pivotal Ventures
  • Community Foundation of Northern VA
  • Individual donors
  • Harry’s Shave Club/Flamingo
  • Innovation Health

Change Minds

Expand understanding and knowledge of needs and provide solutions for reaching diverse communities.

  • Industrious
  • U.S. Congressional Black Caucus
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Usher’s New Look Foundation
  • Boris L. Henson Foundation
  • Mental Health America
  • Ad Council

Tiers of Support

We actively seek partners to Better Serve People via our tiers of support as follows:

Red Level: 50K – 100K
Purple Level: 101K – 250K
Gold Level: 251K +

Our Team:

Led by pioneering psychologist, Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, AAKOMA is comprised of a diverse team of individuals with the lived experience, knowledge and skill that make AAKOMA a stand-out organization in the mental health space.

Dr. Alfiee: Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble (Dr. Alfiee) is a scientist, media personality, author and speaker. As Founder of our nonprofit, she translates complex scientific concepts (developed over 20+ years as a disparities researcher at Duke and Georgetown Med Schools) into useful, everyday language for diverse communities. She trained at Howard University, New York University, the University of Wisconsin Madison and the Duke University School of Medicine

Board of Directors

Mrs. H. Kathy Williams, B.A., M.A. is a retired educator of 31 years in Durham (NC) Public Schools. In 1996 after losing a loved one to suicide, Mrs. Williams started a suicide Awareness Presentation “Breaking the Silence”.

Dr. Richard Noble, III is a math professor at NOVA-Annandale (DC area) and a passionate advocate for men and boys of color.

Dr. Shauna M. Cooper is Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of the Strengths, Assets, & Resilience (StAR) Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in Developmental Psychology.

Mrs. Kathy Springfield-Cobb is a retired School Counselor from Durham (NC) Public Schools. She earned a BA and MA from North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

Mr. Warren Brooks is a Program Analyst serving as Strategic Plan lead for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (OASCR).


Cardwell Beach and Zing Social Media power all of AAKOMA and Dr. Alfiee’s communications needs via a dozen + professionals and 20+ years of experience.

Human Resources:

WNP HR/Staffing supplies AAKOMA’s needs in hiring, management and HR compliance.


Alexandra Torres is a rising junior at Florida International University where she studies sociology and women’s studies. She is bilingual (English/Spanish). Morgann Noble is a rising high school junior passionate about academic achievement, tennis and social justice. She attends school in Northern VA and aspires to become a marketing executive/business owner.


AAKOMA has a strong team of 7-10 volunteers always available to contribute to our work.

How can you get involved?

We welcome your collaboration and support of efforts. Together, we can reach underserved communities via evidence-based practices to support mental health research and care for all.

How can you get involved?

We welcome your collaboration and support of efforts. Together, we can reach underserved communities via evidence-based practices to support mental health research and care for all.

Engage with More People

Adopt proven practices and invest in building new practices to expand impact at scale.

  • Invite AAKOMA to train your organization on best practices.
  • Invite us to speak with your organization.
  • Engage with us and disseminate our research

Better Serve People

Expand the number of youth and families receiving services.

  • Provide financial support for our work.
  • Fundraise for AAKOMA.

Change Minds

Expand understanding and knowledge of needs and provide solutions for reaching diverse communities.

  • Collaborate on a social media takeover with AAKOMA.
  • Collaborate on a TV or other media event.
  • Invite AAKOMA to contribute a guest blog.
  • Feature AAKOMA in your publication/media outlet.