DRM's 19th Annual Membership Dinner - Save the Date!

Posted on May 30, 2019

Friday, October 4, 2019

Hilton Garden Inn
Freeport, Maine

Keynote Speaker, Nyamuon "Moon" Nguany Machar

Nyamuon "Moon" Nguany Machar is an advocate and consultant in the mental health field, creating spaces for immigrants, disproportionately underserved populations and low income communities, and working to make their voices heard and represented at service and policy-making tables. Moon first began her work with the ACE program in the Army National Guard, where she received training in suicide prevention for soldiers struggling with their mental health. While serving, Moon recognized the stigma attached to mental health struggles and saw that conversations about mental health issues were prevalent across many cultures. She also understands that there is a potential for damage to be done when safe spaces aren’t provided for communities’ members to feel comfortable enough to share their vulnerability, which affects attempts to provide quality service and care to vulnerable and at-risk populations. Moon is a 2017 recipient of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy’s Pearl Johnson Award and in 2019 she received the Emerging Young Advocates Award from The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C.

Moon emigrated to the United States from Ethiopia as a child and uses her and her family’s experience and trauma to educate and enlighten providers, consumers, policy makers, and community members about the importance of inclusion, as they serve increasingly diverse communities. Having emerged as a public speaker, she has collaborated with renowned educational institutions, such as Harvard University, Bates College and Georgetown University, to provide talks and workshops for students who will be tomorrow’s service professionals. She is also involved in Maine’s South Sudanese community providing mentoring to young immigrant professionals, advocates and aspiring change-makers, seeking to instill in them the value in potently representing their communities’ respective identities in whatever fields they enter. Moon is a firm believer that there is much to be learned from the resilience of those who are experiencing or have overcome crisis.

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