LOS ANGELES – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a special episode of OWN Spotlight series “Speak Sis” premiering on Tuesday, September 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The special two-hour episode features an audience of Black women in an in-depth conversation regarding mental health and trauma impacting the Black community led by Oprah Winfrey, Emmy Award-winning host and journalist Adrienne Bankert, and leading social impact strategist Jotaka Eaddy, featuring special guests California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Activist, Scholar, and Educator Dr. Dena Simmons, and Emmy Award-nominated actress and comedian Kym Whitley. Also joining the conversation are Dr. Gail Wyatt, Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Emmy Award-winning creative visionary and mental health advocate Kelli Richardson Lawson.
In a conversation that destigmatizes mental health issues, the panel will discuss childhood trauma in the Black community and unpack how it manifests in adulthood. The special will also offer suggestions around how to do the work to heal both individually and as a community, all through the lens of asking “What happened to you?,” the critical question posed by Oprah’s New York Times best-selling book of the same name co-written with trauma expert, Dr. Bruce Perry.
Through this conversation, Oprah, the panel, and the audience educates, inspires, and helps others feel less alone and more hopeful for the future. Expert panelists suggest resources and key takeaways for those who are looking to start examining and healing from trauma, particularly after the disproportionate effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Black community and the emotional toll of the ongoing fight for racial justice and equality.
This special is a part of OWN’s popular topic-driven OWN Spotlight series and is the first of four episodes focused on health in the Black community, in conjunction with OWN’s first-ever health initiative, OWN YOUR HEALTH. The series features intimate conversations about important issues with honest opinions and surprising solutions that focus on Black women.
“Speak Sis” is produced by Critical Content for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Jennifer Ryan serves as showrunner and executive producer along with Critical Content executive producers Jenny Daly, Tom Forman, and Jon Beyer. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network executive producers are Tara Montgomery and Brian Piotrowicz.