Jose Rosario is an advocate, author, and speaker. He is also a gay Latino therapist and researcher who utilizes a wheelchair.
He is the founder of The Phoenix Empowered, whose mission is to amplify the voices of communities that have been historically silenced within the mental health conversation and educate the public about the mental health needs of minoritized groups. Through TPE, Jose also hosts trainings and the Phoenix Unbound podcast.
Jose was born premature and developed Cerebral Palsy after not breathing for over 11 minutes. Growing up, Jose felt different, an experience that led to his determination to make others feel safe and valued.
Jose is also a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at Clark University where his work focuses on experiences of distress among minoritized groups after cultural traumas.
Empowered to Rise
Speaker Jose Rosario’s personal growth reminds him that each individual we support has intersecting identities that must be considered in order to truly promote healing.
The hope is that by the end of the talk, the audience begins to consider their identities and how this impacts their work. Above all, I want to make it clear that our stories have power and being vulnerable allows us to connect. It is crucial to empower those who feel silenced to share their whole truth.
Begin to recognize how your experiences impact your work within your discipline
Start thinking about how we can empower those we serve to acknowledge their stories
Consider the importance of representation in all field
Acknowledge the potential that our words have towards others
The Psychology of our Differences
This talk focuses on collective trauma (also known as community trauma in some literature), or the idea that events that impact the safety and/or well-being of individuals within identity groups (e.g. people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community) can impact the larger community that shares the same targeted identity.
Mental healthcare is not a “one size fits all” approach, and creating resources that take the experiences of minoritized groups into account iscrucial. People must feel seen to seek help.
Acknowledge that trauma can impact communities when shared identities are targeted.
Beginto explore how the experience of difference (e,g, discrimination, having a disability) can also impact us on a day-to-day basis.
Begin to think about how mental health care can meet the unique needs of diverse populations, especially after violent events.
Disabled and Human
This talk focuses on my experience navigating the world with a physicaldisability. This includes the mental health space where I do not see many people like me. However, it is important to me to show that disability does not determine my skills or act as a barrier. In fact, it is a gift that gives me perspective.
I want people to know that people with disabilities are capable, that we have other intersecting identities, and that disability etiquette exists to encourage respect.
Learn some disability etiquette.
Share some disability rights (e.g. employment or education).
Explore disability as one of many identities within a person.