Described by family and friends as an inspiration, T-Kea Blackman, affectionately known as Kea, is an entrepreneur, mentor, mental health advocate, speaker, and writer. She is the creator and host of the Fireflies Unite Podcast, a weekly podcast dedicated to normalizing the conversation about mental health within communities of color by sharing the stories of individuals thriving with mental illness. T-Kea desires to see her community healthy despite disadvantages and racism that negatively impacting their mental health.
T-Kea’s articles have been published on The Mighty, Urban Faith, Blavity, and 21 Ninety. Making a digital footprint, her articles have garnered over 45,000 views and encouraged individuals to seek treatment.
Her heartfelt and powerful story is a testament that you can thrive despite having a mental illness. T-Kea was diagnosed with major depression and generalized anxiety disorders and is a suicide survivor. She previously worked in the television industry as a publicist and production/talent coordinator. Within her career she provided support to TV One’s signature award-winning shows Unsung and Unsung Hollywood, BET’s Black Girls Rock!, The Soul Train Awards and BET X Youth Experience. But, her diagnosis led her to use her communications skills to raise awareness for minority mental health.
During 2011-2013, she served as the founder and program manager of Lady Me, a mentoring program designed to help build self-esteem, character, and confidence through various goal-setting, sex education and self-worth workshops and social activities. T-Kea developed a partnership with DC Metropolitan High School, established sponsorships, secured funding, and oversaw volunteer and participant recruitment. She was also responsible for marketing and public relations strategies. By the end of the program, participates who weren’t considering college applied to college and their grades improved.
T-Kea earned a master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Howard University.