Transformational speaker, author and attorney, Corey Minor Smith is taking mental health advocacy to new heights. Corey’s advocacy work is rooted in her desire to eradicate stigmas associated with mental illness and to share information with others who have family members and friends living with severe mental illness. She was inspired to become a mental health advocate after the diagnosis of her mother with manic depression and schizophrenia.
Determined to seek guidance and awareness on how to support her mother and herself as a caretaker, she came across the movie called “Out of Darkness,” and took courses offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Her quest to find out more information ultimately resulted in her earning a Masters of Education in Guidance Counseling.
One of Corey’s high school teachers, Norma Washington worked with students during study hall to complete college and scholarship applications and helped students to take control of what she called “undesirable circumstances.” Undesirable circumstances are situations or things that may be viewed as hindrances or that you may be ashamed of or feel ostracized for. This two word phrase has become a life motto for Corey. She has overcome several undesirable circumstances which included living in 3 states among 8 different households, attending 14 schools, and becoming a ward of the state. These life challenges were no match for Corey’s tenacious spirit. Not only did she transform these ‘problems into power,’ but she went on to become the first African American elected city-wide in Canton, OH to serve as a City Council at Large Member.
“Don’t allow undesirable circumstances to be excuses for you to fail, but allow them to reasons for you to excel.”
As a transformational speaker, Corey empowers audiences to take control of their lives despite life’s challenges and obstacles.She believes ‘transformation is an intentional evolution of self after a time of self-reflection that leads to intentional lifestyle changes and/or decision making.’Her background as an attorney provides her with fundamental research skills which also serve as a guide in her advocacy work as well as personally and professionally.During times when life’s trials leave us feeling stuck or overwhelmed, Corey recommends being intentional about finding time to be still. Stillness is well known to be one of the most important practices and tools in meditation and many religious traditions worldwide. In stillness, we can assess where we are and how we want to move forward without pressure or stress to reach a final conclusion.