Dr. Shani Dowd is a retired mental health professional who is African American and Cherokee and identifies as a “butch” lesbian. She has been a frequent presenter at teaching conferences nationally and regionally, with expertise in the provision of culturally informed health care systems, health disparities and the particular needs of communities of color and LGBTQ communities. Dr. Dowd is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine, and serves on the faculty of the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology, where she has taught for more than thirty years. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of William James College, and a Trustee of the Fields, Hannagan and Walters Charitable Foundation. In addition to numerous awards, she is a recipient of the honorary doctorate degree from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and is the 2017 recipient of the Massachusetts Public Health Association’s Lemuel Shattuck Award for contributions to the field of public health. To maintain her sanity, she plays guitar in a variety of local musical projects and venues. She confesses to a lively curiosity and a constant willingness to apologize for mistakes she is about to make.