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Sparkman-Key Will Deliver TEDx Talk on Black Adolescent Suicide

By Betsy Hnath

Narketta Sparkman-Key, associate professor and assistant chair of counseling and human services at Old Dominion University, will discuss mental health and black adolescent suicide during a TEDx talk on Jan. 18 at the Ritenhour Road auditorium in St. Louis, Mo.

TEDx talks - which typically take a more community-based focus and are independently organized compared to globally approached TED talks - are 18 minutes and follow a simple guideline: "an idea worth spreading."

TEDxRitenourRoad's theme is "Speak Up," which resonated with Sparkman-Key. She will share her views on how black parents are the essential ingredient to reducing suicide among black youth.

"Black youth suicide is at an all-time high, exceeding white youth similar in age," she said. "There is a need to build parental awareness and encourage parents to be more active in suicide prevention efforts within urban communities."

Sparkman-Key is an expert in self-esteem development, adolescent suicide and an award-winning international speaker.

Already this year Sparkman-Key was nominated by the Urban League of Hampton Roads as a Community Leader in Education and by the YWCA of South Hampton Roads as a Woman of Distinction in Research and the Sciences. In 2016 she was named an Inside Business Top 40 Under 40 and received the President Broderick Award for Diversity and Inclusion.

Sparkman-Key also has received the Darden College of Education Community Service Award and the Kate Broderick Educational Accessibility Award.

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