Valarie Cunningham is transformational thinker and visionary leader. She is the founder and CEO of The Synergy Health Center (SHC) for the past 20 years. The Synergy Health Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform lives through mental health, substance abuse and support services with particular attention to African Americans. In 2019, the first inaugural Breaking the Stigma: African Mental Health Symposium was launched in Kalamazoo County, impacting over 250 individuals including residents, professional, clergy and more. This event is hosted annually and has reached over six hundred community members in the past 3 years. Her passion for African American Mental Health has opened many doors to advocate, educate and empower Black and Brown communities. As of late, she will be working to break systemic barriers as it relates to Black and Brown adolescent mental health by training them to be Mind Health Ambassadors in their school, community, and youth lead organizations. As of 2023, she continues move the needle in destigmatizing not only mental health but overall health through the launching of BlackWellness Network, a network of Black and Brown wellness providers aimed at bridging the gap, breaking stigmas, and building stronger black and brown communities.
Valarie has led five Mission trips to Kenya over the last 8 years to build village homes, schools, places of worship, helping to secure clean drinking water and build sustainable gardens to end food insecurities, she has also traveled to Nigeria to immerse herself in the culture and traditions of the "Giant of Africa".