Rev. Dana Mitchell (Salia) is an Associate Pastor in the Imani Temple International African American Catholic Congregation (AACC) and serves at its International Cathedral in Suitland, MD where she was ordained as a priest in 2016. She is also the International Director of Health and Wellness for the Imani Nation and currently serves on the Executive Committee for the DC Department of Health Places of Worship Advisory Board (POWAB).
Rev. Dana is a native Washingtonian who attended the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio and obtained a BA in Communications/Management in 1981. She was licensed in 1986 and later ordained as a Minister of Christ by True Deliverance Church of God in Capitol Heights, MD and served as the Pastor of Jesus Loves Me Church in Southeast Washington, DC. Health and wellness in mind, body and spirit has been the focus of her ministry.
While pastoring in the Southeast, DC community, Rev. Dana had the pleasure of serving as a Chaplain for DC General Hospital and the ADASA SHACK Clinic, a methadone maintenance program. In 1995 she joined the staff of Union Temple Baptist Church (UTBC) as an Associate Minister; became a certified Reiki II Practitioner and the first Prime Minister of Health for the Holistic Health Practitioner’s Alliance of the Washington Metropolitan Area. She established the UTBC Akoma Project in 1999 and served as its Director for eleven years. The Akoma Project provided HIV prevention and treatment services including mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling, medical case management, day treatment and pastoral care. Rev. Mitchell received the Swahili name, Salia Malaika Kama (the gentle kind and caring queen who is an angel of love) during a Kwanza Celebration at Union Temple in 2005 from Rev. Dr. Willie F. Wilson and the late Rev. Nana Kwesi Essel.
Rev. Salia’s daughter who volunteered as a Receptionist and provided Administrative Support at the Akoma Project between the ages 7 and 17 challenged her mother to find the money to provide much needed prevention services to youth in 2009. Consequently, Straight Talk on Preventing HIV (STOP HIV) was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health to serve teenage girls and the women in their families from 2009 to 2012.
After closing the doors of the Akoma Project in 2012, Rev. Salia co-founded Akoma Ntoaso Ministries with her daughter who became a Licensed Social Worker. Akoma Ntoaso Ministries helps people engage in health related behavior change and maintain a healthier lifestyle through health and wellness education, coaching, holistic therapies and pastoral care. They adapted Straight Talk to serve teenage boys as well and it continues to provide cross-generational prevention education designed to facilitate the development of effective communication about health and wellness between teenagers, their family, peers and the community.
In over thirty years of community service Rev. Dana Mitchell (Salia) has gained extensive experience through leadership roles in local churches, schools, businesses and community organizations. Her work in the development and implementation of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and HIV prevention and treatment services has made her an asset to the community. Her ministry has been the subject of several radio and television talk shows as well as newspaper and magazine articles.