The Black Emotional & Mental Health Collective — known as BEAM — has launched a new public art campaign in New York City called “Dear Black Folks.” Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month, the campaign utilizes affirmations tailored to speak to the Black experience.
On each of the “Dear Black Folks” affirmation billboards, there are QR codes alongside the affirmation that brings readers to a directory of resources such as mental health services, events, and wellness tools. It is the hope that these resources will be of aid to those beginning mental health journeys or that they may help encourage healthier regimens.
What is most impactful about this campaign is that it not only has the goal to uplift those within the community, but can encourage and dismantle the stigma surrounding broader conversations about mental health in everyday life.
“We know that public art can help save lives. We also know that public spaces are spaces where Black bodies and lives are so consistently undervalued and denigrated. We wanted to disrupt that energy by sharing loving affirmations for our folks that shift narratives on our worth, our power, and the narratives pushed upon us,” shared Yolo Akili Robinson, Executive Director and Founder of BEAM. He continued, “Mental health is not just about the individual; our collective mental health is impacted by the cultural narratives about who we should love and how we should be loved. This campaign was designed to counter those messages by centering love for all of our folks, regardless of our ability, gender identity, or productivity. They are messages rooted in healing justice.”
Read more at Ebony.com.