Spoken Word and Advocacy charge up Young Burlington Youth!
Words That Inspire Us
Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.
Get Lit and The Painted Brain burst onto the scene in February 2016 at WORKS’ Young Burlington housing development in the Pico Union neighborhood of Los Angeles, getting our millennial residents charged up to write and perform and to advocate for a world free of the stigma that surrounds mental health.
Residents at Young Burlington are Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) – young people aged 18 to 25 who’ve faced homelessness and/or mental health challenges. At Young Burlington, each young person has his or her own apartment and staff is committed to assisting them to build strong futures. Through a collaboration with Housing Works which provides case management and supportive counseling, each young resident has the opportunity to take advantage of the services they need to realize their own goals – whether that involves getting a GED, going to college, getting a job, developing a career, achieving financial stability or even starting a business.
And now, through an innovative pilot program sponsored by the Department of Mental Health, two nonprofits are helping them find and amplify their voices – as artists and as advocates. Get Lit will work with Young Burlington residents and neighbors to find their voices in written journaling and spoken word performances in the evenings. Two brave young people, Malik and Alexis, performed on the first night – fired up by the amazing Marquesha Babers – a visiting artist from Get Lit who is herself a former TAY. Check out Marquesha’s story on at http://getlit.org/.
The Painted Brain works to break the cycle of stigma around mental health by creating and growing a stigma free community of artists, scholars, and mental health activists. Through their internship programs, outreach programs, their community center in the Mid-Wilshire district of downtown LA, and programs such as the Academy, they cultivate a new generation of millenial, tech savvy advocates for mental health, not bound or constrained by the destructive dogma of stigma, who have a vision, are committed to self-development, and interested in shaping a better world by imagining a world that works for people with mental illness as a world that works for all. You can find more out about The Painted Brain at www.paintedbrain.org .
The pilot program will run for 12 weeks. The sparks of inspiration will get brighter and brighter and the sound of authentic voices will get louder and louder – shining a light on the talents and lives of the young people at Young Burlington.
Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015