What Comes After #BlackOutTuesday?

The irony of yesterday’s social media initiative for the blackout, is that it coincided w the end of MH Awareness Month. In both cases – tho not the same social “cause” – people did things bc they were told to/encouraged/watching others, for a set period of time. Or…even w the best intentions they did it bc it was the right thing & what they felt in their hearts…but again, for a set period of time.

For so long in the MH space now, we’ve had days, wks, even months that’ve been dedicated to awareness campaigns.  1) I’m not sure the msgs have always been the most on-point (verbiage, tone, inclusivity) to move the convo fwd, but 2)…perhaps more importantly…they were contained to just those time periods where folks were encouraged to share.

So why the irony of the timing of the blackout relative to the end of MH awareness month? I think that in both cases, it’s nice to see the unity & a coming together of many ppl, but in both cases it’s FAR from enough. What’s Next? That’s the most impt question now.

This is just one guy’s/organization’s opinion, but we can’t let these two social topics (which also intersect) be limited to campaigns nor specific days/wks/months.  This needs to be an on-going convo, done in a very public way.

Convos about tone, msgs, vantage points – THESE are the things that are so impt to actually effect change.  What good is a campaign if it’s set to a specific time period? What good is a campaign if it’s not the right verbiage or msg…or if we don’t understand one another.

I may talk at nauseam abt the diff btwn #1in5 vs #5in5 or the diff btwn #Stop Stigma vs #SameHere…but I/we do it bc campaigns don’t get us far, if the msgs aren’t on point & if convo doesn’t continue.

This is why I’m excited to say that this coming month (& beyond), I’m inviting friends of color – some advocates, some athletes, some everyday ppl (some tagged ;), to have Live convos, here & on Fbook, so we can bring our communities together, ask the hard questions of each other, better understand one another, & create msging that lives on (not just for a day/wk/month), but always.  That’s what we need next!

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