A Year of BTWF Talks!

November 10, 2020
This story took place in United States

This year, Born This Way Foundation held several BTWF talks that explored kindness, mental health, and advocacy across communities. Check them out below and we invite you to join the conversation by sharing what you’re doing to build a kinder and braver world on social media using #ChannelKindness!

Our Mitu Yilma speaks with Creator Taylor Cassidy, Channel Kindness Alum + Mental Health Advocate Perri Easley, Social Media Manager + Therapist-in-Training Colleen Werner, and Vote 2000’s Nupol Kiazolu about what inspires their work, why social media is a powerful organizing tool for change, and tips and resources for how everyone can use their social media platforms to create positive change, too.


BTWF Talks/ Kindness Is Action
Our Maya Smith speaks with Chia Obilo (Black Girls Vote), Mike Minks (Youth Service America), and Andy Bernstein (Head Count) about the intersection of kindness to ourselves and our communities with civic engagement and service.


BTWF Talks/ How to Be There For Your People
Our Alex Aide speaks with National Queer + Trans Therapists of Color Network’s Erica Woodland, Performer + Mental Health Advocate Shannon Barry, The Confess Project’s Lorenzo Lewis, Therapist + Decolonizing Therapy’s Dr. Jennifer Mullan, and Trauma Therapist Natalie Gutierrez for a conversation on how to support your community while protecting your own wellness.


BTWF Talks/ Mental Health Awareness in the LGBTQ+ Community
Our Alex Aide speaks with programmer + Channel Kindness Author Ash Lopez, creator + genderqueer icon Brendan Jordan, and performer + advocate Nina West about mental health awareness in the LGBTQ+ community.



The Power of Self-Care and Self-Expression
Our Taylor Parker + Emma Carroll host a conversation with The Chain co-founder Christina Grasso, actor and performer SHANGELA, Talkspace therapist Jill E Daino, and HAUS LABORATORIES Assistant Manager of Influencer Marketing Beth Anderson about the depth of self-care, self-preservation, and how we can take care of our mental wellbeing using self-expression on a daily basis.


BTWF Talks/ Mental Health Awareness in the Black Community
Our Mitu Yilma speaks with notOK App co-founders Hannah and Charlie, Refinery29’s Laurise McMillian, producer and performer Kalen Allen, + Talkspace Therapist Dr. Reshawna Chapple on mental health awareness in the Black community and acknowledging the stressors that Black folks face as a result of structural racism and white supremacy.


BTWF Talks/ Mental Health Awareness in Latinx Communities
Our Shadille Estepan speaks with Therapy for Latinx’s Brandie Carlos, mental health expert Dr. Mariel Buque, + youth mental health advocates Greisy Hernandez and Annelise Estepan about mental health awareness in the Latinx community, as well as the intersection between mental health, kindness, trauma, and resilience.


BTWF Talks/ Mental Health in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Communities
Jasmine Moniz, former Program Associate for Born This Way Foundation, hosts a conversation with Channel Kindness Reporter Elissa Lee, AsianBossGirl’s Helen Wu, and mental health expert Andrew Subica on Mental Health in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, covering topics like cultural values, the connection of mind and body, and the need for additional mental health resources and discussions in the AAPI communities.


Town Hall | Olivia Seltzer
The Cramm founder Olivia Seltzer joins our Maya Smith for a special Instagram LIVE on what inspired her to start the youth-led newsletter, how she’s taking care of her mental health during these times, and any advice she has for other young people navigating the stressors of this pandemic.


Town Hall | Bassey Ipki
Mental health advocate and author, Bassey Ikpi, joins our Maya Smith for a special Instagram LIVE where she shares more about her new book, advice she would give someone who wants to bear witness and take action during this time, and how she takes care of her own mental health.


Town Hall | Rani DeMesme-Anders, Los Angeles LGBTQ Center
Rani DeMesme-Anders from the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center joins our Maya Smith for a Pride Month conversation on the barriers to mental health care for those in the LGBTQ+ community, how her team is addressing the needs of the most vulnerable populations, and how service in times of crisis is in of itself an act of radical kindness.


Town Hall | Austin Ruiz, Montrose Center
Austin Ruiz from the Montrose Center joins our Maya Smith to discuss the transitions to telehealth services as a result of COVID-19 and how it’s helped reach young people who are unable to connect with a therapist in-person.


Town Hall | Alison Johnson, Resource Center
Alison Johnson from Resource Center joins our Maya Smith for a conversation on how they’re communicating and sharing resources with their communities, and tips on how organizations can best support their youth during these times from their work with Your Youth First program.


Town Hall | AJ Holly Huth, The LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada
AJ Holly Huth from The LGBTQ Center of Southern Nevada and our Maya Smith talk about how organizations need to have a holistic approach when caring for LGBTQ youth and how they can help guardians best support their children.


Town Hall | Cynthia Catchings, Therapist
Talkspace therapist Cynthia Catchings joins our Maya Smith to talk about how she and her colleagues are working to increase the accessibility of therapy and eliminate stigma, and how young people can find support during this time.


Town Hall | Jesse Hayman
Vice president of Jack.org, Jesse Hayman joins our Maya Smith for a special Instagram LIVE where he shares about the BeThere.org resource and tells people what they can expect when they join the #BeKindBeThere conversation. He also touches on his journey into the mental health field and shares advice for people who are navigating loss, uncertainty, and pain right now while also trying to do work in service to the world.


#TeaWithMrsG​ | CHANNEL KINDNESS Youth Authors
#TeaWithMrsG conversation featuring BTWF Writer + Program Intern Emma Carroll, Artist + Singer Josh Greenblatt, Channel Kindness Reporter Alum Rose Nguyen, and CEO of Love Your Natural Self Foundation Sanah Jivani.


#TeaWithMrsG​ | Live Conversation
Join Cynthia Germanotta and notOK App’s Hannah + Charlie Lucas, Mental Health Advocate Allison Kurtz, Girl Up Alum Angela Zhang, Center for Native American Youth’s Mikah Carlos, and Advocate Max Keeping for today’s live conversation. We’ll learn about what inspires their work, how they’re building a better world, and what advice they have for others who wish to do the same but may not know where to start.


#TeaWithMrsG​ | President of the New York Academy of Medicine, Dr. Salerno
President of the New York Academy of Medicine, Dr. Judith “Judy” Salerno joins Cynthia for a #TeaWithMrsG conversation about kindness in the health care system, how she supports families, and a special note to mothers and mother figures working the front lines during this global pandemic. Judy is a mother of three who most recently, came out of clinical retirement to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. She works as a liaison between medical providers and families of patients with the disease at one of the largest public hospitals in New York City.


BTWF Talks/ | Mental Health + Pride in the LGBTQ+ Community
Our Josh Meredith is joined by Ali Forney’s Alex Roque, Talkspace’s Dr. Rachel O’Neill, Drag Artist Junior Mintt, Organizer Skye Adrian, and Resource Center’s Atticus Sandlin for a conversation on mental health in the LGBTQ+ community, covering topics such as self-love and self-understanding, as well as the need for mental health resources in a community that is negatively affected by the disproportionate and inequitable allocation of healthcare in America.


Be Kind Be There | In Conversation
Our Cynthia Germanotta introduces a conversation between our Maya Smith and Jack.org’s Jesse Hayman on our #BeKindBeThere initiative with Jack.org, which aims to highlight Jack.org’s life-saving BeThere.org tool.

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