To curate a panel of activists, wellness enthusiasts and creatives who strive to make a better world in their everyday work while creating a safe space that normalizes conversations about mental health & treatment
A Conversation with Kerby Jean-Raymond
For the third installment of #BeWell, Dr. Jess held the growing activation with fashion designer and founder of Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Raymond. Aiming to always highlight the movers and shakers using their platform to raise awareness towards social issues, the night was fullfilled with gems from Jean-Raymond, who dived into the complexies of being a black creative in a social climate that often attempts to diminish our dreams. In front of a sold out crowd at the Okay Space located in Brooklyn, NY, Jean-Raymond expressed the importance of self care & the steps towards healing that has cultivated him into one of the most revolutionary fashion designers of our time. "You can't be nothing to someone, if you're not something for yourself. We all need to take time out for ourselves so you can be/feel whole again, " said Jean-Raymond, whose designs have been worn by the likes of Rihanna, Yara Shahidi, Angela Rye, Kelly Rowland, and Tracee Ellis Ross to name a few.
Moreover, the safe environment created at Okay Space on behalf of Dr.Jess showcased the number of black men from all walks of life and their experiences. Far too often, the voices of black men are silenced and or minimized by ongoing oppression. Jean-Raymond reassured that black men have the freedom to cope with anxiety, stating: "There are so many ways to cope with stress than the dangerous ways we choose to cope as black men." Coming from an industry that's "polluted" and has exluded black people for decades, Kerby Jean-Raymond is on a mission to shift the narrative around black art, freedom and expression. After taking questions from a number of attendees, the night concluded with our annual affirmation sharing tradition.
A Conversation with Rapsody
As a series, Dr. Jess' #BeWell - A Conversation continues to highlight the many voices in and out of entertainment and culture, while addressing mental health awareness, and offering various solutions of love and self care. In the second episode of the series, Dr. Jess speaks with 2x Grammy nominee Rhapsody, who shares her thoughts on mental health, real experiences, and lessons she’s learned on on the road to becoming a prominent force in Hip Hop. Taking place in front of sold out crowd, Rapsody spoke directly to the heart of millennials on various topics including the current drug "epidemic" and the overall changing landscape of the entertainment industry.
"A lot of young kids deal with a lot of pain and think drugs will numb it. It won't numb it, " Rapsody shared, after responding to substance abuse and the death of her dear friend Mac Miller. “There was no new artist that Mac didn’t touch. It’s tragic because he was so powerful.” While a somber subject, Rapsody was able to navigate through the conversation, offering encouraging words and positivity to those who suffer with these challenges.
As it's Dr. Jess' mission to create a safe space for both the guest and attendees, the powerful session ends with the now #BeWell - A Conversation tradition of positive affirmation readings.
A Conversation with Neelam
Social media continues to be a resourceful tool for speaking truth to power. Aside from being an avenue for communities to connect and create, new forms of media in the age of digital activism demonstrate the need for real conversations. The #BeWell Conversation Series was created to highlight the esteemed men and women using their digital platforms to combat social issues that impact our everyday lives.
On August 24th, Dr. Jess held the first #BeWell activation with digital sensation and artist Neelam. Utilizing social media as a tool to showcase fashion, art and activism, Neelam has created a space dedicated to shifting the consciousness around Muslim women, showcasing a worldwide sisterhood and raising the bar with her rhymes. During her #BeWell conversation with Dr. Jess at Heal Haus in Brooklyn, NY, Neelam discussed the importance of being your authentic self, Black excellence, creating music, lyricism, and navigating religion. “I want my lyrics to reflect who I am, especially during a time where music is not saying much. Music is supposed to reflect the times + if you look back on what we’re seeing now, what are we talking about?”
Aiming to fulfill the purpose of serving others first, the night ended with attendees sharing positive affirmations --some selected and read by Neelam herself. Each author of the affirmation was gifted with a #BeWell gift bag and a word from Dr. Jess.