Creative Advocacy Event 20172019-04-24T14:40:08-08:00

Celebrate with us!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! To celebrate, Young Minds will be hosting our 2nd Annual Creative Advocacy event to fight stigma and promote youth wellness.

Unmet mental health needs are one of the biggest challenges facing young people and their families today. In fact, 17.1 million youth in the U.S. have or will have a psychiatric disorder. That’s more than the number of youth suffering from cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. 2017 marks a critical moment and opportunity to reverse the tide and improve outcomes for the next generation. But we need your help!

Young Minds is a nonprofit based in San Francisco that breaks down barriers to quality mental health care for youth and families. Join us for a night of “Creative Advocacy” to kick off Mental Health Awareness Month in style.

Last year’s event brought together over 250 community members and featured over 100 pieces of youth art. We anticipate this year will be even more impactful!

Terms & Conditions

By submitting your piece, you declare your understanding and agreement of the following terms and conditions, which act as a contract between you and Young Minds Advocacy.

  • The submissions of a piece that contains ideas and/or materials that you have no legal right to use, including copyrighted images, sounds, and designs of others, is forbidden for this event.
  • Pieces are subject to review by Young Minds’ staff and all pieces submitted may not be displayed at the event.
  • Young Minds reserves the right to use submitted pieces and accompanying statements/descriptions on our website, in emails and newsletters, and on Young Minds’ blog.
  • If another person obtains an artist’s piece from Young Minds Advocacy (with or without Young Minds’ permission), and uses those designs or words in an unauthorized way, by the licenses granted under this agreement, the artists must seek amends or recovery from the third party and not from Young Minds Advocacy, and will not hold Young Minds Advocacy responsible or liable for such unauthorized use.
  • Artist agrees and understand that by submitting their work to Young Minds Advocacy, they are opting to receive future email announcements and notifications from Young Minds. If you would like to be removed from this email list, you may unsubscribe at anytime by clicking the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of the email.
  • Young Minds reserves the right to amend this agreement at any time.
Get Tickets!


Saturday, April 29th 2017 | 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Program will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m.

SOMArts Cultural Center | 934 Brannan Street

Paid public parking is available across the street at Standard Parking


Don’t miss out on any of the exciting happenings at our 2nd Annual Creative Advocacy Event:

Advocacy Awards:
We will be honoring youth and adult leaders who have inspired us with their work and who have made a difference in the lives of youth with mental health needs.

Youth Art:
Art submitted by Bay Area youth around mental wellness and advocacy will be on display. If you’re a youth, age 15-24, and interested in submitting your art for exhibition at the event, visit here to learn more. 

There will also be live music, a photo booth, a raffle, food and drinks for attendees to enjoy!

2017 Creative Advocacy Awardees

Mental Health Champion Award

Toni Heineman
Founder and Senior Advisor, A Home Within

Toni is the founder of A Home Within and now serves as senior advisor after fifteen years as executive director. She is Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, in Psychiatry and has been in private practice in San Francisco, working with adults, children, and families for over 35 years. Dr. Heineman consults with individuals and organizations. She is the author of several articles focused on psychotherapy with children and has made numerous presentations to lay and professional audiences about the mental health issues facing children and parents.

She is author of:  An Abused Child: Psychodynamic Understanding and Treatment, and Relational Treatment of Trauma: Stories of Loss and Hope and Co-Editor of Building A Home Within: Meeting the Emotional Needs of Children and Youth in Foster Care, and Treating Trauma: Relationship-Based Psychotherapy with Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults.

Community Catalyst Award

Jamie Lee Evans
California Youth Connection, Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project, Foster Youth Museum

An award-winning youth leadership development advocate, Jamie Lee Evans grew up in the streets of Los Angeles, in and out of foster care and is the founder of Foster Youth Museum.

In 2001, she began the Y.O.U.T.H. Training Project, teaching transition-age foster youth to write and deliver curricula to child welfare professionals. Prior to her work with foster youth, Evans created public school programming for youth to combat sexual assault; was Marketing Director for Aunt Lute Books, and an editorial support to NEA recipient Gloria Anzaldúa.

Evans is the founder of a number of compelling programs, including: Youth In Mind (youth mental health advocacy organization), Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration and Foster Youth Cultural Exchange which supports international engagement and travel of US foster youth.

Evans holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from University of California at Santa Cruz and a Master of Social Work from San Francisco State University.

Generation Bold/Young Leader Award

Nadia Ghaffari
Founder, TeenzTalk

Nadia is a junior at Los Altos High School with a passion for empowering children and teenagers. She is the founder of the nonprofit organization and the author of the children’s book Growing a Brain: A Journey of Resiliency Starting in the Classroom. Nadia was inspired to start a peer movement in order to build a community of compassionate teens and mental health activists who prioritize wellness, after her own experience with aiding in the prevention of a close friend’s potential suicide. Over the past year, she has lead a team of 20 teens from around the world and worked closely with them on various initiatives and campaigns for She loves interacting with people – especially her peers – and hearing their diverse stories. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three younger siblings, playing the piano, and competing in tennis tournaments.

Young Leader Award

Tisha Ortiz
Foster Youth Advocate, National Center for Youth Law

Tisha Ortiz is a 24-year-old foster care alumni currently attending CSU East Bay in Hayward, CA and is anticipating graduating in Spring 2018 and attending Law School in Fall 2018. Since February 2014 Tisha has been working with the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) on their Psych Meds Team Campaign trying to improve quality mental health services and reducing the overmedication of foster youth and has helped pass laws to improve the mental health system for current foster care children. Tisha also works with the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) on their Youth Advisory Committee and brings awareness about trauma, the foster care system, and talks about what can be done to help youth in the foster system thrive. Also, Tisha serves as a Board Member of Phenomenal Families a program that provides youth in foster care & juvenile probation with resources and supports that promote healthy relationships & positive parenting skills and Renaissance Scholars at CSU East Bay that works with former or current foster youth attain a college degree. Tisha hopes that current foster youth will have trauma informed and evidenced based mental health services so they can thrive and succeed beyond foster care.

Young Leader Award

Tristin Severns 
Youth Advisory Board Member, HCTAYC

Tristin Severns, 20, is an Indigenous Person of Humboldt County and a member of the Yurok Nation. He identifies as a survivor of generational trauma and genocide and believes in advocating for himself and his people to end the cycles of systematic abuse plaguing his people in the forms of violence, neglect, addiction, trauma, and erasure of Indigenous Identities. Tristin believes that voicing the lived experience of native people and bringing awareness to their struggles, we can help heal the wounds brought by colonization. He believes that tradition, ceremony, cultural practice, humor, and connection are ways to heal. He is a part of the Humboldt County Transition Age Youth Collaboration (HCTAYC) Youth Advisory Board and enjoys connecting with his peers and other cultures that have a part of his community.


A limited number of scholarships are available to cover the cost of admission for youth, youth organizations, and other community members with limited resources. To request a scholarship, please visit here.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please review our sponsorship invite or email Annabelle Gardner, Director of Communications & Development, at All funds raised at the event will help support Young Minds’ work to improve outcomes for youth with mental health needs in California and throughout the West. Donations are tax-deductible to the furthest extent allowed by law.

If you are unable to attend the event but wish to make a donation, please click here.


Community Partners

We need your help to change attitudes about mental illness & improve the lives of youth.

Get Involved!