That’s a wrap! Highlights from Creative Advocacy 2018

That’s a wrap! Highlights from Creative Advocacy 2018

Our 3rd annual Creative Advocacy, on April 28 2018, brought together YMA staff, friends, families, colleagues and allies for an inspirational night of community and celebration. We left feeling re-engerized in our advocacy work and fortunate for the incredible community we’ve created. Here are a few of our favorite moments and snapshots from the event.

Our five incredible awardees brought down the house with their acceptance speeches. Sam, Calla, Laura, Kijafa and John told the audience powerful stories of how each of their experiences have informed and inspired their advocacy work, each speaker offering a unique perspective. We want to thank our awardees again for contributing their spirit and brilliance to our event and to the YMA community.


Thanks to the efforts of our staff and volunteers, our wonderful volunteer curator Monet Oganesian, and artists from all over California, we displayed many powerful and evocative art pieces in our 2018 gallery. We’ve received meaningful feedback from many of our attendees about these pieces and the stories that accompanied them, and we thank these artists for bravely sharing their truths with us. We especially want to thank our main art contributors: @dolescent, Youth Speaks Out, Abilities United, PEERS, the U.C. Davis Mental Health Initiative, and the Foster Youth Museum.



We enjoyed yummy food, desserts contributed by Bi-Rite, beer contributed by Fort Point, and live music from the Jake Wichman Band. We also sent a few folks home with some pretty awesome raffle prizes, including a jewelry set contributed by Mikal Winn and a wall hanging, handmade by Catherine Ajmani.


Most importantly, we celebrated the amazing spirit of advocacy and change-making with all of our favorite people, including our friends, families, community members, volunteers, sponsors, supporters, and awardees. To all of our attendees, thank you for contributing your presence and giving us the platform to share our work with you — it means the world to us.




Each year’s Creative Advocacy event gives us the chance to see how much our community has grown, and we were excited to see many new faces this year. As we form new relationships and take on new initiatives in our work, we encourage you to stay involved with YMA. You can do this by signing up to follow our newsletter and blog, making a donation, or reaching out to us about opportunities for volunteering and participation. We are always looking for ways to get our community involved with our work, so please do not hesitate to contact us! We would love to hear from you.

Thank you for being a part of our community. We’ll see you soon!

The YMA team

About the Author:

Helen Mylod Yee
Helen Mylod Yee, YMA’s 2018 intern, grew up in the Bay Area and completed her undergraduate career at UC Davis. Helen’s advocacy journey began in college, when she sought an outlet for the mental health challenges she was experiencing. She took a position on her campus chapter of Active Minds, a national mental health advocacy organization, and immediately found a sense of relief in community-building and engagement around wellness. Helen’s favorite part of mental health advocacy work is that it allows her to share her story, and she aspires to help others find the same sense of freedom she has gained through this experience. Helen joined the YMA team in hopes of continuing her advocacy work and helping put an end to the harmful stigma that surrounds mental illness.