In today’s episode:
Get ready to go DEEP in this episode. Empaths, I am talking to you. Julius Boatwright is the CEO of Steel Smiling, an organization that bridges the gap between community members and mental health support through education, advocacy and awareness.
Beams to Bridges is Steel Smiling’s flagship program that launched in September 2019 that empowers black community members in the Hilltop neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, PA to become mental health champions. The demand that they had for the program far exceeded their expectations.
In this episode we discuss spirituality, relationships, the emotional state of mental health advocates and how Julius began doing this important work. He tells us about his challenges regarding separating the work from his mental and physical self. We speak about difficulties and gaps in non-profit programs from funding to capacity building to the lack of quality time to work with clients. He shares his own struggles with depression and anxiety and one very tragic reason that he was called to this mission. Julius shares his raw, authentic take on how he works to live outside of a victim mentality and what it means to be a “savior” and a “founder”. What does it look like to remove ego from your work, and what can we activate in others by letting go of total control and ownership?
We discuss how you can’t evaluate and measure all that a non-profit has to offer, and we lament the current systems.
Check out Julius’ advocacy for mental health in the black community here: post-gazette.com
Find Julius at
Laura Rock With a background in software and sales and marketing, Empower by Example host Laura Rock found that those skills did not translate easily to being a stay at home mom of two little kids. She tried network marketing, writing a blog and volunteering, but those endeavors did not fulfill her part time. In 2017 Laura founded The Rock Family Foundation to serve young women of color who are exiting foster care and other county run services. Going from for-profit sales to non-profit management was a huge switch, and Laura found ways to pull in the strategies and benchmarks from her past career into the private foundation. With an emphasis on collaboration and synergy The Rock Family Foundation attempts to build relationships between traditional funders and unconventional programming. And a central awareness campaign focusing on nonprofit leaders in urban PA became important to showcase those relationships, as did telling the stories of the young women transitioning to the next phases of their lives.
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