A Time for Reflection and Action

June 1, 2020

Dear ABMF Supporters,

One week ago I planned to send a celebratory update on our inaugural grantmaking cycle. Instead, today I feel it is necessary to address our nation’s current state of affairs.

The past week was difficult for many people around the world as we bore the weight of seeing another unarmed Black American man killed by the police. To protect my mental health, I did my best to limit news intake but, on Thursday night the shared outrage from many friends hit me hard. Some felt as I did—through the lens of a Black American—while others, through their self-acknowledged lens of white privilege, called for and in several cases took immediate action to demonstrate their stance as allies in the movement for justice. Their outrage and action illustrated the true meaning of being “woke” and it lifted my spirit. But still, I have toggled between pure exhaustion and bubbling anger. And then I learned why.

Trauma of any duration, whether brief or ongoing without a clear ending like the current coronavirus pandemic, can have a life-long impact on one’s mental health. For Black Americans, the events in MinneapolisLouisvilleNew YorkFergusonBrunswickFort Worth, SanfordLos Angeles

Falcon Heights, and my hometown of Teaneck, NJ are examples of some of the traumas that repeat throughout our lives. The murder of unarmed Black people is a generations-old, recurring national tragedy that deeply disrupts the mental health of one specific group of people; as you know, the fallout impacts the well-being of everyone.

This is why A Beautiful Mind Foundation exists.

We all know the need for culturally-specific mental health services in communities of color is great but, as the leaders of a nonprofit organization with less than one year in operation, the Board and I were in no way prepared for the response we received to our mission: 63 applications from groups in 19 states and Washington DC for a total ask of $70,000.

The past week’s events demonstrate mental health support in communities of color is greater now than ever. In light of our four canceled spring fundraisers, we are asking early donors and new supporters to help us fund as many qualified applicants as possible. Donate by Friday, June 19th, and 100% of your donation will help fund our spring 2020 grants. Donations can be made online or by mailing a check.

Friends, if you would like to discuss any part of this message, please contact me at info@ABeautifulMind.Foundation. I am happy to engage in a conversation of understanding, empathy, and love in support of our ongoing good mental health and well-being.

With deep gratitude, I thank you for your support of the ABMF mission.

Adrienne Augustus, MPA
Founder, A Beautiful Mind Foundation, Inc.