[All photos by Tony Valadez]
In December 2022, the Sozosei Foundation held its 3rd Summit to decriminalize mental illness.
The purpose of the Summit is to create a space where all working to decriminalize mental illness can come together to share new ideas, report on efforts in their own communities, foster and strengthen collaboration, and inspire one another to accelerate data-driven efforts to build a world where mental illness is not a crime. We were honored to have over 700 diverse participants from across the globe joining us in person and virtually.
Once again, the Summit was held at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), the nation’s first and oldest art museum and art school. Holding the Summit inside an art museum reminds us that creative practice – the process of imagination, trial and error, rehearsal, and production – is the undergirding of all strong social movements. The word Sozosei means creativity in Japanese and we believe that creativity must drive our efforts to decriminalize mental illness.
Overall, the 2022 Sozosei Summit provided a space for passionate and purpose-focused experts and advocates and those with lived experience to collaborate toward the shared goal of decriminalizing mental illness.
The event drew more than 700 attendees, offered a platform for over 50 speakers, and allowed time and space for our grantee partners to showcase their work.
The greatest takeaway from the Summit is that working together to create data-driven opportunities to increase access to mental health care in communities across the United States is essential to building a world where mental illness is not a crime.