Fountain House frontline staff are true essential workers. They are owed an enormous debt of gratitude in the best of times, but particularly at the current time. Our values as an organization are centered around our thriving members and staff – along with their relentless self-determination. Therefore, we are in support of our staff in this effort, which aligns with those values.
The winning slogan for our current presidential election could well be “it’s mental health, stupid.” Why? Because the mental health impacts of COVID-19 are likely to outlast the virus itself and to be a defining theme of the next four years and more.
Fountain House presents The ROAR Journal: Empowering Voices for Social Practice and Innovation - an international publication created in partnership with the worldwide, clubhouse community to further define, discuss and innovate the field of Social Practice.
The Fountain House community mourns the passing of Henry van Ameringen - fearless friend, leader and advocate for people living with mental illness. Henry dedicated more than half a century of leadership to Fountain House as a member of our Board of Directors and devoted his life to supporting HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ rights, and mental health issues.
Fountain House has a 72-year history of advancing and advocating for rights and for inclusion of people living with mental illness. This is the next step on the journey toward full civic inclusion and civil rights for our community and for the wider world. We cannot build a world in which the marginalized and overlooked are regarded with dignity and respect and receive equal rights, if we are also not addressing underlying racism and injustice at the core of inequity in our society and in our organization. So, together, in the coming weeks and months, we will discover what it means to transform our community and to create a new culture of inclusion at Fountain House. I look forward to engaging you all in this essential work.
Davida Kilgore is a Retired Therapist, Writer, Artist, and Fountain House Member. She is the award-winning author of two short story collections, the editor of a book of poetry written by African American children, ages 5-13, who she taught in afterschool programs, and has had three children's musicals produced. Below is "Chapter 1: Paris on the One," an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, The Myth Makers - a fictional representation of the two years she lived in Paris with the Black American underground.
Fountain House Member, Judy, shares her experience with the new, Virtual Clubhouse.
My name is Chiquita Williams and I am a member of the education unit. For the last 26 years, I have led social justice initiatives at a variety of organizations. Currently, I lead African American cultural programming at Fountain House. I have used my position to advocate for racial justice within the Clubhouse on multiple occasions. Today, I still have more to say.
To the Fountain House and Clubhouse community, especially to those who identify as Black, I and we stand with you. We are here for you, whenever and whatever you may need, and we know that "it’s ok to not be ok”. We stand at your side and at your back to support you and please don’t hesitate to reach out. To our donors and friends, thank you for your support. I know that the explicit public and active stance we have taken in response to these tragedies is not one that is necessarily familiar to Fountain House. But I think it is in keeping with our essential core mission to affirm and achieve dignity and inclusion for marginalized people. This is just the beginning of a conversation I look forward to having with you as we embark on a journey to become a more equitable and just organization.