Saturday, June 22, 2024

Mario, Blac Chyna, and Omarion Featured at the 2nd Annual I Love Myself Festival | PHOTOS

A large crowd was in attendance for the 2nd Annual I Love Myself Festival, Sunday, May 19, 2024

I Love Myself Festival flyer, Courtesy Photo
I Love Myself Festival flyer, Courtesy Photo

     *(Los Angeles, CA) – Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) kicked off its Take Action for Mental Health Los Angeles County campaign on May 1. The campaign includes nearly 190 countywide events hosted by grantees that will provide well-being, resilience, and connection. One of them is the I Love Myself Festival. More about it shortly.

     Through the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), nearly 70 local community-based organizations were granted funding to host 186 events throughout May which encourage people to Take Action on their mental health for themselves and others. You should love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39

     In a released statement from the Take Action Campaign: “One of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s strengths is our ability to partner with communities, and we are proud to work together to break down barriers to mental health and wellbeing throughout this important month,” said LACDMH Director, Dr. Lisa H. Wong.

     The release continued: “May is Mental Health Awareness Month is about creating opportunities for Los Angeles residents to increase knowledge, build capacity, foster empathy and care, and create a community of hope.”

     One of the local organizations involved in the Take Action campaign is Project Pit, an innovative partnership platform uniting artists, brands, and organizations to deliver events that intersect entertainment with social impact.

Mario: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Mario: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

     “In celebration of Mental Health Month, we are excited to produce our second annual I Love Myself Festival. This festival is about community togetherness, rich culture, and freedom of expression, celebrating support, and resource sharing.” Stated Carlton Roberts, Founder, of Project Pit.

     A large group was in attendance for the 2nd Annual I Love Myself Festival. The festival was held on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. The day focused on self-love and empowerment. The event featured workshops, performances, and activities on promoting self-care and self-acceptance.

     I Love Myself Festival is both a physical and digital event aimed at breaking down negative stereotypes associated with mental health by celebrating healing, community, freedom of expression, support, and resource sharing. Last year’s inaugural festival attracted over 3,000 attendees. Attendees at the 2nd Annual I Love Myself Festival experienced a day of good vibes, music, performances, vendors, wellness activities, and mental health resources.

     The festivities got underway with the garden stage with yoga, meditation, and workshops inside the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, The Bridge.

     The Main Stage was litPopular DJs had the crowd grooving in between performances. Los Angeles Sparks mascot Sparkie was dancing amongst the crowd. DJ Alysen James and DJ Wizz Kidd were onsite, laying down some eclectic tracks on the ones and twos. Neekko served as Emcee for the program.

DJ Wizz Kidd and DJ Alysen James: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
DJ Wizz Kidd and DJ Alysen James: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Sparkie: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Sparkie: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Neekko: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Neekko: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

     I arrived just in time to catch the brief sets of Garren, followed by Jason Cash. Marley Fletcher was the recipient of the Education is Key/Project Pit Scholarship. Ms. Fletcher will further her educational journey at Loyola University in Chicago. The scholarship was presented by Nicole “Neekko” Lindsey, Founder; of Education is Key, and Carlton Roberts, Founder, of Project Pit.

Garren: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Garren: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

     The inaugural I Love Myself Awards Ceremony honored influential and inspirational figures in the community.

      List of Honorees

Blavity- Media Light Award

Stephanie Ike Okafor (Pastor and Podcast Host) Faith Light Award

The Drew League- Sports Mindful Award

Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell- Political Light Award

House of Vibes & Wellness Nutrition- Community Fitness Award

A Team Foundation- Community Sports Award

Gina Views (Podcast Host) Health & Culture Award

Comedian Pretty Vee- Comedic Light Award

Omarion, (Chart-topping, multiplatinum-selling artist) Cultural Impact Award

Angela White, known as Blac Chyna, (Entrepreneur and TV Personality) – Transformation Award

Milli Moto accepted various awards on behalf of her niece Jhené Aiko, singer & songwriter. Hero of the Year Award, Certificate of Achievement, City of Los Angeles as well as a Proclamation presented by Edmund Ford, Jr., Vice President of Finance & Literacy at National Organization of Black County Officials. Milli Moto is CEO/Executive Director at the National Organization of Black County Officials.

Carlton Roberts, Stephanie Ike Okafor and Sparkie: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Carlton Roberts, Stephanie Ike Okafor and Sparkie: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

 

The Drew League: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
The Drew League: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and Naomi Riley: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell and Naomi Riley: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Omarion: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Omarion: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Omarion and Pretty Vee: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Omarion and Pretty Vee: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Carlton Roberts, Blac Chyna and Sparkie, with Dream Kardashian and King Cairo: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Carlton Roberts, Blac Chyna and Sparkie, with Dream Kardashian and King Cairo: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Milli Moto (center) accepts awards on behalf of her niece, Jhené Aiko: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Milli Moto (center) accepts awards on behalf of her niece, Jhené Aiko: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Community Organizations and Businesses: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Community Organizations and Businesses: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Influencers Honorees: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Influencers Honorees: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Influencers Honorees: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Influencers Honorees: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

     The program shifted into a higher gear with an entertaining set by Eric Bellinger and artists from All Wins Ent: Ashley Imani, SYX, Dom Belli, and Steven G, featuring DJ JB Minor on the ones and twos.

DJ JB Minor: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
DJ JB Minor: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Eric Bellinger: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Eric Bellinger: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Eric Bellinger: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Eric Bellinger: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Ashley Imani: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Ashley Imani: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dom Belli: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Dom Belli: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Steven G: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Steven G: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

     The festival concluded with an awe-inspiring performance by Grammy Award-nominated, multi-platinum R&B singer Mario. Mario delved into his catalog of hits to perform “Break Up,” “Crying Out for Me,” “How do I Breathe,” and “Let Me Love You,” to the delight of all in attendance.

Mario: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Mario: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Mario: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson
Mario: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

     The I Love Myself Festival takes place in May, during Mental Health Awareness Month in South Los Angeles. This festival primarily focuses on mental wellness, aiming to break down negative stereotypes associated with mental health by celebrating healing, community, freedom of expression, support, and resource sharing.

     Project Pit is an innovative partnership platform that unites artists, brands, and organizations to deliver large-scale consumer and public events. Our mission is to weave together the thrill of entertainment with the power of social impact. Together, we strive to create immersive experiences that not only entertain, but inspire, educate, and catalyze positive changes. Follow Project Pit on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

     For a complete list of remaining Take Action events for May, visit https://www.TakeActionLA.com/events.

     Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health encourages County residents to utilize the resources available through the department and its partners. To learn more about the resources visit http://www.dmh.lacounty.gov

Ricky Richardson is a Southern California-based writer, music reviewer, and photographer. contact him via: [email protected]         

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