Free Minds began as a USC student organization in the spring of 2012. Started by USC students Danny Lee and Patra Childress, Free Minds was devoted to raising awareness about mental and emotional illness in the college community through film. Disturbed by the overwhelming sense of silence and stigma in the college population on mental illness, Danny and Patra hoped to give students a chance to express their opinions and experiences with mental illness in an open, welcoming environment. Free Minds partnered with the USC Cinema School and the USC Counseling Center to educate the college community about the prevalence and complexity of mental illness through documentaries, short films, and artistic pieces. Free Minds has now expanded its scope beyond the college community as a non-profit organization to voice the experiences of people from all walks of life who have been affected by mental illness.
What we are about
We at Free Minds wish to act as a conduit for your voice. Our first project dedicated to this goal is called “Make it You.” This is a collection of your submissions that utilize any form of visual media to represent your mental health issues as you want them to be seen and understood. Little by little, submission by submission, we can reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. By uniting in this forum, we can begin to paint a picture that shows what mental illness truly is, from all perspectives and in all its complexities.
Executive Vice President