Mesa Program Recap: Hero Night and Body Image Discussion

By Bobby Beverly

6/28 was the beginning of the “Hero Series” in Mesa where we have been trying to get the youth to think about what is important in their world, what needs to be changed, and what they can do to help. The night’s activity was to create a “zine” collage which was a take on the underground publications that have been used to bring awareness to various social causes/activities. The youth had a free writing warm up where they thought about what justice meant to them and what their message to the world would be. They were then to use magazines, markers, and various art supplies to create their “zine” which provided a visual representation of what their message to the world would be. After sharing this with the group, as expected, we were presented with an array of messages; all deserving of being heard. Our hope in Mesa is that we can give them some of the tools to help make that happen!

On 7/5 Lora led a discussion on body image where the youth were asked to think about what they would and would not change about themselves. There were a few “aha” moments, including the realization that each of us could come up with numerous aspects of our appearance we would change, but when asked what we love about the way we look, quite a bit more deliberation was involved. We also noticed how easy it is to point out the beauty in a friend or loved one yet we have difficulty showing the same appreciation for ourselves. Why is that? We will continue to investigate this as our “Health and Wellness” series continues.

Looking ahead we will have themed nights ranging from a continuation of the “Gay Alphabet” conversation with Stacy Jay and a fun night of tee shirt designing for the “Prevention Summers” campaign. Hope to see you in Mesa!