Skip to content

21 Exclusive: ‘It’s Okay Knot To Be Okay’ Gala: Breaking Barriers in Mental Health Hosted By Anthony Anderson


Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

By Tiffany Johnson

Level21 was on the green carpet for a powerful display of unity and commitment, the ‘It’s Okay Knot To Be Okay’ Black Tie & Sneaker Gala, organized by ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES FOUNDATION, INC, in collaboration with NFL Pro Lamar Jackson and Lamar Jackson Entertainment, took center stage at The Anthem in Washington, DC. The event, held on Saturday, May 13, 2023, brought together influencers, celebrities, and change-makers from various fields to advocate for mental health awareness and challenge the stigma associated with mental health.

The gala, an immersive and transformative experience, aimed to change the narrative surrounding mental health and inspire open conversations about the struggles individuals face. In full African Garb entered the esteemed Journalist and Media commentator Roland Martin, whose presence added an extra layer of significance to the evening.

Photography By Level21

From the moment attendees graced the VIP Red Carpet reception, it was clear that this was an extraordinary affair. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement and anticipation as guests were treated to a light fare menu and expertly crafted cocktails, setting the stage for an unforgettable night.

Stepping into the role of host was the talented Comedian & Actor Anthony Anderson, renowned for his roles in ‘BLACK-ISH’ and ‘Law & Order.’ Anderson’s wit and charisma infused the evening with laughter and warmth, creating an environment that fostered meaningful connections and conversations.

The event’s centerpiece was undoubtedly the series of captivating live musical performances by national recording artists. Songstress ‘Tweet,’ Grammy Award-winning Violinist ‘Miri Ben Ari,’ and Harpist ‘Tulani,’ accompanied by house band ‘Push Play,’ mesmerized the audience with their extraordinary talents. Their performances underscored the power of music as a source of healing and unity.

Artistic displays took center stage as well, adding an extra layer of awe-inspiring entertainment. An incredible aerial performance left attendees in awe of the human body’s grace and strength. A ballroom boxing exhibition by IOKTBO Founder Joe ‘Alley Cat’ Diggs and 2x Middle Weight Boxing Champion Keith Holmes demonstrated the resilience and determination needed to overcome life’s challenges.

Photography By Level21

Renowned Journalist Roland Martin’s participation in the intimate fireside chat titled “Let’s Talk About It” elevated the event to new heights. Moderated by Mayor of Glenarden MD, Cashenna Cross, the panel discussion explored the complexities of mental health with compassion and authenticity. The panelists, including Talk Show Host Terri Long, World Champion Keith Holmes, Tweet, Virginia Tech Victim Foundation Founder Joe Samara, Dr. Eva Trent, Dr. Chandra Reynolds, and Charlene Hayling-Williams, shared personal stories and expert insights, igniting a sense of empathy and understanding within the audience.

Photography By Level21

Throughout the evening, three moderated segments delved into vital mental health verticals such as PTSD, Suicide, Depression, Anxiety, and Addiction. Thematic speakers engaged the audience in thought-provoking discussions, fireside chats deepened understanding, and awards were presented to mental health organizations, municipal supporters, sponsors, and medical service providers.

Photography By The Content Complex @thecontentcomplex

The ‘It’s Okay Knot To Be Okay’ Gala achieved its goal of breaking barriers in mental health awareness. ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES FOUNDATION’s commitment to promoting open dialogue and supporting mental health organizations, foundations, non-profits, and practitioners was evident throughout the event. By providing a platform for individuals to share their lived experiences, the foundation aims to destigmatize mental health issues and drive significant cultural, political, and policy changes.

Leave a Comment