Take It to the Streets: A Message from Nancy Carter

Nancy Carter is a founder and current Executive Director of NAMI Urban Los Angeles, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of NAMI National.

Last Sunday I prayed. Next Tuesday I vote. Join me, encourage other NAMI members, send e-mails to all your friends. Take people to their polling places. Do whatever you can to make a difference. Let us use this time in history to end stigma and discrimination of individuals with mental illness by being heard.

On Sunday, January 20th, fifty battle-weary family members and consumers from NAMI Urban Los Angeles held a candlelight prayer vigil in front of the Twin Towers Jail—the largest “psychiatric” facility in the nation—to protest the criminalization of persons with mental illness in communities of color. Every day, over 1,200 people with mental illness are housed in this correctional facility. Here and across the country, our loved ones are incarcerated rather than receiving the treatment they so desperately need.

Things must change! It’s up to us to create that change by taking to the streets in this election year and demanding that our officials be held accountable for the plight of our loved ones.  Super Tuesday is around the corner. Let our voices be heard at the ballot box. We hold the power! It’s time we used it.



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