A while back, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anthony J. Thomas, who became well known for his art work and his personal blog under the name The BedStuy Dandy. Since then, the Bedford Stuyvesant native has been up to bigger and better things, starting with the launch of his first non-profit organization: Chapter Of Understanding (C.O.U). Inspired by his personal life traumas and the stories of similar situations from those around him, Anthony felt compelled to give back to the youth by creating an outlet for them to seek help when they are in dire times. Chapter Of Understanding caters to the prevention of self-harm and mental abuse towards oneself with the universal reminder that there will always be a brighter day ahead.
This organization is completely grass-roots, and that is what makes it special. Anthony is a young adult with a self-less goal of helping others, and we here at Brooklyn Buzz commend and acknowledge his courage to bring to light the prevalence of suicide in teens and young adults and why we should heed the warning signals and ask for help when it is needed.
Check out this excerpt of Anthony explaining what C.O.U is to Brooklyn Buzz and what his role consists of below. Also, make sure to follow Chapter Of Understanding on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and stay tuned for part 2 where we will show you C.O.U’s first informational video!
-Pia Fergus (@createdbypia)
“Chapter of Understanding is an alternative youth suicide awareness initiative. We wish to create advocacy through the creative arts, new media and academic curriculum. Our first project “C.O.U” is a performance art piece aimed towards theatrically illustrating the mania behind depression, poor mental health and ultimately suicide. The performance is our first attempt to strengthen the connectivity between the creative arts and youth suicide prevention. We wish to influence, if not lead the contemporary discussion of suicide awareness/advocacy and our first project (C.O.U) will serve as the initial offering to the conversation.
I am Anthony J. Thomas, I am the Director of Chapter of Understanding. I am unable to define the responsibilities of my title, since the demands of this project call for both vulnerability and transparency. At most, I hold the reigns of our mission passing the responsibility to each and every member at any given moment. I am supremely blessed to have such a powerful team, all invested in creating a stronger sense of universal wellness not only for the youth but for all of humanity. We are working to the bone, to offer a perspective we feel is existent but deserves a little more backing…the premise of the arts, as a powerful tool to create advocacy and induce change.”