Community//

The Nexus Between Sleep, Dreams and Mental Health

Iconic artist and Precious Dreams Foundation use fashion activism to raise money and highlight the value of mental wealth.

Precious Dreams Foundation (PDF), a non-profit co-founded in New York City by Nicole Russell, has teamed up with visual artist Brandon Breaux to redesign its logo and bring attention to its goal of empowering at-risk youth to self-comfort—so they can sleep and dream. Breaux, a native of Chicago, home to PDF’s newest chapter, is known for his iconic album covers, including those designed for Chance the Rapper. Identity, the subconscious mind and the fragility of the human psyche are themes woven into Breaux’s art. With that focus, he collaborated with Russell to reimagine PDF’s visual presence.  And through his clothing line “Invisible Space,” they created a unique offering of PDF t-shirts that will not only raise money (all proceeds benefit PDF) but also optically support PDF’s mission.

Their fashion activism underscores PDF’s message of hope and self-reliance. Designed in both white and an unapologetically royal purple, the t-shirts boast “Mental Wealth” and ask both wearer and watcher to “Mind Your Mental.”  Risk/guidance specialist and the leader of PDF’s Chicago Chapter, Paichence Carter, defines mental wealth as “having the ability to be at peace with imperfections while still having the motivation to push for better—not letting insecurities define your confidence.”  PDF previewed the collaborative fashion statement on February 12th at a Comfort Drop for Covenant House Chicago, which provides housing and support services to youth facing homelessness. Breaux and social worker Destinee Moore LCSW hosted the event, which provided a writing activity and strategies for the group to foster their capacity for resilience. Brandon was a living example for the participants.  He used art to self-comfort in his childhood and has now created a career from the very thing that helped him feel strong. 

Russell, who serves as PDF Executive Director, sums up both the challenges and the opportunities faced by PDF’s clients: “With no worldly possessions and the odds against them, we still strongly believe our youth can do anything. And more importantly, if we can help them see that for themselves, they will.”  Russell was inspired to advocate for children in transition by her foster sister, who suffered from recurring night terrors.  She eventually found relief when she learned a bedtime routine from Russell’s mother. Not all children in transition are as fortunate—they are alone and in need of comfort.  Many have been abused, abandoned and neglected.  Russell saw the need to comfort those children, so they could have a precious night’s sleep, and the dream of a better tomorrow.  Since 2012, PDF has served thousands of children. In addition to its headquarters in New York, PDF has local chapters in Los Angeles, Chicago, South Florida and Baltimore with plans to open a Washington, D.C. chapter in May 2020. To support PDF and purchase a limited edition t-shirt, which go on sale to the public February 19th, visit Invisible Spaces at https://invsbl-space.com.

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