CFM: You recently partnered with Chance the Rapper’s charity SocialWorks. Specifically, My State of Mind (MSOM). Briefly tell us about what SocialWorks and MSOM is and what the process was to begin your initiative.
Millman: Social Works aims to empower youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement. My State of Mind is one of five of its initiatives. MSOM seeks to unify the broader mental health community, increase access and visibility of services. With the help of the MSOM cohort, comprised of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Cook County Department of Health, Cook County Department of Public Health, Sista Afya, local practitioners, and The Chicago Department of Public Health, MSOM will be the largest digital guidebook available to Cook County, displaying a diverse list of mental health wellness services.
A friend introduced me to the incredible SocialWorks team, Essence Smith, Justin Cunningham, and Nick Heineman. We instantly connected, and we all quickly were on the same page. The room filled with excitement, and we believe there are endless opportunities with this partnership to raise money and help on this important initiative.
CFM: Why are you personally passionate about this partnership?
Millman: This initiative hits close to home. Since I was 16, I have been trying to navigate through the struggle and strife in this thing we call life. Every day for me is a challenge to push through the mental challenges and be a leader. I am lucky enough to have the resources and support, and I know not everyone has this. It’s hard for me, embarrassing to talk about, and I just don’t want it to continue like this for me and others who have similar struggles. Because of this, I’m so excited and grateful to be able to partner up on this vital initiative and hopefully help others.
CFM: What is Passion House doing for this particular partnership?
Millman: We redesigned our cold brew cans that feature the MSOM mission as well as imagery that represents both of our brands. The cold brew cans can be purchased at all our shops, our website, the Social Works website as well as local retailers like Goddess in the Baker and Paulette’s. We are continuing to add to our retailer list so we can reach more of our community.
CFM: Are you planning on doing more i.e. events, other fundraisers, etc?
Millman: We are in the works to produce a fully branded MSOM retail coffee bag, which will be just as beautiful and uplifting as the cold brew can. Readers can follow us on Instagram @PassionHouseCofefee for updates! We are in the midst of moving our roastery to East Garfield Park. Once that is completed, we will be hosting a big party to celebrate the opening and this partnership! More events are in the pipeline that will be announced via social media too.
CFM: What do you hope comes out of this partnership for consumers as well as those struggling with their own mental wellness?
Millman: I hope that we can erase the negative stigma of mental health issues by creating a space that feels safe and people can be comfortable. For me, the hardest part is talking about it. If others feel the same, I want them to see this as the first step to getting the help they have been looking for and changing their lives for the better.
CFM: How can Chicagoans help out?
Millman: Honestly, buy the cold brew cans! Fifty percent of the proceeds from each can goes directly to MSOM, which helps fund their incredible mission. If you can’t find the cans, reach out to your local retailers to supply them so we can help spread the word throughout Chicagoland.