They say laughter is good for the soul. Sometimes laughing your way through situations can bring you to a level of peace and comfort. Los Angeles Lakers star Metta World Peace is doing his best to bring some joy to the world in the form of generating much-needed attention to mental health.
Tonight, World Peace and a host of his buddies hope folks will stop by the Laugh Factory in Hollywood to enjoy some laughs, and at the same time, contribute to a movement that focuses on the well-being and positive mental health of individuals at the Metta Center for Nonviolence.
World Peace will play host of the “Comedy Slam Dunk,” a two-hour fundraising event that will benefit his nonprofit, Xcel University. Following examples from the likes of Ghandi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the powerful civil rights movement, the Metta Center for Nonviolence, set up to meet the requirements of Federal Education Standards, introduces individuals to alternative ways to combat violence by using nonviolent methods of using encouragement and empowerment tools.
Part of the strength of the many people who participated in the effective sit-ins of the 1950s and 1960s, during which the civil rights movement was at its strongest push, is the fact individuals had to be trained to nonviolently resist physical altercations and abusive verbal taunting, even to the point of losing their lives. Yet those individuals remained unbroken spiritually and stayed empowered throughout the duration of the fight for equal rights.
Eventually, the nonviolent civil rights movement effectively eradicated bigoted Jim Crow practices and dismantled racist unjust laws that permeated throughout much of the South and the nation. What the daylong curriculum of the Metta Center for Nonviolence training session seek to do is take a page from the civil rights movement and apply it to those affected with mental health challenges. .
Much like individuals who participated in the civil right movement, those suffering with mental health challenges can face dehumanization through taunting, bullying and violence. The Metta Center for Nonviolence assists those individuals to recapture their self-worth and purpose through various methods of empowerment.
In the last several years, World Peace has brought much needed attention to mental health, particularly when he raffled off his 2010 NBA Championship ring on Christmas Day two years ago that a Hawthorne, California man won. By auctioning off his title ring, World Peace was able to raise over $650,000 for mental health programs through his Xcel University.
Last year, World Peace assisted then Congresswoman Janet Napolitano in launching “The Mental Health in Schools Act.”
Tickets for the comedy show are $30 for general admission and can be purchased at www.ronartest.com or at the door the night of the event. A two-drink minimum applies to all tickets, which are on sale now. The comedy show will conclude with a live auction.
Dennis has covered politics, crime, race, social justice, sports, and entertainment. His work as a reporter has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Daily Breeze, Daily Press, AFRO, Los Angeles Sentinel, and Los Angeles Wave. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the editor and publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper.