The OKAY Initiative
The OKAY Initiative is inspired by and based around the song OKAY written by Ally Reichard, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. In OKAY, Ally sings about how it’s okay to not be okay. We hope that through this project we can shift conversations around emotional health and help remove the stigma around not being okay, especially for teens.
The project currently consists of a music video for OKAY. We hope to also soon welcome many covers of the song so that we have as many diverse voices as possible saying that it is okay to not be okay. We also hope to expand the OKAY Initiative to an online emotional health resource for teens and their teachers.
The music video is a journey of finding the confidence to connect and talk. It starts with Ally not interacting with the song or with the messages that pop up on her phone. Slowly she starts to look at the messages on her phone and mouth some of the words. Eventually she is able to sing directly to the camera. Finding the courage to articulate what she is feeling does not magically solve everything, but it is, as she sings in the song, a way toward being okay. The video is currently in post-production.
OKAY Initiative advisors include:
Dr. Melanie Boyd, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs; Lecturer Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University
Yael Silver, Tony Award-winning producer
Maureen Taylor, founder of SNP Communications
Dr. Sten Vermund, Dean, Yale School of Public Health