Arkansas Millennial Entrepreneur Launches “The Love Project”, Inspires Others to Escape Depression

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If you’ve been following the movement for a while, then you probably remember Gerald D. Thomas, a young, successful millennial who is making an impact in his community. For those that are unfamiliar with Mr. Thomas, he is the founder of the marketing and public relations agency, The GDT Agency.He recently launched a new campaign entitled, “The Love Project,” and I recently caught up with him again where he chatted about his inspiration behind starting the project and where he plans on taking it. 

You’ve been up to a lot since the last time we talked. What’s new for 2017?

Yes, it’s been 2 years since we’ve had our last sit down. 2017 is off to a great start. I recently launched an initiative in Little Rock, AR known as Gerald D. Thomas Presents: The Love Project. Its mission is to showcase tangible avenues for creative expressions in sharing love. I’m really excited about this project and all that I will be able to do with it.

Speaking of your upcoming “The Love Project”, I know you had to overcome depression in launching it. So what methods did you use in breaking the cycle of depression and what else inspired the project?

Back in late 2016 I was diagnosed with Chronic Depression. I was (at least that’s what I thought) at rock bottom. I was stressed out, miserable and uninspired.  One morning I was tired of being tired and I got on my knees and prayed the hardest that I had ever prayed. I remember it like it was yesterday. I told God that if he would give me the strength to get out of this mess I would use every day for the rest of my life to glorify him through art and to be unapologetically joyful for exactly where I was in life. After that magical day, “The Love Project” was birthed and again I’m eternally grateful for what it has done for me.

Are you collaborating with anyone on “The Love Project”?

I’ve collaborated with photographers of course and have allowed them to direct as much as they needed too as it relates to the photo shoots. I’ve also had two friends help with the children edition of the love project because kids make me nervous. I’m really about full artistic expression so I really limit how many collaborations I have particularly with this initiative.

What can we expect from it and when does it launch?

The initiative launched in January. I’ve completed 3 photo shoots so far and also introduced Little Rock to the #HashtagLunchbag movement which was hosted in February. Third quarter of the initiative is about to launch and I’ll be doing some pop-up initiatives in Tennessee, Los Angeles, and Chicago this year.

Why is it important for our community to know about the effects of depression? How can we help one heal from it?

Statistics say that over 6.8 million African Americans deal with some challenges of mental health. Being open and honest with where you are in life is important. Seeking help and knowing the signs of mental health issues are also equally important. I think that the healing process is an everyday battle. While I am definitely in a much better place, I still deal with different areas of my life that could easily trigger an episode.

After “The Love Project” what else is in store for you?

Life right now for me is unexplainable. The Love Project isn’t going anywhere so it’ll continue to grow. For those who may not know, I’m also the Owner/Founder of The GDT PR Agency. My clients include Ally The Pub (TMZ Live Correspondent), Randy Bowden Jr (Influencer/ Model) and newly signed Jas Chyrel  (Journalist) who I’m super excited to work with. I’ll also being doing some event activations for BET Award Weekend and Essence Music Festival.

How can people keep up with the process of “The Love Project” and other endeavors of yours? 

I’m super active on social media. People can follow the business page on IG/Twitter @thegdpr and on Facebook. People can also follow the Love Project on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GDTLoveProject. My personal pages are @thegdtproject on IG/Twitter/Facebook.

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Naomi K. Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she holds her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She also holds her Masters of Public Administration. She is the Founder and CEO of Awakened Media Enterprises, Inc. which owns Purposely Awakened. She has been in the media field since 2006 covering beats that range from social justice, community, entertainment, sports, fashion/beauty, and culture news.

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