Sozosei Summit 2021


The Sozosei Foundation is pleased to invite you to the
Second Annual Sozosei Summit to Decriminalize Mental Illness.

December 13-15, 2021

The Sozosei Summit is a global event that brings together experts, thought-leaders, people with lived experience, medical professionals, lawyers, judges, advocates, artists, and funders to collaborate, create, and explore pathways to decriminalize mental illness with a particular focus on 988, the new national mental health crisis telephone line, due to go live in July 2022.

This year, the Summit will be held from December 13-15, 2021 in Philadelphia, PA at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). Portions of the Summit will also be live streamed for those who cannot attend in person. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we shall follow health and safety protocols each day of the Summit. These protocols are described in greater detail on our full registration page.

Our selection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts as the Summit venue, the Barnes Foundation as the backdrop for our welcome dinner on the Summit's first day, and your participation will ensure the 2021 Summit is a living embodiment of Sozosei's core value of creativity.

We look forward to seeing you in December!

Melissa M. Beck, Esq., Executive Director, Sozosei Foundation
William H. Carson, M.D., Chairman of the Board, Sozosei Foundation

With a focus on 988, themes of the 2021 Summit will include:

Monday, December 13, 1 pm - 4 pm ET

A day dedicated to learning from history including an engaging - and often untold - history of 911, legacies of racism and discrimination in crisis response and care, and how the knowledge of these histories empowers us to build a more equitable and accessible crisis care continuum 

Tuesday, December 14, 8 am - 5 pm ET

A full day of collaboration and the latest updates on 988 implementation across the nation, in select states and cities as well as PechaKucha presentations highlighting innovative practices to decriminalize mental illness

Wednesday, December 15, 9 am - 1 pm ET

Using the tools of design and future-back thinking to develop and test new ideas and solutions to build an ideal future where 988 and crisis care is abundant and equitable


Past Events

June 4, 2021

On June 4, 2021, the Sozosei Foundation hosted a virtual book club featuring authors and renowned psychologist, Dr. Joel Dvoskin and renowned psychiatrist, Dr. James Knoll in conversation with Sozosei Board Member Mary Chi Michael, about their chapter, “A Brief History of the Criminalization of Mental Illness” from the recently released book, “Decriminalizing Mental Illness,” published by Cambridge University Press.

May 7, 2021

Mental illness is an area that has been relatively underfunded by philanthropy when compared to the immense potential for impact. The Sozosei Foundation is helping reignite energy and push the philanthropic community in this area, with a specific focus on decriminalizing mental illness in America. The Foundation recently kicked off a series of Global Solution Labs to surface more knowledge and perspectives about how to create a future where mental illness is not treated as a crime.

Dec 14 - 16, 2020

The inaugural Sozosei Summit to Decriminalize Mental Illness was a three-day event in December 2020. We were honored to have more than 200 multi-disciplinary stakeholders-including advocates, people with lived experience, policy makers, academics, philanthropic leaders, and other experts on mental health and criminal justice— share knowledge and perspectives focused on creating a future where mental illness is not treated as a crime in the United States.