Dr. Mary Muranja accepts the Medical Leadership Excellence Award and delivers the keynote address.
Amidst the glitz and glamour of the Atlanta Mashujaa Day Gala, a pleasant surprise unfolded as Dr. Mary Muranja, the visionary leader steering Samar Healthcare, not only clinched the prestigious Medical Leadership Excellence Award but also took center stage as the evening's keynote speaker, delivering a poignant address on "Why Mental Health Awareness is Important."
The Gala commemorating Mashujaa Day is a Kenyan holiday usually recognized on October 20th every year. This day is set aside to honor Kenyan Greats known as Mashujaa, a Swahili word meaning "Heroes."
Held at the Mableton Banquet Hall, this year's event effortlessly fused Kenyan culinary delights, a gathering of distinguished leaders, accolades, resonant sounds of Kenya, and tables adorned with symbols of Kenyan Shujaas. This convergence marked the evening as a triumph on various fronts, uniting a diverse assembly of individuals encompassing seasoned and emerging figures—from entrepreneurs and military personnel to community champions, students, and sports enthusiasts.
The spotlight, however, was not just on the awards but on Dr. Mary Muranja, a beacon in healthcare and the event's keynote speaker, steering the night towards a pressing issue—mental health awareness. Dr. Muranja shared insights, declaring, "Mental illness does not discriminate," framing the discourse in the context of the universal human experience.
"Emotions are part of the human experience. They are neither good nor bad," encapsulating a universal truth that laid the foundation for the ensuing conversation about mental well-being. Dr. Muranja stressed the need for confidentiality, imploring, "When someone confides in you, it’s not your place to share it. Sharing personal struggles can make people guarded and fearful, deterring them from seeking the help they need."
Creating A Safe Space
The visionary leader also addressed parents, highlighting the need for more cultural competence. "Let us instead practice cultural humility with our children," Dr. Muranja urged, advocating for early intervention and continuous dialogue.
"Don’t bring them to doctors only when in crisis. The conversation starts at the dinner table. It requires a mental shift."
This pragmatic approach underscored the need for a fundamental change in societal attitudes towards mental health.
In attendance were past Mashujaa Award recipients, showing support for the continuation of this great event and echoing the words of Georgia's Representative Segun Adeyina, "This is Georgia; this is what we do as Georgians... we are proud of what we do... we're not just first in business but everything we do, and we do it by supporting each other."
Representative Adeyina announced his commitment to introduce a proclamation in the House to recognize the Atlanta Mashujaa Day Gala and its importance to Georgia, highlighting the event's significance not just on an individual level but as a milestone for the entire community.
As the night concluded, a sense of accomplishment and community solidarity lingered. The mingling of award recipients, the resonance of the state representative's proclamation, and the keynote speaker's advocacy for mental health created a narrative of personal success and a collective dedication to excellence and the community's well-being. The event ended with attendees on the dance floor celebrating the success of the night—a testament to the collaborative spirit that defines Kenyans in America, where achievements are celebrated and support for one another is woven into the fabric of success.
Our Heartfelt Thanks
A heartfelt expression of gratitude goes out to all the attendees, fellow award recipients, sponsors, vendors, State Rep. Segun Adeyina, Eric Mwangi, and the exceptional team behind the Mashujaa Day Gala for consistently orchestrating such a remarkable event year after year. Your unwavering dedication and hard work have created an experience that resonates with us all, leaving a lasting impact and memories to cherish. Thank you for making each celebration an extraordinary and memorable occasion.
Learn more about how Samar Healthcare offers resources and services to deal with mental illnesses, and connect with us at www.samarhealthcare.com.