Inner Door Center® Feature: Samara Johnson and Stereotype Event Detroit

Meet Samara Johnson, Development Director of the Inner Door Foundation, and learn more about the upcoming event: Stereotype

Where did you go to school & for what?

I graduated in May of 2011 from Michigan State University with a degree in Studio Art.

What made you interested in working with eating disorders?

Eating disorders have always been a close subject to me. I have an extensive family history of eating disorders and I have also struggled with an eating disorder throughout my life.

How did you get involved in Inner Door Foundation?

After graduation I was helping out at Reconnect With Food, doing the program and assisting in art therapy. After the seven week program Beverly Price asked me if I would be interested in taking the role of Development Director to expand the reach of the Inner Door Foundation.

Who is your favorite artist?

Art has been a present in my life since childhood. It is difficult to pick a “favorite” since a work of art or a style of creation can be applied to many different things at different times in my life. I have been highly influenced by the work of Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg, and Joseph Campbell. They each create a work of art through a combination of techniques and materials that resonate with me on a subconscious level and have been very inspirational.

What is “Stereotype”?

Stereotype will be an evening of art music and education, held on June 14, 2012 at the Detroit Opera House. Live entertainment will include the renowned Jazz artist, Marcus Belgrave and a DJ later in the night. Art submitted to the event will be displayed in various locations throughout the space. The event will use art to call upon the automatic subconscious stereotyping that takes place in our society with the goal of breaking the stigmas that deter those in need from seeking help. Hopefully by breaking the barrier that separates those with eating disorders, the real issues of food and body image that plague the masses will be able to be discussed freely and therefore, slowly healed.

Who or what inspired you to create this event?

I realized that I wanted to do something about the stigmas that surround eating disorders with the hope that spreading knowledge regarding these disorders and I decided the best way to spread awareness in the area was to create a cultural happening through a dual-purpose event that would highlight the thriving art scene in Detroit and spread the awareness of eating disorders.

What is one stereotype of eating disorders you are most interested in abolishing?

Eating disorders are more common than they appear. It is important to me that it is not simply someone that restricts or purges food but also people that are constantly preoccupied with obsessions about food or that use food as comfort (or punishment). Both of these are actions that seem acceptable and normal in our society but many do not realize that food is no different than a drug addiction… and that is an seem worse at times since you can cut out a drug but you can not stop eating.

How will Inner Door Foundation use the donations from Stereotype?

Money raised from the event will be used to provide a far-reaching educational network for those who struggle with Eating Disorders along with their friends and family, to assist with current national political advocacy efforts to include the diagnosis of eating disorders, across the spectrum, in all mental health parity legislation, and to increase advocacy efforts for mental health parity legislation specifically in Michigan and to provide a clinic to assist those who are denied insurance benefits when it is medically necessary that they receive treatment.

How can people help donate to Stereotype event, and where can tickets be purchased?

Tickets for the event can be purchased on the event website The various sponsorship levels are located on the website and the event Facebook page.  Donations of any amount are appreciated and accepted either through the website or via mail in check.


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