Back to Newsroom
Back to Newsroom

iFred Plants the Seeds With Global Leaders May 1st to Activate International Day of Hope

Friday, April 28, 2023 6:00 AM

Hopelessness is at all-time high around the world, so scientists, activists, companies, and leaders join together on May 1st to share science, stories, and strategies to activate hope in individuals and communities around the world

NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / April 28, 2023 / The CDC released a study showing nearly 3 in 5 (57%) U.S. teen girls felt persistently sad or hopeless in 2021, nearly double that of boys. This number represents a nearly 60% increase and is the highest level reported over the past decade. A startling 1 in 3 girls considering suicide is a national crisis and demands swift action. iFred is planning an event on May 1st from 3-6 livestreamed on the iFred Facebook page, and recorded for future viewing. The speakers will share the science, stories, and strategies for ‘how' to activate Hope as the strategy for proactively managing hopelessness.

Science shows that hope can be taught. Kathryn Goetzke, Founder of The International Foundation of Research and Education on Depression Hope (iFred) created the Hopeful Minds curriculum; a free, global, evidence-based program that teaches youth the "what, why and how" of hope, and is working with global leaders to showcase why it is imperative we establish an International Day of Hope at the United Nations, a day committed to amplifying the message that ‘hope is teachable', and ensuring strategies are activated globally.

Kathryn Goetzke, iFred Founder, shares, "People higher in hope are more likely to set ambitious goals, pursue those goals with vigor, overcome obstacles to their goals, and create new pathways when necessary. The Sustainable Development Goals, set for by the United Nations, are about reaching bold, audacious goals, and we know that as individuals and a society, we must be high in hope to achieve those ambitious goals. Our aim is to put forth a draft resolution that explains why hope is important to the objectives at the United Nations, and ask Secretary-General António Guterres and all Country Ambassadors to support this resolution, so we can celebrate together in 2024."

iFred, Friday, April 28, 2023, Press release picture

Zoya Awan, Director of Public Affairs at Walmart, met iFred Founder Kathryn Goetzke at a National Disability Engagement Awareness Month Celebration at Walmart, with JoAnn Stevens and Damian Kitson. Zoya was inspired by the science of hope, and join as a partner and in the day stating, "Hope is truly something that I believe all communities can come together and align on. We are excited to bring the diverse voices of our partners to share their stories of Hope in their community and to learn how to activate the message of hope in their communities. We are excited to be a partner in International Day of Hope, and share science, stories, and strategies with all."

iFred, Friday, April 28, 2023, Press release picture

Myron Belfer, MD, MPA, pictured above with iFred Founder Kathryn Goetzke demonstrating the new international hope signal, is an Advisor for the Hopeful Minds program and also a Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Belfer states, "Hope is tangible and teachable, and it is an essential ingredient for a successful life trajectory."

The speakers are hope scientists, activists, and inspiring individuals, and include:

Kathryn Goetzke, MBA
Chief Hope Officer, The Shine Hope Company, Founder, iFred

Zoya Awan
Director, Public Affairs at Walmart

Dr. Myron Belfer, MD, MPA
Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and a Senior Associate in Psychiatry at Boston Children's Hospital

Dr. Crystal I. Bryce, PhD
Associate Dean of Student Affairs, University of Texas at Tyler - School of Medicine

Dr. James Doty, MD
Clinical Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University and Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University

Kristy Stark, MA, EdM, BCBA, LBA
Behavioral Scientist, licensed K-12 Administrator, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Consultant, and Entrepreneur

Scott Mandell, MBA
CEO, The Shine Hope Company

Scarlett Lewis
Founder & Chief Movement Officer at the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement

Marisa Hamamoto
Founder, CEO, Artistic Director Infinite Flow Dance

Jordan Sooter
Finance, Health and Wellness, Walmart

Chef Grace Ramirez
Chef partner at the UN, Cookbook Author, La Latina, the cookbook

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
President of Divine Shakti Foundation

Steve Shell, MBA
Vice President of Behavioral Health, Renown Health

Emily Ladau
Disability Rights Activist and Author of Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to be an Ally

Alex Garfin
Actor, Warner Bros. Entertainment

Zanade Mann
Founder, Black Women's Business Collective, Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 100 Women of Impact

MaCherie Dunbar
Veteran, Air Force

Dr. Edward Barksdale, MD
Division Chief, Pediatric Surgery, UH Cleveland Medical Center, Vice Chairman, Department of Pediatric Surgery, UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Professor, CWRU School of Medicine

Our goal is to showcase how hope is scientifically important, as well as how it is personally important to individuals and communities. You can listen in to the talks on the iFred Facebook page, on Monday, May 1st from 3-6 pm.


iFred invites all to join us for the International Day of Hope the first Monday in May (May 1st, 2023) to activate the science of hope on a global scale.

The day was made possible by the support of The Shine Hope Company and Walmart.


About iFred

iFred, the International Foundation for Research and Education on Hope, is a 501(c)3 organization established in 2004 that is working to teach youth the ‘how' to Hope. iFred has worked to shine a positive light on mental health and eliminate stigma through prevention, research and education and created a shift in society's negative perception of the disease through positive imagery, rebranding, celebrity engagement, cause marketing campaigns, and establishing the sunflower and color yellow as the international symbols for Hope. iFred worked with The Mood Factory™ to do the first nationwide cause marketing campaign for mental health in the US, and created the first-ever program to teach Hope, based on our Founder Kathryn Goetzke's research that hope is a teachable skill. iFred's primary programs include Hopeful Minds™ (, Hopeful Cities™ (, and the International Day of Hope ( Find out more at

Contact Tabnie Dozier for interview opportunities and links at 859.230.2195 or [email protected].


Back to newsroom
Back to Newsroom