by Alana Seldon
May 5, 2022
Photo By: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Actress Taraji P.Henson always lets it be known that she is down for HBCUs!
She’s given several commencement speeches at her alma mater, Howard University, and recently announced that she’ll give this year’s commencement speech on May 7th.
Not only will Henson will be giving Howard’s 2022 Commencement speech, she has other plans to help students.
“I think because they see that I am a product of an HBCU and my activism in the community, I guess that combination seemed like someone who would want to be on the board, and I am HBCU from the heart,” the Howard alumni stated.
The Washington D.C. native will also be sworn in as one of the selected The Board of Advisors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the White House where she plans on further assisting HBCUs.
Henson intends to assist HBCU students with mental health issues, a subject about which she has become increasingly devoted in recent years.
“Mental health is very important…I’m going to make sure that we have the resources that we need on every campus of the HBCUs,” she revealed.
Henson added: “and we need those resources. And now we see why those resources are very important. And it’s deeper than just a counselor.”
Dr. Glenda Glover, the Vice-Chair of the White House HBCU advisory Group expressed why Henson will be a key component to help HBCUs.
“She has access to pockets of our society and influence that will assist the board’s efforts to advance and promote educational equity, HBCU excellence, and economic opportunities for graduates and Black Americans as a whole,” Dr. Glover said.
Celebrities such as Rihanna, SZA, Common, and Kendrick Lamar are among those who also raise awareness around mental health.
In August of 2020, Common started Com + Well, a Youtube channel dedicated to wellness.
On Com + Well, the Chicago native can be seen interview wellness experts on topics such as exercise and health.
“I believe deeply that the more at peace you are with yourself, the more love and compassion you are able to put out into the world,” he explained in an interview Deadline.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar also used his platform as he lent his lyrics from his single entitled “i” to a Kaiser Permanente company commercial to promote mental health awareness.