Taraji P. Henson is on a mission to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues in the African American community.
As apart of that mission she is launching the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, in honor of her late father who died of liver cancer in 2006.
Taraji stated: “I named the organization after my father because of his complete and unconditional love for me; his unabashed, unashamed ability to tell the truth, even if it hurt; and his strength to push through his own battles with mental health issues.”
In her 2016 memoir, Around the Way Girl, Henson went into detail about her father fighting in Vietnam and returning home broken with little to no physical or emotional support.
“I stand now in his absence, committed to offering support to African Americans who face trauma daily, simply because they are black”, she explained.
The foundation will launch on September 22 in Los Angeles with a fundraising event, Taraji’s Boutique of Hope.
All proceeds will help to provide mental health resources, therapists, social workers, and counselors to African American children and urban schools, as well as scholarships to African Americans majoring in mental health.
Executive Director, Tracie Jenkins, expressed, “African-Americans have regarded such communication as a sign of weakness and our vision is to change that perception.”