Why Taraji P. Henson's Mental Health Program for Black Students Is So Important

An important cause.

On Wednesday’s May 26 episode of E! News’ Daily Pop, Justin Sylvester caught up with Taraji P. Henson to discuss her new campaign, The Unspoken Curriculum. Per the Empire actress, The Unspoken Curriculum is a six-week campaign to raise awareness about how the education system impacts the mental health of Black students.

“So, listen to these stats,” she shared. “Although Black students make up 16 percent of all enrolled students, they are often treated more harshly due to biases than any other students. And they account for 27 percent of the students who are referred to law enforcement, 31 percent of students who are arrested, 48 percent of students receiving one or more suspensions.” As Taraji detailed it, she hopes her new campaign will allow those affected by these biases to speak out. “I’m still affected by things that were done to me, biases that happened to me when I was in school,” she continued. “It affected me now as a woman.”

Opening up the dialogue further, Taraji revealed that she will sometimes “brace myself” before entering a room where she’s the only person of color. She sounded off, “Why is that?”

In response to Taraji’s candidness, Justin added, “And it’s interesting, because you realize that if people knew better, they would do better.”

On why this campaign is so important, especially amid Mental Health Awareness Month, Taraji noted, “Black children have learned to cope. That’s what I did. Now, was that healthy? No, it has not been healthy. ‘Cause, clearly, we’re all in therapy.”

In what ways do you manage your mental health? Comment @bsm_mag

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