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By: Norvisi Mawunyegah
The renowned actress is launching a campaign for black students to help against psychological trauma and racism. This conception fused in the mental awareness month to help and identify any sign of trauma. The six weeks’ program would be initiated from May 17 to June 2 and would stress on discussion with mental health experts, therapists and educators where students can speak openly about their experiences in school. Henson helped create the course through The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, her mental health nonprofit, and public relations firm Edelman.
“We’re in a state of emergency right now,” Henson said. “But it takes us to change it… we can’t hide the ugly, you’ve got to deal with the good and the bad if we want to see change.”
Once worked as a teacher, she witnessed racial bias against Black students “I taught a special education class, but all of the students were Black boys who had all of their mental and physical capabilities. These children came from traumatic home situations, and the school labeled them ‘special ed,’” she recalled.
“These students were only in the fourth grade and they would grab my hand and say, ‘Ms. Henson! Ms. Henson! There was a shootout nearby last night, look at the bullet holes in the wall,’ and laugh,” she added. “That’s trauma — that’s not something to celebrate or normalize.”
“We need more professionals in education to recognize children dealing with trauma and help them, not criminalize them,” Henson said.