Improve the mental health of young men of color by training Black barbers to be mental health advocates and partnering with regional organizations to eliminate barriers to treatment through culturally-relevant best practices.
The Confess Project is a national grassroots movement centered on young men of color to achieve positive mental health and emotional well-being. It trains Black barbers, mental health professionals, community leaders, and law enforcement officials and provides technical assistance to organizations to increase successful life outcomes for young men of color. The Confess Project’s vision on a micro level is to increase trust and build healthy communities. On a macro level, they aim to decrease the school-to-prison pipeline, increase access to mental health services, and improve academic and employment outcomes for young men of color across the United States.
Lorenzo Lewis is a social entrepreneur, professional speaker, and founder of The Confess Project, an initiative that centers on mental health and wellness for young men of color. Born in jail to an incarcerated mother, Lorenzo struggled with depression, anxiety, and anger throughout his youth. At 17, after almost reentering the system of mass incarceration he had come from, he began his journey to wellness. In addition to being part of the 2020 cohort for the Rodenberry Fellowship, in 2019 Lorenzo received the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Multicultural Outreach Award and the American Psychiatric Association Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health, and he was a finalist for the Little Rock Regional Chamber Small Business Owner 30 & Under of the Year Award. His work has been widely shared by Roc Nation, Nick Cannon, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, Watch The Yard, and more. Overcoming all of his challenges, Lorenzo earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree and is now an adjunct professor at Arkansas Baptist College. Lorenzo is a 2020 Echoing Green Fellow.
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