Taraji P. Henson


Featured Speaker

Saturday, June 29: 4:00PM―5:00PM PT

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Featured Speaker: Taraji P. Henson, photo credit Mr. D. Adams


Taraji P. Henson is an Academy Award-nominated actor, producer, author, and mental health advocate. She is known for award-winning roles in such celebrated projects as “Hustle & Flow," “Hidden Figures,” and most recently “The Color Purple,” winning an NAACP Image Award and receiving a Screen Actors Guild nomination. On TV, Henson won a Golden Globe Award, received multiple Emmy nominations, and became the first Black woman to win a Critics Choice Television Award for her portrayal of “Cookie Lyon” on the hit series, “Empire.”  She is currently working on Peacock's limited series, “Fight Night.”

In 2018, Henson, and her best friend, Tracie Jade Jenkins, co-founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation (BLHF) honoring the legacy of Henson’s father, Boris Lawrence Henson, who battled untreated mental health issues after returning from the Vietnam War. Motivated by their own experiences and the glaring absence of culturally relevant mental health support, they took a bold step forward and established BLHF with a clear mission: to destigmatize mental health within the Black community and enhance accessibility. The foundation promotes mental health awareness and provides resources and services aimed at tackling the mental health crisis.

Henson will discuss her debut picture book, “You Can Be a Good Friend (No Matter What!),” illustrated by Paul Kellam and available June 2024. Quirky, stylish, and a bit off-the-cuff, Lil TJ is ready for her first day of school. But when she gets there, she finds that everything she does is a little different than everyone else and she’s standing out in all the wrong ways. Once TJ’s classmate Beau notices, he relentlessly teases her. TJ is filled with anxiety and doubt until she recalls some important words of wisdom from her Grandma Patsy. The story promotes mental wellness, socialization skills, embracing the importance of standing in your own uniqueness, and promoting friendship over bullying. It’s the perfect read for easing back-to-school jitters for the new school year, helping children (ages 4-8) overcome anxieties, and classroom/library story time and bedtime reading. 


There will be a book signing in the Sails Pavilion immediately following the session.

You Can Be a Good Friend Book Cover Image

 

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