Taraji P. Henson has always appeared unfazed by the pressures of being a multi-talented Hollywood celebrity. The singer and actress carved herself a famous career in the film business, doing it with little to no controversies along the way.
While pursuing fame and fortune, Henson made it a point to use her celebrity for a more humanitarian cause. She launched her foundation in 2018 to assist individuals suffering from mental health concerns and has since created a variety of strategies to help the Black community combat relevant challenges.
Thanks to recent action by President Joe Biden, Henson now has a bigger platform and federal backing to influence and aid Black students as a new member of the board of advisers for historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Taraji P. Henson Said She Is Excited About Her New Role
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The 51-year-old announced her new role as a member of the HBCU board of advisors on her Instagram account last week. She shared a flashback photo of herself wearing a blue cap and a red sweatshirt with a big grin on her face, shot at her alma college, Howard University.
“I am excited to announce that President Biden has appointed me to serve on his HBCU Board of Advisors,” Henson captioned the post.
“Since taking office, the President and Vice President [Kamala] Harris have invested $5.8 Billion in HBCUs, and I look forward to working with them to continue efforts to support these important institutions.”
The actress had initially planned to study electrical engineering at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She then opted to pursue her passion for theatre, giving up her place and enrolling at Howard University to study acting. Henson graduated in 1995 and immediately began pursuing a career in the film industry.
The Board Members
The “Empire” actress joins NBA star Chris Paul on the presidential advisory council for historically Black schools and institutions, which will consist of nine men and nine women. United Airlines President Brett Hart, and Lisa Jackson, the first Black woman to be appointed as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, are also among Biden’s picks.
They will join Tony Allen, the president of Delaware State University, and Glenda Glover, the president of Tennessee State University. They are currently serving as chairwoman and vice-chairperson of the board, which was founded during the Carter administration.
Virginia State University, Norfolk State University in Virginia, Alabama State University, Prairie View A&M University in Texas, and Dillard University in New Orleans will be represented on the board by the presidents of five additional HBCUs.
The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation
The actress’s new appointment is yet another feather in her crown since she began making moves to use her fame and resources to help the black community. She has carried out her humanitarian acts through a variety of charity endeavors and via her foundation, The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which aims to break the stigma around mental illness in the Black community.
Named after her father, Boris Lawrence Henson, a Vietnam veteran, Henson hopes that the foundation will go a long way toward bringing others back from the verge of mental desolation, having faced such challenges herself in the past.
The actress has garnered multiple awards for her work as a mental health advocate, including being named one of the 100 most influential people globally by Time magazine in 2016.
Taraji P. Henson Upcoming Projects
Meanwhile, Henson has been working on a handful of projects for her fans. Last October, she told Women’s Health for their cover story that she was planning an EP and had eliminated dairy from her diet to help her achieve high notes.
She went on to say that the collection of songs was written entirely by her and that she is working with several well-known producers to ensure the highest possible quality for her fans.
Aside from that, Taraji P. Henson will play Shug Avery in the Warner Bros. remake of Margaret Avery’s 1985 rendition of “The Color Purple. The actress also recently confirmed that she will lend her voice to Illumination Entertainment’s next animated adventure, “Minions: The Rise of Gru.”
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