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From projects designed to foster equity within the STEM education space to initiatives centered on financial literacy, businessman and philanthropist Robert F. Smith has been at the forefront of transformative efforts aimed at uplifting and empowering the Black community. For his latest project, he’s teaming up with The Chopra Foundation for a partnership centered on ensuring mental health resources are accessible.

Dubbed The Soul of Leadership, the project interconnects wellness and leadership development. Pulling inspiration from Dr. Deepak Chopra’s best-selling book The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness and The Chopra Foundation’s NeverAlone project—cultivated to foster community through wholeness—the program will provide free resources for Black youth so they can prioritize their mental and emotional wellbeing; equipping them with the skills to effectively lead in their communities and beyond.

“In order to build the leaders of tomorrow, first we must set a solid foundation where young people can fully thrive,” Smith shared in a statement. “Addressing mental health is a critical component of this leadership development. By arming Black youth with tools to understand their mental and emotional needs, we are setting them on the path to success and creating empathetic leaders of the future that have a greater capacity for understanding and navigating the world around them.”

Dr. Chopra echoed his sentiments, adding that “as our nation focuses greater attention on the current mental health epidemic, we must deploy our resources in an equitable manner to ensure that everyone is able to receive the help they need.”

The Soul of Leadership’s digital platform is slated to launch this year.

Projects like the one being led by Smith and The Chopra Foundation are crucial components of addressing inequities in mental health services. Research shows Black youth are facing growing rates of anxiety and depression.


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