Our History

Building A Better Culture

“America’s First Mental Health Awareness Movement”

Mission:

The Confess Project of America is the national organization supporting local chapters that train barbers and stylists to become mental health advocates, with the mission to build awareness and break stigmas around mental health within the Black community.

Confess -To Declare, Admit, or State emotions and past traumas that may hinder the healing process.

Ever been told to “man up” when all you wanted to do is cry? Wished there was someone to talk to who understood where you were coming from? Had a moment when all the -isms in life were too much to bear?

We’ve been there. The Confess Project began in 2016 because we recognized a need to equip marginalized Black men and boys with mental health strategies and coping skills to help them move past their pain. In the African American community alone, suicide is the third leading cause of death. We exist to help change that. Our vision is a world without stigma and shame.

Founder Lorenzo Lewis’ first talk was at a historically African American church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Since then, he’s traveled all over the country to speak at universities, K-12 schools, and conferences to encourage men to be their best. Drawing from stories in his book Jumping Over Life’s Hurdles and Staying in the Race, Lorenzo shares his own journey to wellness as a way to inspire hope—from narrowly escaping the school-to-prison pipeline to behavioral health professional.

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The Confess Project is now a leading voice in the mental health advocacy field. The Governor of Arkansas has recognized us for our efforts across the U.S., and in 2019, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation honored us with their “Pioneer for Advancing Minority Mental Health” award. In addition, Fast Company named The Confess Project as one of “The 10 most innovative health companies of 2021.”

Our team of public health experts, therapists, and education professionals is continually improving our programs to respond to community needs. Through our Beyond the Shop program, we train barbers to become mental health advocates around the country, and are in the process of creating the Confess Project Beauty Coalition that will focus on Black women and girls. We also work with city governments, universities, and organizations to highlight how mental health intersects with police brutality, LGBT issues, gender inequality, and more. In 2020, we partnered with Gillette as part of their The Best Men Can Be campaign to bring our “State of Mind” tour to 16 cities all over the country.

 

We promise to be the go-to resource for Black men and boys–as well as their families–and are committed to their health, well-being, and prosperity. Recently, we moved our headquarters from Little Rock, Arkansas to the civil rights hub of Atlanta, Georgia. Inspired by the changemakers who went before us, we aim to launch affiliate chapters around the U.S. with the end goal of opening community mental health clinics.

 

We will keep our promise until we see the life expectancy for Black boys and men increase, and legislation that ensures it lasts. Your struggles don’t need to be kept a secret anymore. Wanna win at life? Let's talk.