Taraji P. Henson Is Dedicated To Bringing Awareness To Mental Health

With mental health being one of the most important aspects of our well being, yet one of the least talked about, we are glad to see more celebrities speaking out and bringing more awareness to it. Taraji P. Henson is doing her part to release the stigma associated with mental health, especially in the African American community. On September 22, the actress will officially launch the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, named after her father who suffered from mental health issues.

She stated “I named the organization after my father because of his complete and unconditional love for me; his unabashed, unashamed ability to tell the truth, even if it hurt; and his strength to push through his own battles with mental health issues. “My dad fought in the Vietnam War for our country, returned broken, and received little to no physical and emotional support. I stand now in his absence, committed to offering support to African Americans who face trauma daily, simply because they are black.”
This raises the question of what role do celebrities have at ending the stigma associated with mental health, not just in the African American community, but in general. How much of a responsibility can we put on them, without pointing the finger at ourselves? I’m sure there are many of us with friends and family suffering from various mental health. How often do we check on them or offer assistance? Something for us all to think about.

If Michelle Williams Can Get Help With Her Depression Can I?

Written by Tianna Sheree Maxon

I am so very proud of singer Michelle Williams. The steps she has taken to let everyone know that she was dealing with depression is such a brave thing to me. I often wish more celebrities would use their platform to help raise awareness for people dealing with depression. There are so many of us dealing with similar feelings and not expressing it.  Michelle is showing women that it is ok to get help. She is showing she is dealing with similar situations no matter how much money she may have. Though I admire what Michelle did, I also understand that it may not be as easy for myself or others to take those same steps towards getting help.

Michelle is beautiful and very talented. She is a key member of one of the world’s biggest girl groups in the world. Let’s be real she had worked next to Beyoncé. One of the greatest entertainers in the world. Clearly Beyoncé sees greatness in her as well. Yet Michelle has been talked about since she joined the group. There is never a moment someone doesn’t state how Michelle was off beat, or the “poor Michelle” comments. With a career like hers, no one should ever feel bad for her. She is also engaged to the man of her dreams. Michelle shows that no matter how beautiful, talented, rich or in love you are, depression is real.  It truly takes knowing yourself and having people who know you around.

I have once thought about checking myself in a hospital and getting help. I’m sure many have thought about going to see therapist, or taking a long mental break when everything seems to hit at once. I think about how easy or hard it would be. One thing Michelle has is a strong bond with her family and friends. Though my family is around, I can honestly say that I’m not sure if they would be as supportive. I need them to be supportive now while I’m dealing and not when I deicide to check myself into a mental hospital. What would people think of me if I did check myself into a hospital? I think about who would pay my bills. Heck my bills may be adding to the depression lol. For real! Who is not stressed trying to make it in life. I can’t afford to take a break, or take some time to speak with someone.

Over all we have to understand ourselves and what we as individuals need. I have to understand that I am not famous and there may be a sigma place on me. Should I care? No, just get help the best way I can. Not caring who is with me, but also keep those who truly are. No one has time to be depressed. Everyone should have the chance to live a happy life and their best life. Thank you Michelle for starting a conversation and bring awareness. Get well soon!

 

 

Grammy Nominated R&B Legend, Chante’ Moore Releases New EP, “1 Of 4”

VEU: Let’s get into your EP 1 OUT OF 4. Tell us about that

CM:It’s out right now! They can download it right now via Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, Apple Music, and all the places that you can stream music, you can find it right now.

VEU: The first single from the album is called “One Love.” Can you tell us about the inspiration behind that song?

CM: It’s about love and relationships and getting along with the one you’re in love with, and getting in sync. Being able to go through the good times and bad, being friends and lovers, all of those things is what “One Love” is about.

VEU: It reminds me of your “Chante’s Got a Man” song, off your “This Moment is Mine” album. It’s one of the songs that I think a lot of us young women have held on to about how to treat a man in a relationship. Do you still hold truth to some of those things?

CM: Absolutely. I believe in loving and giving the best you can. Whenever you are in love, love should show on the outside as well as the inside. You can’t say “I love you,” but I ain’t doing this, or not doing that. Love is an action word. So get out there and show the person you love that you love them, because if you don’t someone else will.

VEU: You are releasing this project on your own label correct?

CM: Yes maam. CM7 records, this is my third release off of that, I have “The Rise of the Phoenix” which released last September, and then my Christmas album was in December of last year and now “1 of 4” which is the first of the other four releases.

VEU: How does it feel taking charge and being in charge of your own label?

CM: Well you know control is a good thing, but it’s also about taking responsibility, just like being a parent. You know it’s a wonderful thing to give birth to something, but then you have to take care of it, and it’s your responsibility to nurture and feed it, and to help it grow. That’s what I’m doing now, is learning exactly how to do that, and doing the best that I can so that my music can be released to the world, you know, and if they don’t get a chance to hear it, then it’s on me. So, I love the responsibility, however it’s a lot of it, it’s heavy, but it’s good work.

VEU:  If you could leave one thing behind and have people remember you for besides your music, what would it be?

CM: That I’m grateful. I’m grateful to be here. I’m grateful to love and do music for a living. I’m grateful that I’ve had the lengthy opportunity and career that I’ve had for over 20 something years now. It’s been something that’s wonderful, it’s been a wonderful journey. I don’t know about thing, because it’s more than one (laughs). I love the Lord and that’s a wonderful thing. I love that he afforded me the ability to sing for a living, for the world, that I’ve been able to travel. For every song that’s come out of my throat, every time that I’ve been able to get up and sing and fulfill my obligation.

VEU: It’s interesting you brought up the Lord. I know that your parents were both in the ministry, and so were mine. Was it a challenge coming out and working with artists like R. Kelly, and The Isley Brothers, coming from such a religious background?

CM: No, I’m responsible for what I sing, and they both are people that come from religious backgrounds as well. Most people into R&B come from the church, and I know one thing for me that I’ve learned from coming from the church, is singing what I believe. The things that I sing, that come out of my mouth those are the things that I believe in, and their real opportunities and real things that have happened to me, I think that’s what it’s about. I think that’s what it’s about, singing with conviction and being able to invite people in.

VEU: It’s been a pleasure interviewing you. Is there anything else that you would like to add, or want people to know about you?

CM: No, just “1of 4”, keep looking for the next three, which will be out intermittently throughout the 4 quarters of this year

Actress, Writer and Producer Terri J. Vaughn Covers VEU Magazine

Actress, Writer and Producer Terri J. Vaughn covers the May/June 2018 issue of VEU Magazine. Interviewed by Tianna Maxon, Mrs. Vaughn shared with us how she broke into the entertainment industry many years ago, landing her long term role on the “Steve Harvey Show,” starting her own production company, new podcast show, and more. She also shared with us one of the secrets to maintaining longevity in this industry.

Also featured in this issue is upcoming Chicago rapper King Jak, custom men’s wedding suit designer Miguel Wilson, former TV star turned entrepreneur LaTangela Newsome, Colour U Cosmetics founder Karen Stallings, and more. You can also find articles on the latest fashion trends, utilizing the universe to improve your life, and incorporating Moringa into your diet.

Click here to read more from this issue. Digital and print copies are both available.

Beyonce’ Announces Donation to HBCUs One Day After Historic Coachella Performance

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

Beyoncé didn’t even let the dust settle from her historical Coachella performance before announcing she will be giving $100,000 to four black colleges.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, Beyoncé made history as being the first black woman to headline Coachella. During her two hour-long set, she brought out her sister Solange, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland to perform hits from the Destiny’s Child years, and even Jay-Z. She also honored HBCU culture and step culture with some of her acts, but she didn’t stop at just paying homage through performances.

On Monday, the singer announced she will donate six figures in scholarships through her Homecoming Scholars Awards Program. The four lucky HBCUs are Xavier, Wilberforce, Tuskegee and Bethune-Cookman.

A portion of the press release from the singer’s website stated:

“One winner from each school will receive $25K for the 2018-2019 academic year for study in various fields. This is the second year for a scholars program created by Beyoncé.

The Formation Scholars Awards Program, a merit scholarship program was established in April 2017 in celebration of the one-year anniversary of LEMONADE, Beyoncé’s critically-acclaimed and globally-lauded 2016 visual album. The Formation Scholars awards encouraged and supported young women who are bold, creative, conscious, confident and unafraid to think outside of the box. The Homecoming Scholars Award Program for 2018-2019 will expand to all qualifying students at the four universities, regardless of gender. The disciplines will include literature, creative arts, African- American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering. All applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA or above. All finalists and winners will be selected by the universities. Winners will be announced this summer.”

How the Royal Wedding Will Benefit The Less Fortunate

Written by Aysha Chaudhry

You don’t have to be tuned in to all-things Royal Family to know Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement is historical for many reasons. But one company is ensuring that this wedding will also be benefitting the Windsor city homeless, who are often displaced during such royal events. For Richer, For Poorer is the non-profit brand behind the genius idea of creating beautiful memorabilia to commemorate the newest royal couple, with funds from each sale going to purchase toiletries and other useful items for the homeless. Then there are higher-priced items, like the Commemorative Plate (£5,000), that will provide the funds with just one sale to take someone off the streets for an entire year. To learn more about For Richer, For Poorer and their gratuitous initiative, head over to forricherforpoorer.org.

Chance The Rapper to Deliver Commencement Speech at Dillard University

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

It looks like we can add graduation speaker to Chance the Rapper’s already long list of accomplishments. The 24 year-old Grammy-award winning artist just announced that he will be delivering the commencement address at graduation for Dillard University in New Orleans. The Dillard president, Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough (aka the Hip-Hop Prez) teaches a class on ethics and hip-hop. Choosing Chance, who is renowned for his charitable initiatives, including his own foundation Social Works, seemed like a easy decision. The rapper’s extensive accomplishments as a social activist rival his groundbreaking achievements as a musician, which includes becoming the first streaming-only artist to win a Grammy. Not to mention, he still has never signed with a major record label.

We are sure that Chance’s speech will be one the students at Dillard will never forget!

 

Stephen Curry and Brita Team Up to Make Schools Safer

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

When we think of providing the essentials to schools to ensure students are receiving the best care possible, we don’t often think of clean water as one of those things. Contaminated water is just one of the burdens underfunded school systems have to deal with, but Brita® and Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors point guard, are stepping in to provide a long-term solution. In collaboration with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the water company and the two-time NBA MVP are pledging funds from each sale of a LongLast™ filter to providing Brita Hydration Stations to schools. These water stations help filter out lead and other harmful chemicals that may be in the schools water, and one filter can replace over 18,000 standard water bottles. Kudos to Steph and the Brita®  team for dedicating themselves to help provide a safer environment for the next generation!

Millions of Hearing Impaired Could Benefit From This Breakthrough Drug

 Written by Benjamin Roussey
A loss of hearing is categorized as a public health epidemic in the US. This seems apt given the fact that at least 15% of the adult population is suffering from hearing loss, which is almost as bad as the economic situation going on in New York and California as those states continue to make the wrong decisions.

There are plenty of reasons why people start losing their hearing. It could be prolonged exposure to loud noise, a one-time occurrence due to standing right next to the loudspeakers at a rock concert, or a result of aging.Irrespective of the cause, the remedies currently available are cochlear implants and hearing aids. These are known as limited solutions as they cannot set right the damage caused to the inner ear nor bring back regular hearing capabilities. However, quite a few biotechnology firms are in the race to come up with a drug that can actually mend damage to the inner ear.

Decibel Therapeutic, a start-up based in Boston, Frequency Therapeutics founded by a pair of biomedical engineers, Swiss biopharmaceutical company Auris Medical, and Otonomy of San Diego, are some of the names engaged in pursuit of this wonder drug.

  • Decibel is looking at developing medication that can heal the damage caused to hair cells and neurons inside the cochlea or the auditory nerve. The company is also getting financial backup from Regeneron as well as access to its sophisticated research tools.
  • Frequency is focused on the search for small molecule drugs that can re-energize progenitor cells which are dormant to mend cochlear hair cells. The company has completed Phase 1 of the human study successfully and is likely to start on Phase 2 later in 2018.
  • Auris Medical is targeting redressal of tinnitus and hearing loss in the inner ear. Tinnitus is when there is a constant buzzing or ringing in the ears. The research is at an advanced stage of clinical development.
  • Otonomy, meanwhile, is using a three-point approach to the drug development. It aims at curing hearing loss caused by chemotherapy and earlier-stage hearing impairment which is often not pronounced enough to be detected on a hearing test. The third program aims at developing drugs to restore loss of hair cells.

It might take many years before these drugs are available for widespread use, but the progress being made is a definite ray of hope to the 360 million affected people across the globe.

 

 

Veteran Files: PTSD and Entrepreneurship

Written by Antwan Hamilton

PTSD( post traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.

Im going to give you a first hand account on my personal experiences and journey of being an entrepreneur with ptsd.

I’m a United States Navy veteran and spent eight years on active duty during the height of our last war in Iraq and Afghanistan. After my final enlistment I decided to go back to college to pursue my art career. During my sophomore year I started an art company entitled“Artificer. The company was an art design consulting company for private and commercial entities. I would eventually gain management and interns as well as a global list of clients within the first year the company was established in 2010.

During that initial year as I was trying to grow the business I was dealing with PTSD. I never told anyone. I tried my best to keep it under control and remain efficient in my studies. After returning home from deployment,“I never came off watch .”I would constantly remain on high alert scanning my surroundings and living like I was still overseas.

I would eventually stop attending my own art shows and other events the company was associated with. I would just hire someone to represent myself for the evening. I didn’t want to be around anyone. The only thing I wanted to do was grow the company, graduate, and cope with my problem however I saw fit to do so.

This next event that happened to me was not only almost fatal it was the final blow for me to realize that I needed help outside of my self.

It was January 2011 and I became involved in a shooting incident during my last semester before graduating. As a result, I had been shot twice. Thankfully the wounds were non-life threatening and I was released from the hospital the following morning. I was beyond thrilled that I was still alive, but personally knew my problem was just beginning.

A few months later after my incident, I was struggling just to keep my sanity and graduate. I had lost a majority of my interns and the company’s sells were declining fast. The prior three years I had poured all of my energy, time, and finances into this company only to see it dwindle away in less than six months. The only thing I had left was an over abundance of was final exams, bills and a ton of questions to answer from clients, friends, and family.

We know that entrepreneurs take risk, and for some of us battling PTSD that risk is doubled. Your’e not only responsible for yourself but for employees, as well as clients. You cannot deliver on your product or service and tell your client your’e battling ptsd.

I would love to end this article telling you how I ordered some magical french fries, ate one and brought the business back in a week with sales going through the roof! That never happened. I even debated on writing this article but after thinking more about it, I knew I had a duty to do so. According to The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs National Center for PTSD studies show that suicide risk is higher in persons with PTSD. Many veterans have very disturbing thoughts and extreme guilt about actions taken during times of war. These thoughts can often overwhelm the veteran and make it hard for him or her to deal with the intense feelings.

I’ve always had a competitive mindset and an exquisite taste for winning. I didn’t know how I would come back but I knew I would. I managed to graduate college and five years later I’m finally picking up the pieces and starting over again. I changed the business name to“Artifiseur”and re-established the entity in Atlanta, GA. I published a book in 2016 entitled“Artifiseur”about my experiences. That was a healing point for me because even though I had nothing tangible to show for the company I could at least record what happened. Someone else can now pick up the read and develop a zero tolerance attitude for quitting while they are on their business journey.

We all have hurdles to jump over dealing with life and some hurdles are bigger than others. You can fall down as many times as it takes to get back up and finish the race. You cant depend on doctors, information, or people. You have to take care of yourself and protect the only intellectual property you have which is your mind. Keep a plan (a few of them), activate, and move on it.