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Turn your pain into purpose.
It’s a philosophy that speaker and social entrepreneur Lorenzo Lewis lives by. With a decade of professional experience in behavioral health and founder of The Confess Project, an initiative that empowers barbers to become mental health advocates for men of color, Lorenzo helps you confess to your issues to begin to build a better process of living.
Born in jail to an incarcerated mother, Lorenzo struggled with depression, anxiety, and anger throughout his youth. At 17, he almost re-entered the system of mass incarceration he had come from. It was then he snapped in and began his journey to wellness.
It started with an education at Arkansas Baptist College and continued with him facing his own emotional challenges, eventually becoming a mental health advocate. Since then, Lorenzo has been a keynote speaker at numerous venues across the country—from organizations to universities to government agencies—exploring themes such as toxic masculinity, therapy taboos, and more. He has also presented at TEDxFayetteville and TEDxPointParkUniversity.
An entrepreneurial changemaker, Lorenzo has grown The Confess Project into a national grassroots movement. To date, his team has trained over 300 barbers in more than 20 cities, and is on track to train 800 more nationwide by the end of the year. Recently, Fast Company named The Confess Project as one of “The 10 most innovative health companies of 2021.”
Lorenzo’s parent nonprofit, L&J Empowerment, supports several other of his initiatives including the recently opened Joy & Wellness Hub in Little Rock, Arkansas. The space offers wraparound services for marginalized communities in areas such as employment, transport, economic mobility, and healthcare access.
Community comes first in all of Lorenzo’s endeavors—whether it's the people he serves or the talent he hires. He believes that when you empower individuals, you empower the community. His book, Jumping Over Life’s Hurdles and Staying in the Race, threads together these lessons to tell a story of how he became the visionary he is today.
Lorenzo’s work has been featured in Oprah Magazine, The Today Show, The Kelly Clarkson Show, CNN’s Great Big Story, NPR’s Weekend Edition, Men’s Health, Huffington Post, Jay Z’s Roc Nation, Nick Cannon Mornings, among many others. He is a 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Fellow and Echoing Green Fellow. In addition, he is a recipient of the Public Lifesaver Award from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and a Multicultural Outreach Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Lorenzo previously served as an adjunct professor at Arkansas Baptist College.
WATCH & LEARN
Mission is to assist an underprivileged youth at least 17 years of age with scholarship funding. Candidate must be a juvenile delinquent prior to graduating high school. Proof must be shown that the individual has applied or made plans to attend a vocational school or post-secondary institution.