Atlanta, GA – Coming f a year that saw both Kanye West and Kid Cudi publicly battle mental health issues, music industry vet Shanti Das has taken it upon herself to launch an initiative to impact the global market as far as Hip Hop is concerned.
In 2016, the former LaFace Records A&R — who helped jumpstart the careers the likes Outkast and Usher — started the #SilenceTheShame movement to give some the world’s most fragile individuals a platform to empower themselves. Now this coming May, an entire weekend will be dedicated to the cause.
Starting on Friday, May 5, a global awareness campaign billed as Silence The Shame Day will kick f across the social media handles various celebrities, faith and civic leaders, key influencers and the community at large. Look for national press outlets (ahem!) and other digital media platforms to get involved as well.
On Saturday, May 6, Atlanta will be host to a Silence The Shame Community Health Fair/Symposium at Jean Childs Young Middle School from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event will consist two one-hour panel discussions with mental health care pressionals from the likes Grady Healthcare and Ebenezer Baptist Church among others, faith and community leaders to educate/create awareness around mental health and treatment to aid in the removal stigma and shame. Service providers will also be on hand to answer questions and provide information about depression/anxiety, PTSD, postpartum, suicide prevention and other mental health disorders.
Lastly on Sunday, May 7, Silence The Shame Day will hold court at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church (famously known as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s former church and America’s freedom church). Other churches are also being encouraged to talk about mental health to their respective congregations on the same day.
Das’ ultimate goal with #SilenceTheShame is to generate national conversation around a topic that has historically been tiptoed around, for she’s living pro it can be conquered.
“I think the more people share the more others will be open to discussing. I know from experience. I’m living it,” she tells HipHopDX.
In her literary works, most notably The Hip-Hop Pressional 2.0, she goes into detail how her father’s suicide sent her down a spiral depression and the measures she took to climb her way out darkness. With 25 years deep in the game, Das currently operates her Atlanta-based firm Press Reset Entertainment and works closely with Jeezy and his CTE imprint.
In preparation for the upcoming May festivities, social media users can get a headstart on joining the movement by following @silencetheshame on Instagram and Facebook. You can also find Usher already there on Twitter.