Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Robert Smith—who famously paid off the student loans for the Morehouse graduating class of 2019—recently shared that he was partnering with Deepak Chopra and his “Never Alone Movement” on The Soul of Leadership, an initiative focusing on mental well-being and leadership development within the Black community.
The initiative will focus on providing mental health services, leadership development courses targeted towards Black youth, and content to support Black entrepreneurs.
Adapted from Dr. Deepak Chopra’s book and curriculum for industry-leading CEOs and executives, The Soul of Leadership and NeverAlone initiatives will offer free programming for Black youth, developing them into future leaders and equipping them with the resiliency and skillset to unlock their fullest potential and thrive in the face of uncertainty.
“I am privileged to work with Robert Smith on this much-needed initiative for the empowerment of our future leaders, particularly from the Black American community,” said Dr. Deepak Chopra, founder of The Chopra Foundation. “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.”
“In order to build the leaders of tomorrow, first we must set a solid foundation where young people can fully thrive,” added Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. “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.”
Starting in early 2023, The Soul of Leadership’s online portal will offer a free virtual catalog of leadership development courses. This initiative will also provide free mental health resources to address the stigma surrounding and disparities in mental health treatment in the Black community, where it is estimated that only about 1 in 3 Black Americans who need mental health services receive them.