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Hakeem Rahim

Mental health advocate and spoken-word artist Hakeem Rahim, this year’s Talbot Speaker, shared his story as part of a presentation to destigmatize mental illness, encourage students to reach out when they’re hurting, and to be supportive friends when someone they know needs help. Mr. Rahim received a psychology degree from Harvard and later received a dual master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teacher’s College. In 2012, Mr. Rahim began openly sharing his journey with mental illness. He has testified in front of the House of Representatives and Senate, and has shared his story with over 60,000 students. In 2016, he launched the I Am Acceptance College Tour Campaign. He is a TEDx speaker and a member of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance’s national board. Mr. Rahim is the President and CEO of I Am Acceptance Inc, a nonprofit committed to building a platform based on values of community, wellness, and acceptance. He is also the founder and CEO of Live Breathe, LLC.

“Many people are suffering in silence, and it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s OK to talk about mental illness. There is no shame in seeking treatment, and a diagnosis is not
the end.”


Publishing stories: researching, interviewing, analyzing, reporting and responding—is challenging and in some cases, dangerous. Has the profession been affected by the wave of invectives, the efforts to sow mistrust, the drive to discredit journalists’ work? What seems difficult and what is rewarding about reporting on the world? Journalists are critical agents in helping us develop the awareness and the acuity to understand our world and to inform our choices.