“Growing up in the church I’d hear ‘don’t take your problems to a therapist, take them to Jesus.’ I love Jesus, but, jesus, I need a therapist.“

Jeneé Darden came of age during one of the most contested trials in U.S. history: the People of the State of California v. O.J. Simpson. People on all sides of the case felt the anxiety and racial division, but—as the daughter of Simpson’s prosecutor—Jeneé took the brunt of it. Within the black community, the stigma alone of speaking up about her mental illness contributed to her journey towards self love and care. Today Jeneé is healing through therapy, meditation, accepting her depression and anxiety. To the Oakland family she shared her lessons along the way including her mother’s sage advice to not “let anyone rent space in your head.“

About the speaker

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, public speaker, mental health advocate and proud Oakland native. She has reported for NPR, Time, Ebony, The LA Times, KQED, KALW and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London bombings for Time magazine. Jenee covers issues related to women, race and wellness on her website and podcast Cocoa Fly. Currently, she is pitching a book about Black sexuality. Visit CocoaFly.com to read her research series Under the Covers: The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature.

Jeneé first merged her passion for mental health awareness and love for media as host of the award-winning podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio. The daughter of former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, Jeneé holds a BA in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. Jeneé lives in the Bay Area where she enjoys dancing, performing spoken word and watching superhero movies.

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