Mental Health America, the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans, is pleased to announce that Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter, Broadway actress, inspirational speaker, and entrepreneur Michelle Williams is confirmed as a speaker for our 2017 Annual Conference: Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.
Since her days of making hit after hit as a member of Destiny’s Child, one of the best-selling female groups of all time, and then as a solo artist with four critically acclaimed albums (Heart to Yours, Do You Know, Unexpected, and Journey to Freedom), Williams has grown professionally and personally.
In 2003, Williams fell in love with the Broadway stage, after making her debut in the title role of the hit musical “Aida,” succeeding Toni Braxton. Next, she appeared in a production of “The Color Purple,” playing blues singer Shug Avery in 2007, followed by “Chicago” on Broadway and London’s West End as chorus girl Roxie Hart in 2009, and then the stage play “What My Husband Doesn’t Know” in 2011 and national tour with the musical “Fela!” as Sandra Isadore in 2013, and reprised her “Aida” role last year at the Muny in St. Louis. Michelle starred in Oxygen network’s series “Fix My Choir” in 2014, as a mentor guiding choirs on their musical careers, and then served as a guest host on "The View" and "Meredith.”
Public speaking has also become a major part of her life and she is very passionate about it. She has spoken at events and forums across the country—captivating and rousing audiences, young and old. Last spring, she was a special guest speaker at a reception for Hillary Clinton, as well as the keynote speaker at the University of Notre Dame’s “Lunch and Learn.” Williams also moderated GRAMMY Pro’s “Up Close & Personal” panel featuring Lalah Hathaway and other music artists.
Williams has also been outspoken about mental health, an issue that has personally affected her—and one in which many in the African American community do not like to talk about. Over the last few years, she has been very vocal and candid about her battle with depression, which she was able to overcome through her faith in God and therapy.
MHA is thrilled to have Michelle share her journey with us on June 14 at our Annual Conference in Washington, DC. She will speak during the afternoon plenary session at 4 p.m. Michelle will also be a special guest at the MHA Clifford Beers Society Reception later that evening.
You can learn more about MHA's 2017 Annual Conference and register at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/annualconference.