Kevin Dedner, CEO of Hurdle, on the Sociological Factors and Microaggressions Impacting Black Male Mental Health

“Beyond the factors that commonly trigger mental health issues, Black men must also carry the day to day stress of being a Black man, which often presents itself unconsciously in normal activities. Black men report experiencing racial microaggressions —insults, invalidations, and interpersonal slights (subtle and sometimes unintentional) – which are linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression. Black men also suffer from impostor syndrome, a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts his accomplishments in professional settings and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud….. My general belief is that human beings have long held the answers to how to live well. Somewhere along the way, we lost our knowledge of the importance of self-care and restorative practices that help us cope with stress. I think the loss is wrapped up in a myriad of reasons, including western work culture and increased exposure to technology. The bottom line is that we were not designed to be as busy as we are.”

Zach Sharaga, CEO, Dear Mama Coffee On Living Life with Fearlessness, Serial Entrepreneurship, and the Importance of Self-Awareness and Balance

Fearlessness “I approach that mentality with everything I do – my drive and work ethic comes from my father who has never shied away from hard work, cutting corners or putting in the extra time. I also attribute it to pure naivety. At that age, I didn’t think fear actually existed. I still kind of don’t.”