hbcu

Positive Black Male News: Microsoft Signals New Era With Thompson as Chairman

Positive Black Male News: Microsoft Signals New Era With Thompson as Chairman

Positive Black Male News

iyVDo2v0h1lYWith Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s appointment of John Thompson as chairman to replace co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s largest software maker is looking to the veteran technology executive as the main outside voice in its new leadership structure.

Thompson was the lead independent director heading the board’s search for a new chief executive officer, resulting in the appointment of Microsoft insider Satya Nadella to replace Steve Ballmer, the Redmond, Washington-based company said in a statement today. While the naming of Thompson and Nadella, who were already involved in Microsoft’s transition, signal continuity, it’s also the biggest break in the company’s history as the Gates-Ballmer duo who have been in charge for more than three decades step aside.

The former CEO of Symantec Corp. (SYMC), Thompson, 64, is stepping in at a crucial point as Microsoft remakes itself to better compete with rivals including Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG) In picking Thompson, the board is betting that he’ll be able to use his experience running a security-software company to help turn around Microsoft.

“Thompson’s going to be a major voice for the company,” James Staten, an analyst at Forrester Research, said in an interview. “They wouldn’t have made him chairman, if he didn’t have strong opinions about how to drive the company forward. And Satya is looking for strong partners on the board.”

Board Responsibilities

In a video that Microsoft posted online, Thompson said he was “looking forward to working closely with Satya and other members of the board. The board is always focused on long-term success of this great company and takes seriously its responsibilities to shareholders to ensure long-term success.”

As Microsoft’s key products face decline, Thompson and Nadella will oversee a transition to a new organizational structure and integrate the $7.2 billion acquisition ofNokia Oyj (NOK1V)’s handset unit. The management transition at Microsoft follows the worst decline on record for personal computers in 2013, when shipments dropped 10 percent and are projected to languish through 2017.

Thompson knows what it’s like to be at the head of a struggling incumbent. While at Symantec in 2005, he orchestrated the ill-fated $10.2 billion purchase of Veritas Software Corp., in an effort to push into data storage. When Thompson stepped down as CEO four years later, Symantec was contending with slowing growth amid an economic downturn and rising competition. Thompson joined Microsoft as a director in 2012 as part of an expansion of the board.

Florida Roots

The son of a Florida postal worker and a teacher, Thompson joined International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) straight out of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1971. The IBM interviewer said he was interested in a stereo, so Thompson spent the session trying to sell him one, Thompson wrote in a New York Times column in 2012. He wound up with a job as a sales representative for IBM in Tampa, Florida.

Thompson likes to tell people he spent “27 years, 9 months and 13 days at IBM” before joining technology security company Symantec as CEO in 1999. He took the company from $600 million to $6 billion in sales over his decade-long tenure, before stepping down in 2009.

Microsoft’s new chairman also currently runs Virtual Instruments Inc., a San Jose, California-based maker of software that tracks application and hardware performance. In an interview late last year, Thompson said he was determined to take the company public, something he has never done in his career.

Performance Management

After joining Microsoft’s board in February 2012, Thompson was involved in discussions about the company’s performance under Ballmer, regulatory filings show. The board, in annual reviews, rebuked the CEO for poor results in Windows and tablets machines, even as it lauded areas such as server software and expense cutting.

Thompson helped to create an environment that sped Ballmer’s decision to retire, according to people with knowledge of the matter, and the director led the board in pressing the CEO on his strategy. Thompson listened to each board member and made sure Ballmer heard them, improving lines of communication and making strategy talks more productive, the people said.

The former CEO of Symantec Corp. (SYMC), Thompson, 64, is stepping in at a crucial point as Microsoft remakes itself to better compete with rivals including Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG) In picking Thompson, the board is betting that he’ll be able to use his experience running a security-software company to help turn around Microsoft.

“Thompson’s going to be a major voice for the company,” James Staten, an analyst at Forrester Research, said in an interview. “They wouldn’t have made him chairman, if he didn’t have strong opinions about how to drive the company forward. And Satya is looking for strong partners on the board.”

Board Moves

The new chairman is only Microsoft’s second since the company was founded by Gates and Paul Allen in 1975. Some external candidates who discussed the CEO job with Microsoft expressed concerns they would lack independence if both Ballmer and Gates stayed on as directors, people familiar with their thinking have said. Gates and Ballmer together own 8.3 percent of the stock; Gates is Microsoft’s largest individual shareholder with a 4.3 percent stake.

A new director set to join the board next month is Mason Morfit, president of activist shareholder ValueAct Holdings LP. He’s eager to see Microsoft emphasize its business software and Internet-based cloud services rather than consumer technology, people familiar with the situation have said.

The board, which is expanding to 10 members with the addition of Nadella, includes seven independent directors. Three of the seven have been on the board for more than eight years, including 33 years for David Marquardt, an early investor in the software maker.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.net; Peter Burrows in San Francisco at pburrows@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

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Positive Black Male News: Morehouse Man Courtney English was unanimously elected chairman of the Atlanta School Board

Positive Black Male News: Morehouse Man Courtney English was unanimously elected chairman of the Atlanta School Board

Positive Black Male News

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Courtney English was unanimously elected chairman of the Atlanta School Board.

By Mark Niesse

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta’s newly elected school board took office Monday and unanimously voted for Courtney English to become the board chairman.

Voters chose six new representatives last fall, bringing major turnover to the nine-member board.

The school board, which also named Nancy Meister as vice chairwoman, includes four former teachers, three graduates of Atlanta Public Schools, nonprofit organizers, attorneys, and parent community leaders

Source: AJC

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Positive Black Male News: Morehouse Alum Jeh Johnson confirmed as secretary of homeland security

Positive Black Male News: Morehouse Alum Jeh Johnson confirmed as secretary of homeland security

Positive Black Male News

jehBy 

The Senate confirmed Jeh C. Johnson on Monday as secretary of homeland security, the fourth person to lead the sprawling domestic safety agency since its inception after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Johnson, 56, the former general counsel for the Pentagon, won confirmation on an overwhelming vote, 78 to 16, as the Senate continued churning through an end-of-session batch of nominees to fill President Obama’s Cabinet and the federal judiciary.

Unlike some nominees who have encountered Republican opposition, Johnson won the votes of 23 GOP senators, a majority, and all 55 members of the Democratic caucus.

“As we all know, the president has asked Jeh Johnson to take on a difficult and demanding job,” said Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “Fortunately for our nation, he is a strong leader and well prepared to face the challenges that await him.”

Johnson, who will be one of three African Americans in the Cabinet, is expected to be sworn in by the end of the week.

A former Air Force general counsel, Johnson takes over a department that oversees 22 agencies with a far-flung jurisdiction that includes counterterrorism, fighting illegal immigration and responding to natural disasters.

During confirmation hearings last month, Johnson pledged to try to create unity in a department notorious for lacking it.

“I hope to be a visible leader [and] remind people of the importance of the overriding, unifying mission of homeland security,” he testified.

In a sign of lingering battles over Senate confirmation rules, Republicans protested the effort to move to a vote on Johnson’s top lieutenant, Alejandro Mayorkas, forcing rarely required procedural moves to set up votes this week on that nomination and others.

Last month, Senate Democrats set a precedent that allowed them to change the chamber’s rules on most of Obama’s executive and judicial nominees, eliminating the 60-vote hurdle to clear a filibuster. Republicans have protested the unilateral move by using even more obscure procedural moves, which have clogged up the Senate’s work for the past week.

Democrats are hopeful that some agreement can be worked out by the end of the week to easily clear Mayorkas and Janet L. Yellen, the nominee for chairman of the Federal Reserve, and possibly a few others.

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Positive Black Male News: Morgan State University Alum Winner on Jeopardy

Positive Black Male News: Morgan State University Alum Winner on Jeopardy

Positive Black Male News

bal-morgan-state-jeopardy-photo-20131209By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun

Craig Cornish Jr. knows former U.S. President Martin Van Buren’s first language was Dutch, not English.

It might seem like a useless bit of historical trivia to some, but the factoid netted Cornish $1,400 on “Jeopardy” and capped off the Morgan State alumnus’ second straight win on the popular game show Monday night.

The 2013 graduate from Welcome, in Charles County, now attends Princeton for graduate school, Southern Maryland Newspapers reported.

Cornish will be back on the show Tuesday at 7 p.m. to defend his streak, which has earned him $46,800 as of the end of Monday’s episode.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cmcampbell6

Source: Baltimore Sun

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Positive Black Male News: Obama announces new leadership team for the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Positive Black Male News: Obama announces new leadership team for the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Positive Black Male News

hbcuToday, the Obama Administration announced a new leadership team for the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  Former South Carolina State University president Dr. George E. Cooper has come on board as the Executive Director of the Initiative and Howard University’s Dr. Ivory Toldson will join him as Deputy Director.

Cooper and Toldson will work with the HBCU Board of Advisors—appointed by President Obama— serving as a bridge between the federal government and historically Black institutions of higher learning. They will also aid Secretary Arne Duncan by serving as an organ for HBCUs within the Department of Education, helping to develop policies and provide assistance schools, students and other key stakeholders.

President Obama has stated that by 2020, he wants America to again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. The HBCU initiative is intended to help increase both the number of Black graduates and help sustain the livelihood of these institutions.

Dr. Cooper is a Senior Fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and is responsible for reviewing key federal legislation regarding HBCUs. As the 10th President of South Carolina State University (SCSU) he was also the chairperson of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, Council of 1890 Universities (2010-2012).  Cooper has also served as faculty at Alabama A&M University and Tuskegee University. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University and Tuskegee University, and holds a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Illinois – Urbana.

An associate professor at Howard University, Dr. Toldson also serves as senior research analyst for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Negro Education.” He formerly served at Southern University and A&M College and is responsible for the Breaking Barriers series for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), which analyzes success indicators for Black male schoolchildren  Toldson was also the lead author of The Quest for Excellence: Supporting the Academic Success of Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Disciplines.

For over 150 years, HBCUs have provided primarily African-American student bodies with educational opportunities, invaluable networking opportunities and critical support as students and alumni. President Obama has declared his commitment to sustaining these institutions, signing an executive order in 2010 entitled Promoting Excellence, Innovation, and Sustainability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The order was designed to reinvigorate the government’s relationship to and support of Black institutions.

HBCUs saw a major benefit from the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, which was signed by President Obama in 2010 and strengthened the Pell Grant, increased funding for community colleges; provided increased resources for HBCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions; and capped student loan repayments. The law provided $850 million for HBCUs and $150 million for Predominately Black Institutions.  These dollars can be used to renew, reform, and expand programming to ensure that students at these colleges and universities are given every chance to attain their college degree.

Kevin Lewis is the Director of African American Media for the White House.

Source: Ebony Mag

Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/news-views/obama-names-leadership-for-hbcu-initiative-304#ixzz2fkQi90UQ
Follow us: @EbonyMag on Twitter | EbonyMag on Facebook

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Campus Kings: Michael Sneed

Campus Kings: Michael Sneed

Campus Kings

Meet Howard University Freshmen Michael Sneed:

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, much has been said about and to young Black men. At College Bound Brotherhood, we thought it was time to hear from young Black men themselves. Throughout August, we’re sharing powerful responses by young men like Michael. Watch and share.

Full #OurLivesMatter series: http://bit.ly/197GDME

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League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

League Of Extraordinary Black Men

 

You have a specific goal that you are to reach and obtain that was made just for you to do by the creator. ~Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

You have a specific goal that you are to reach and obtain that was made just for you to do by the creator. ~Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

TheBlackManCan is back in Atlanta, GA to bring you another Black Man who is making remarkable contributions to society. We bring to you a Black Man who has always had a passion for math and music and now has turned that into a way to help youth learn both. We proudly present Marcus Blackwell, Jr. Founder of Make Music Count. Marcus sits with down with TheBlackManCan to discuss Make Music Count, the intersection of Math and Music and advice for young black males.

TheBlackManCan: Marcus, tell about your childhood and how it plays a role into the man you are today.

MB: My childhood upbringing was a combination of educational excellence, a love of music, and a religious foundation. My mother as an educator always pushed me to excel in school, constantly reminding me to “be a leader and not a follower”. As the oldest out of three sons I wanted to set the best example I could for my brothers. So in school growing up nothing less than excellence in the classroom was an option for me. My love of music came from my father who served as a music director playing the piano and organ for many churches in the Connecticut area. He would take me along to his every rehearsal to sit next to him on the piano or to sing in the choir. The largest influence on me growing up was my consistent attendance of church. In my family having a religious foundation is everything and that is where I spent the majority of my time growing up in church and it’s that foundation and spiritual connection that I give credit to the success I have. I operate within these three areas to this very day. Always looking to reach academic excellence has forced me to adopt a phenomenal work ethic that allows me to work harder than others around me. My love for music and religious foundation eventually combined into one passion as I now serve as the Music Director for the Fairburn location of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA.

TheBlackManCan: What did you realize that you had a passion for math and music?

MB: My passion for music began at the Artists Collective in Hartford, CT, which is an arts school that was founded by the late phenomenal jazz musician Jackie McLean. At the Artist Collective I began piano lessons at the age of 5 and the rest is history.  Music instantly became a love and great passion of mine. It didn’t matter what style of music I learned I enjoyed it all. I grew up competing in piano competitions and recitals and was literally immersed into Classical, jazz and gospel. I wouldn’t be the musician that I am today without The Artists Collective.

My passion for math was realized in high school when I attended The Greater Hartford Academy of Mathematics and Science. Not only did my work ethic allow me to succeed but also I realized that I was actually good at math and even enjoyed doing it. Math didn’t necessarily come easy to me but I enjoyed the feeling of being challenged by a math problem but then also the relief and confidence gained from solving it. From there math and music would forever be my two passions.

TheBlackManCan: Share with us your Morehouse experience. Why did you decide on Morehouse? What does being a Morehouse Man mean to you? Why should students consider an HBCU education?

MB: My Morehouse experience was life changing…plain and simple. Before Morehouse I was a decent student that did well but attending Morehouse made me challenge myself to the point of reaching a new level of potential. Morehouse planted a seed of confidence that made me believe that I could achieve literally anything I set my mind to. My interest in Morehouse however began at birth since my father is a Morehouse Man. I was visiting Morehouse College every summer with my father before I even knew what college was since he was an Atlanta native. But that wasn’t enough for me to attend. As I mentioned earlier my mother always told me to “be a leader and not a follower” so I attended the Coca-Cola Pre College Leadership Program at Morehouse to further investigate my interest. These one-week included lessons on what it meant to be an ethical leader and how it was my responsibility to do well not simply for my own benefit but for the benefit of the community I came from. I had never heard a message like this before. An idea that me bettering myself was only important if it benefitted the community was incredible and sold me on Morehouse. This is what it means to be a Morehouse Man. Academic excellence but also having a social conscience so that you can use what you’ve learned to benefit the community. In my opinion every African American student should attend an HBCU. It’s in this environment where you’re able to reach your real potential and where you learn the values in doing well to better the African American community.

 TheBlackManCan: What ignited the spark to start Make Music Count?

MB: The spark to start Make Music Count began with my ability to play music by ear. As a gospel musician about 98% of music learned is through this method. I always meet people who are interested in learning how to play the piano or used to play and want to get back into it. But the issue is that no one wants to learn how to read music. This means that I needed a way to teach people how to play music by ear. In my mind the only way to do this was by incorporating math to explain music. So I created a method where only understanding math steps would produce the sound of music. But this idea sparked the real one. Instead of using my new method to teach music, I believed that I could get students to not only be interested in math but also improve through the same teaching method. So now through this method I began to realize that if music were used as a reward for completing math assignments students would become more open to tackling math questions. So I created a curriculum that was all math based but would derive musical notes to allow students to play songs on the piano.

Young black men need to see this so that they are not persuaded or tricked by the false images that the society would like to brand them with.  ~ Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

Young black men need to see this so that they are not persuaded or tricked by the false images that the society would like to brand them with. ~ Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

TheBlackManCan: What is the mission and vision behind Make Music Count?

MB: There are two missions of Make Music Count. The first is to get students excited about mathematics and to eliminate the intimidation that they have when solving math equations. Removing this intimidation will result in opening up more opportunities for students to consider studying and majoring in mathematics in college. The second mission is to validate the art of playing music by ear. Many great musicians learned how to play their instruments by only listening and practicing and hold leadership positions in the music world. Through the technique of playing by ear these musicians understand as much music as someone who studied music in school. My company will validate that learning how to play music by ear is enough to be considered a professional musician.

TheBlackManCan: How does the Make Music Count program work?

MB: The Make Music Count curriculum is centered around learning how to play hip-hop songs on the piano. But the catch is that solving a math equation derives every musical note that’s needed to play on the piano. My lessons currently range from basic addition and subtraction lessons to solving two-step algebra equations. The best part about my program is that you don’t need to have any musical background to participate. If you can count and solve your math equations you can play the piano. Music is used as a reward for completing the math assignments.

TheBlackManCan: How and why do math and music intersect? Why is this area something that needs to be explored in classrooms?

MB: Math and Music have always intersected. You in fact need math to understand every aspect of music. And this is the lesson that students need to be taught in the classroom. It really doesn’t make any sense for kids to like music and not like math. One cannot exist without the other. And if you enjoy and are good at one area then you by default good in the other.

TheBlackManCan: How and why do students develop mathphobia? How can Make Music Count address this issue?

MB: Students develop a mathphobia from teachers and each other. Math is taught to be feared and taught that it’s a class that is naturally hard. once one student believes this then so do the rest. Additionally there’s no connection to show how math is applicable to the real world. Students always wonder, “Where will I use this???” My program is used to eliminate this thinking. I show that math can be useful and even fun when you know how to apply it. Make Music Count takes math and shows how it can be used to play music on the piano. So if students can see that math can be related to something like music it will open up the thinking and discussion of “well what else can math connect to??” and that’s the goal of Make Music Count.

An idea that me bettering myself was only important if it benefitted the community was incredible and sold me on Morehouse. This is what it means to be a Morehouse Man.  ~ Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

An idea that me bettering myself was only important if it benefitted the community was incredible and sold me on Morehouse. This is what it means to be a Morehouse Man. ~ Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

TheBlackManCan: Why is it important to get all students but in particular Black Males engaged and loving math?

MB: Its important to get all students engaged in math because it’s a great tool to use. Math is apart of everything. If you understand that there are so many opportunities and great jobs that will open up for you. But students hinder themselves by allowing teachers to intimidate them.

TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself and Make Music Count in the next five years?

MB: In the next five years Make Music Count will be a nation wide curriculum that will change how mathematics is taught in the classroom. My class will show improvement in the math scores of students all because of connecting math to a fun area that they can relate to. I believe that every school needs a program like Make Music Count, not as a class to take over normal math classes but as an extra help method to show students how what they learn in the classroom can be applied to other areas as well.

TheBlackManCan: Why it important for Black Men and Boys to see positive images of themselves?

Black men need to see positive images of themselves because its our reality. Everything about black men in our history is positive. We’re strong, intelligent men and always have been. Young black men need to see this so that they are not persuaded or tricked by the false images that the society would like to brand them with. Once they understand this there’s literally nothing a black man can’t do.

. It really doesn’t make any sense for kids to like music and not like math. One cannot exist without the other.  ~ Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

. It really doesn’t make any sense for kids to like music and not like math. One cannot exist without the other. ~ Marcus Blackwell, Jr.

TheBlackManCan: What words of advice do you have for young Black Males of today?

MB: My advice for young black men of today is to be yourself. Don’t be fooled or persuaded by what brings someone else success. Everyone has something that makes them unique and makes them special. It’s the reason why your name is different from everyone else’s. But the reason why you have something unique about you is because there’s something specific that you are required to do while you’re here on Earth. You have a specific goal that you are to reach and obtain that was made just for you to do by the creator. And the way that you find out what that is by doing two things.

1. Understanding what you’re good at

2. Connecting that skill to how you can help someone else.

These two points combined with a great work ethic will take you anywhere you need to go.

Visit Make Music Count Now –> http://makemusiccount.org/

Purchase Books and Merchandise from Make Music Count Now–> http://makemusiccount.org/collections/all

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Campus Kings: Timothy Spicer, Jr.

Campus Kings: Timothy Spicer, Jr.

Campus Kings

Love your neighbor. Our community lacks love. Do not fear complimenting an individual. Kindness is contagious. ~Tim Spicer

Love your neighbor. Our community lacks love. Do not fear complimenting an individual. Kindness is contagious. ~Tim Spicer, Jr.

TheBlackManCan is making its way back to Atlanta , GA and this time visting the illitrsious Morehouse College. We proudly present Morehouse Senior Timothy Spicer! Timothy sits down with TheBlackManCan to talk about his Morehouse experience, introducing President Barack Obama, College Summit and advice for young Black Males.

TheBlackManCan: Tim, Why did you decide to attend Morehouse College? What impact has the college had on you as a young man?

TS: Georgia has always been one of my many homes! Being that Morehouse was in Atlanta, I knew that I wanted to be there for sure. I chose Morehouse because of it’s rich history, dynamic network, and prestigious reputation. At the time, I felt I portrayed President Franklin’s “5 Wells,” Well-Read, Well-Spoken, Well-Traveled, Well-Dressed and Well-Balanced. As a young man, these Five Wells would evolve as a matriculated through Morehouse College. Aside from the many lessons taught inside the classroom, the social conscious Morehouse has stressed has influenced me as an African-American male to strive for excellence in all human endeavors.

TheBlackManCan: Why did you decide to major in political science?

TS: When I applied to Morehouse College, I wasn’t sure what I would choose for my major. After discussing the importance of African-American involvement in politics, I felt it was necessary to select Political Science. Being interested in the realm of politics and heavily involved with the Arlington County School Board, I knew Political Science was the ideal major to develop my character and expand my knowledge for governmental affairs.

TheBlackManCan: You served as the Vice-President of the Young Democrats of Morehouse College. Tell us about some of the initiatives that you lead as Vice President?

TS: As Vice President, I took the initiative of partnering with the Obama for America Office! This partnership led to various opportunities that benefited the well being of the West End community. On campus involvement was a major component of this initiative. With great help from State Field Director, Richard McDaniel and Freshman Class Council President, Tyra Beaman, I was able to lead over 130 Students to Jacksonville, Florida to canvass for President Barack Obama. Aside from canvassing trips, the organization registered over 1,500 Morehouse, Spelman and Clark-Atlanta students to vote in the 2012 Presidential Election. By the end of the academic year, the Chapter won the “New Chapter of Year” Award at the Young Democrats Convention.

TheBlackMaCan: Tell us about your experience as a member of the Morehouse Tigersharks?

TS: Being apart of the Morehouse TigerShark Swim Club has been a great experience! We’ve traveled to Washington, D.C. as well as Georgia Tech University for meets. In Washington, we competed in the “Black Heritage Swim Meet” for Black History Month. I placed 2nd in the 100 meter Breaststroke in 1:23 seconds; and placed 3rd in the 50 meter Freestyle in 27.8 seconds. Months later at the Georgia Tech Swim Invitational, I placed 1st in the 50 meter Breaststroke in 33.6 seconds. As a swimmer, it is my responsibly to attend all practices, meets or invitational, and fundraising events held by our team.

As a black man, you have a future…so take advantage of the opportunities presented to you.  ~Tim Spicer

As a black man, you have a future…so take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. ~Tim Spicer, Jr.

TheBlackManCan: You have traveled abroad. Where have you traveled and why is it important for people to travel outside of the country?

TS: Midway through my junior year, I was blessed with the opportunity to study abroad in Bangkok, Thailand. During my stay at Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep, I studied International Logistics and Trade. I even visited the Minister of Education; the Reclining Buddha; Laem Chabang(storage depot); and countless temples. The world is too big for an individual to confine him or herself to one spectrum of the globe. I strongly encourage everyone to study abroad; it is not only a thrilling experience but a humbling one as well.

It is important for black men and boys to see positive images of them because it serves as a means of motivation.  ~ Tim Spicer

It is important for black men and boys to see positive images of them because it serves as a means of motivation. ~ Tim Spicer, Jr.

TheBlackManCan: How was the experience of being able to introduce President Obama at his national Back to School Speech?

TS: Introducing President Obama at his national Back to School Speech was unbelievable! It struck me by complete surprise. The morning of, all seemed unreal but by time I set foot into Wakefield High School, reality set in. Once I entered the gym, students patiently waiting President Barack Obama’s arrival stood and applauded. I walked back stage to be briefed on logistics for the morning. Minutes later, President Obama jogged up the steps with an open hand asking, “You must be Tim Spicer, pleasure to meet you!” He was tall and had a vibrant personality. We discussed what colleges I planned on applying to, he then assured me that after today was over, my list of schools would know my name. Without question, this was one of the greatest days of my life.

TheBlackManCan: You are heavily involved with College Summit. Can you tell us about College Summit and some of the things you have done wit them?

TS: I love College Summit! Working with this organization has been rewarding. Since my first summer home from College, I have done 5 College Summit workshops. These 4-day workshops are designed to prepare, challenge and embrace rising high school seniors. By discussing the importance of their post-secondary plans; the drafting of their personal statement; and exemplifying outstanding role models in their life; College Summit brings out the best in me simply because I want the best for our youth. Aside from workshops, I have traveled to Washington, Dc to deliver policy pitches on Capitol Hill. The National Office even selected me, along with other prominent Alumni to sit on a panel with the Queen of Belgium and CEO, J.B. Schramm. Many reasons why I return to College Summit stems from the bond, and responsibility we have as colleagues. It is an honor working with those who seek to motivate our youth just as much as I do.

TheBlackManCan: You have addressed issues around homosexuality and fatherhood. Can you share with us your thoughts on these topics?

TS: People are people. Despite the different labels society may cast on us, we are all the same. Whether an individual is Caucasian, or Hispanic; homosexual or Asexual; Rich or Poor; we are all citizens who deserve to share the same rights. My generation has lacked the presence of fathers in the household. In most cases, there is a missing link between daughter or son and father. I strongly believe that all fathers should take responsibility of their children but being responsible does not only consist of financial support. Fatherhood requires time, attention, and love. Although the role of the mother and father is sometimes merged into one, a child needs his mother just as much as he needs his father. Being that most of my generation was raised without their biological father in the household, I have confidence that we are all aware of the detriment it causes. I’m sure that the next generation of fathers will rise to the occasion by taking responsibility of not only their child but their family as well.

Surround yourself with positivity. Begin reading, not only surface material but material that will further your knowledge on current events in your world today. ~Tim Spicer

Surround yourself with positivity. Begin reading, not only surface material but material that will further your knowledge on current events in your world today. ~Tim Spicer, Jr.

TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself within the next five years?

TS: In the next five years, I see myself a Morehouse Man with a Masters in Public Policy. After serving one year in the Peace Corps, I hope to have seen majority of the world. I see myself serving on the Arlington County School Board with aspirations of running for Superintendent of Arlington County.

TheBlackManCan: Why is it important for Black Men and Boys to see positive images of themselves?

TS: It is important for black men and boys to see positive images of them because it serves as a means of motivation. Media can portray any race or sex in a positive or negative light! If black men see negative portrayals then nine times out of ten, they will think negative of themselves and vice versa. Having that positive reinforcement is a reminder that as a black man you are powerful beyond measure. These positive images may be more significant to some black men then others. For some it may be a reminder and for others it may be a realization.

TheBlackManCan: What words of advice do you have for young black men of today?

TS: For our young black men today, “I encourage you all to be great! Good is no longer good enough. You must challenge yourself in all that you do so that you may challenge the fellow behind you. As a black man, you have a responsibility! As a black man, you have a goal! As a black man, you have a future…so take advantage of the opportunities presented to you. There will be many distractions that you are confronted with along your journey but take these distractions as lessons to teach one another. Do not only think for yourself, but also think for those who share the same goals as you! Surround yourself with positivity. Begin reading, not only surface material but material that will further your knowledge on current events in your world today. Last but not least, love your neighbor. Our community lacks love. Do not fear complimenting an individual. Kindness is contagious.”

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Positive Black Male News: ‘Homeless To Howard’ Teen James Ward Crowdfunds His Way To College, Realizes A Dream

Positive Black Male News: ‘Homeless To Howard’ Teen James Ward Crowdfunds His Way To College, Realizes A Dream

Positive Black Male News

By: Rhonesha Byng

“From homeless to Howard” might sound like the title of a movie, but for 19-year-old James Ward, this is his reality — though it still feels like a dream.

“It’s surreal. I can’t believe after everything that’s happened I’m going to be leaving to attend Howard,” Ward said in an interview with The Huffington Post, reflecting on the generosity of strangers who put him on the path to Washington, D.C.

Ward, a resident of Los Angeles, will be able to matriculate at the historically black college this fall thanks to an online campaign he launched just last week called “Homeless To Howard.”

His site is collecting donations through Paypal and has picked up steam across social media. Teach For America sent out a tweet highlighting Ward’s story, and rapperCommon shared the link to the site, supporting Ward’s dream to attend college.

To date, the efforts have raised $12,000, enough to handle his first-year expenses not covered by loans or grants. The bigger goal is to raise the funds for all four years of college. But for the moment, just having enough to cover the first year, Ward said, is beyond what he expected.

“I would’ve never thought that something we started just a couple of days ago would’ve turned out to become this massive,” Ward said. “However, it makes me feel very happy because I know that although the world may seem like a harsh and cold place, there are some people out there that care and want to give to those in need.”

Since the age of 14, Ward, along with his mom and two younger siblings, has been homeless in California. When times were really hard, they lived in his mom’s car, but otherwise they’ve moved between different shelters and relatives’ homes until they secured a spot at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood in February 2012.

“In the past years, life has been very hectic,” he said. “We had a lot of ups and downs, but through it all, I’ve always managed to keep my grades up and help my younger brother and sister do the same and keep them on the right track as well as myself.”

Despite not having a stable home and attending three different high schools in four years, James graduated from San Pedro High School in June. Determined to attend college, he figured out a plan and made it happen — with a crucial helping hand from Jessica Sutherland.

caren seligman

James Ward with Jessica Sutherland.

 

Sutherland, the driving force behind the online campaign, is no stranger to the struggles Ward is facing because she also experienced homelessness as a teen, attended college and made a way for herself.

“I got my first period in a homeless shelter. I had Christmas in a homeless shelter,” said Sutherland, now a junior producer at Yahoo! Studios. “I know what it’s like to live in a homeless shelter at such a self-conscious age when you’re going through so much.”

She met Ward when she spoke at the Union Rescue Mission. “I was terrified, but I did it,” she recalled. “I told all the kids that scars heal and you probably couldn’t tell that I lived in a shelter like this when I was your age, and just tried to give them a message of hope and teach them to ask people for help.”

Ward, she said, stood out as clearly mature beyond his years. “Two kids asked me for my email address, and James had emailed me before I was even home. He really opened up with me.”

When you ask him about the hard times and the years on the streets, Ward doesn’t focus on the negative.

“One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my experiences is that, no matter who you are or how scared you are, as long as you ask for help there’s always someone out there who is willing to help you,” he said. “More kids should understand that because if they did, then you never know what could happen. They could find their own Jessica maybe. But I doubt it, not like mine.”

The average cost of the freshman year at Howard University — for tuition, fees, and room and board — is $32,165, according to a university official. Ward obtained loans and grants to cover 70 percent of this amount. But add in books and supplies, transportation and other incidentals, and he needed to find another $12,000 to $14,000.

Before launching the campaign, Ward also attempted to apply for a Parent PLUS loan, but since such a loan looked to his mother’s credit, he was denied.

“My attitude is — like myself, I also grew up homeless — he didn’t ask to be born into this, and it’s not his credit, but he’s the one being punished for it,” said Sutherland, speaking of the frustrations of applying for loans. The denial of the Parent PLUS loan pushed her to create the online campaign.

Ward is not the only one facing hurdles to higher education financing. Howard University stated via email that thousands of students at historically black colleges and universities were affected by “credit requirement changes in the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program.” Several media reports cite stricter enforcement of credit history requirements, which has hit HBCU students especially hard. According to Department of Education numbers provided to the United Negro College Fund, 28,000 students attending HBCUs were denied a Parent PLUS loan in the 2012-2013 school year.

Some universities and other organizations have warned that this could lower the number of students who are able to attend school this fall. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is seeking to hear from parents who were denied, while Morgan State University is trying to raise an emergency scholarship fund in the amount of $300,000.

According to Howard University:

Loan denials for undergraduates and their parents increased from 36% in the 2011-2012 academic year to nearly 47% in the 2012-2013 academic year. We are seeing similar trends with denial rates this year. With support from the University, more than 90 percent of appeals to the Department of Education were approved. Notwithstanding these efforts, several hundred students could not return or re-enroll elsewhere largely because of financial difficulty.

 

But thanks to the kindness of strangers, Ward won’t be one of those students. He leaves on Friday morning to attend Howard with his mind focused on what he will do with the rest of his life.

“I want to be an astrophysicist or a genetic engineer,” said Ward. “I’m not sure which route I’m going to go, but I know it’s one of those two. Science has always been one of the biggest parts of my life.”

He will be the first in his family to attend college. His sister, 14, enters high school this fall; his brother is 7. Ward’s mother just completed a licensed vocational nurse course — with help from Harbor Interfaith Services, an outreach program — and she plans to enroll this spring to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. So if all goes according to plan, Ward, his mother and his sister may all be graduating in 2017.

“[I'm] following my dreams,” Ward said, “but it was never about me. It was always about my younger brother and sister learning that education is what they need, because as long as you have knowledge, no one can ever take it from you.”

Source: Huffington Post

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Campus Kings: Jordan Johnson

Campus Kings: Jordan Johnson

Campus Kings

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, much has been said about and to young Black men. At College Bound Brotherhood, we thought it was time to hear from young Black men themselves.

“Our Lives Matter: College Bound Brothers Speak” is a video series featuring young men from the College Bound Brotherhood. They will talk about the challenges they face growing up in America and trying to reach their college aspirations. They will speak candidly about what they would like to see in their schools and communities to help more young Black men follow in their footsteps to college. They will also share calls to action for themselves and our nation’s leaders.

Join the conversation throughout the month of August at #OurLivesMatter.

Facebook/CollegeBoundBro
Twitter: @collegeboundbro

livesmatter

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League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Garvin Reid

League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Garvin Reid

League Of Extraordinary Black Men

I’ve been blessed to have a network full of these role models but what about that guy that wasn’t as lucky as me?  ~Garvin Reid

I’ve been blessed to have a network full of these role models but what about that guy that wasn’t as lucky as me? ~Garvin Reid

TheBlackManCan is back in New York City to bring you another EXTRAordinary Black Man. We bring to you a Black Man who is a progressive young voice and on a mission to inspire the next generation of leaders. We proudly present to you Garvin Reid admissions counselor for the Bronx campus of Monroe College. Garvin sits with TheBlackManCan to discuss attending an HBCU, college access for Black Males and the importance of positive images of Black Men and boys.

TheBlackManCan: Garvin, what do you feel are three major reasons keeping Black males from entering colleges and universities in the country?

GR: 1. Lack of role models that are going that route. 2. Fear of the unknown. Many of us think that college is this rigorous system designed for us to fail 3. Finances. Many of us fear spending all this money without the guarantee of a job. The lack of role models also plays into this because that is where the answer should be “well if my neighbor went to college and came back home and started working for a fortune 500 company and is now doing well then so can I”.

TheBlackManCan: Tell us about your undergraduate experience. Why did you choose to attend Cheyney State University of Pennsylvania? Why an HBCU?

GR: I thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate experience. Attending Cheyney University was the best unplanned decision I ever made. I say that because my college decision was made haphazardly. Yes, I have siblings and family members that attended college but they were all first generation so the process was not perfected with them. One day I walked into my guidance counselor’s office and filled out the Black College Common Application solely because it was the easiest. I got into all of the schools on the application and then I narrowed them down by distance and website. Cheyney was the first on my list of schools to visit but after getting to the campus I knew that was it. I probably would’ve changed my mind after visiting other campuses but I have no regrets whatsoever. Cheyney University literally changed my life for the better and opened up a tremendous amount of opportunities that I doubt I would’ve gotten elsewhere.

TheBlackManCan: What are three things should be in place at all colleges and universities to ensure the success of all students but in particular black male students?

GR: 1. A peer mentoring program. This would help with retention and go beyond a first year experience course because the students mentoring the freshmen would be no more than two years from where they are. This would also help the upper classmen work on their leadership skills which is also a plus. 2. A cohort that entails events like trips, motivational speakers, and conferences. I was part of the keystone honors academy at Cheyney University and I can attest to that program being the main reason why I earned scholarships and ultimately stayed at Cheyney rather than transferring to a state school in my home state of New York. 3. Faculty and staff that are part of the mission. Not to say that black men should be treated separately from other students on college campuses but some care should be taken as to not alienate us nor make us feel like a special project on your campus. This is speaking from the aspect of black men on a predominantly white institution (PWI) campus. At an HBCU most faculty and staff understand the background that most students come from and are part of the reason for success in the classroom.

Cheyney University literally changed my life for the better and opened up a tremendous amount of opportunities that I doubt I would’ve gotten elsewhere. ~ Garvin Reid

Cheyney University literally changed my life for the better and opened up a tremendous amount of opportunities that I doubt I would’ve gotten elsewhere. ~ Garvin Reid

TheBlackManCan: If you had to name three books that everyone should read what would they be and why? “Their eyes were watching god” by Zora Neale Hurston. Simply because it was the first book I read for fun. “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson. I like this book because the stories are inspiring and show how far we have come as a people. I’m a history buff too so this book was an instant hit for it’s historical perspective.  Lastly, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Alex Haley. The movie by Spike Lee inspired me to write what I regard as the best final essay of my college career. Afterwards I decided to start the book and I was inspired to say the least.

TheBlackManCan: How do we instill intrinsic motivation with the young males of today?

GR: I believe in show and prove. Show these young guys that you can make it coming out of the rough parts of Chicago, The Bronx, Trenton, Compton, etc. and you’ve already proven to them that it’s possible. I find it hard to believe that there is not at least one guy in every neighborhood that went to college and at least made it out enough to come back and show the younger guys that it can’t be done. We don’t necessarily need someone at the level of Earl G. Graves who hails from Brooklyn but just the average Garvin Reid or Brandon Frame is enough to inspire a handful.

TheBlackManCan: Why is mentoring important? How has mentoring helped you? Who are some of your mentors?

GR: Mentoring is important because it brings goals that may seem astronomical into grasp. My mentors made the most herculean tasks seem doable after a discussion about a plan and a strategy. I have many mentors for different aspects of my life. This is a strategy I learned from following Carla Harris (another great author). The main mentors that come to mind are Althea Kitchens whom is a fellow Cheyney alum, Cecil Wright, my current director of admissions and the visionary behind Male Empowerment, and Dr. John Williams whom was the dean of the honors academy when I attended Cheyney University.

I find it hard to believe that there is not at least one guy in every neighborhood that went to college and at least made it out enough to come back and show the younger guys that it can’t be done. ~Garvin Reid

I find it hard to believe that there is not at least one guy in every neighborhood that went to college and at least made it out enough to come back and show the younger guys that it can’t be done. ~Garvin Reid

TheBlackManCan: Tell us more about the recent event you put on a Monore College.

GR: We put together the fourth annual Male Empowerment Event. I have been involved with this for the past two years. My director Cecil Wright created this event four years ago as a means to stem the tide of male college drop-outs in the New York City public school system. Since I’ve become involved with this program it has grown substantially. This year the program was so big that we had 407 young men and 65 mentors. The demand was so great that we had to create an overflow room. I likened it to being at a black church on Easter Sunday. This event is a sincere labor of love. By no means do I want to detract from those that march and protest but I see this event as my means of doing something about the Trayvon Martin, Ramarly Graham, Sean Bell, and the slew of other cases where injustice has been done.

TheBlackManCan: You are currently admissions counselors at the Bronx Campus of Monroe College. Give us the scoop on what the day looks like?

GR:  I don’t really have an average day and that’s what I love about my job. My job has been as exciting as doing a photo-shoot for the advertising, to interviewing a student from Bangladesh that believes in arranged marriages and wants to return to school after establishing a family fresh out of high school, to presenting in front of a packed auditorium at a high school in the Bronx about the importance of going to college. I couldn’t have picked a better role to give me an entrée into working in higher education.

TheBlackManCan: Currently, you are obtaining a Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs at New York University. Why the interest in Higher Education? Why is it important we encourage students to pursue not just bachelor’s degrees but advanced degrees as well?

GR: My undergraduate degree is in business administration. I had an internship every year of my college career and even afterwards interned with Black Enterprise. Throughout all of these internships I was never passionate about what I was doing. I was always volunteering to speak to young adults about the importance of college though. That was my passion to the point that I would wake up early on a Saturday while not getting paid for it (a major opportunity cost to some). The moment came two years ago while at my insurance job that I really could be using my passion for a career and viola! I made the transition through a connection I had with my fraternity and landed the job here at Monroe. After a year and a half I was certain that this was the job for me so I decided to invest in my career by applying and getting into NYU. This master’s degree will give me the level of independence that my bachelors cannot. There are colleges all over the world; my hope is that with a Master’s degree from NYU I’ll be eligible to work at most of them. The same can be said about most advanced degrees. They open up many doors for you that even with your bachelors, remain closed.

At an HBCU most faculty and staff understand the background that most students come from and are part of the reason for success in the classroom. ~Garvin Reid

At an HBCU most faculty and staff understand the background that most students come from and are part of the reason for success in the classroom. ~Garvin Reid

TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself within the next five years?

GR: I see myself working in student affairs still but in an area that directly aligns with my passion. Some of the areas I’ve been looking into are the Black Male Experience programs that CUNY has and the Community College Opportunity Program at NYU. I also have a sincere interest in working abroad. I was slated to do Peace Corps and made it through the process but never went due to my body not being able to handle living in Sub-Saharan Africa for an extended time on malaria pills. Working abroad is still an area of interest to me that I plan on exploring. Ultimately I see myself working at an HBCU and inspiring the next generation just as Dr. Williams did with me,

TheBlackManCan: Why is it important for black men and boys to see positive images of themselves?

GR: That once again speaks to my emphasis on Show and Prove. If black men were berated with the same images and stories that are in Black Enterprise rather than WorldStar, I’m sure we’d be having a totally different conversation. It’s as if the only successfully black men that are celebrated are celebrities that made their wealth from sports and media. They definitely deserve their due and shine but what about the doctors graduating from med school? Lawyers from law school? Engineers? Etc.? I’ve been blessed to have a network full of these role models but what about that guy that wasn’t as lucky as me? That’s who I do what I do for.

Click here to check out Monroe College Now.

 

League of EXTRAordinary is where we at TheBlackManCan highlight Black Men who are making positive and remarkable contributions to society.  Nominate a Black Male today on the contact page or team@theblackmancan.org.

 

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Positive Black Male News: Morehouse graduate recognized by the White House for service to community

Positive Black Male News: Morehouse graduate recognized by the White House for service to community

Positive Black Male News

derrius-quarles

by 

A former foster child from the south side of Chicago has turned entrepreneur, and been recognized at the White House for his inspiring work.

Derrius Quarles, who is only 22 years old, is best known for winning more than $1 million in financial-aid to attend the prestigious Morehouse College.

He was a recipient of the Daily Point of Light Award in June 2013 for his commitment to help academically gifted yet economically disadvantaged students overcome financial barriers to higher education.

“I feel honored and humbled to be recognized by the White House as a Daily Point of Light awardee,” said Quarles. “I have been recognized for the work I have done with the Million Dollar Scholar, which has advanced economic access to higher education for youth in inner cities across the United States.”

The Million Dollar Scholar initiative has assisted more than 10,000 high school students online and helped students receive more than $950,000 in scholarships and grants.

In fact, Quarles’s drive to see other young people succeed is deeply personal. His father was murdered in Chicago when he was just 4 years old. One year later, he was taken from his mother’s custody and placed in foster care.

It was only when he entered high school that he made a conscious decision to seize opportunities to move on with his life.

At a ceremony on Monday, Quarles was one of only 18 handpicked Daily Point of Light awardees from 4,999 past recipients, invited to the White House to witness President Obama honoring the 5000th winner.

The 5000th award recipients, Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton, created the nonprofit Outreach to deliver free meals to hungry children in the U.S. and 14 other countries. The Iowa couple has been hailed as “civic heroes” because of their volunteer work.

Former President George H. W. Bush, who was in attendance with his family, set up award in 1990 to honor individuals and groups across the country who are making a difference and serving their community.

The award has been handed out since then to deserving recipients.

Quarles received his award on June 28, 2013. His award is number 3919.

The first in his family to attend college, Quarles graduated from Morehouse with a degree in sociology in May 2013 and is now focusing on working full time as CEO of Million Dollar Scholar as well as pursuing a part-time graduate degree.

Points of Light is world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.

Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter at @Kunbiti

Source: The Grio

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Positive Black Male News: History happens in Georgia; 2nd black lawyer sworn-in

Positive Black Male News: History happens in Georgia; 2nd black lawyer sworn-in

Positive Black Male News

chance1Toccoa, Georgia- On July 12, 2013 at approximately 1:23pm Eastern Standard Time, Chadrick Mance was sworn in as the second African American since reconstruction to become a lawyer in Stephens County, GA. Mance, a resident of Toccoa, Georgia and graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Georgia: School of Law is a man who was destined for this day. This is a man whose story resonates to the tune of “If at first you do not succeed, dust yourself off and try again.”

Last October, Mance just like thousands of other aspiring lawyers who’d sat for the Georgia Bar Exam in July waited anxiously for the results to be made public. When the names were of those who successfully passed were revealed online, one name that was glaringly absent from the list was Chad Mance.

“I felt like my life was on hold. I believed for a short while that all my work was in vain. I somehow felt I’d been cheated,” said Mance.

Just as with any other failure in life, there was a lesson to be learned for Mance.  He admits losing support after he failed the bar on his first attempt; describing his friends as having “tapped out.”

“I heard a lot of crickets. Few people called to offer support,” he added.

Not to be outdone, Mance began working to pass the bar exam on his second try. This time he took a more focused approached to learning; prioritizing his study regiment. He recalls his second go around as being a more quality over quantity approach. Then, before he knew it, the February 2013 exam was upon him. Then there were the months of wait and see between testing and results. On May 24, 2013 the good news came, as Mance excitedly read his name among the many who’d passed the Georgia State Bar Exam.

Growing up in the rural South

Growing up in the rural South Chad Mance realizes what he has and will accomplish is bigger than him. On the day he was sworn in, the Stephens County court room was almost standing room only. Local media outlets were present to document the historical day along with community members who are just proud to witness a black man bestowed with such a responsibility.

“The courtroom was filled with people of all hues. People who need something to believe in. These are people who have seen me grow up. It is especially rewarding for the older blacks in the community, “Mance explains.

Toccoa, Georgia is a town of roughly 10,000. It’s African American population makes up about 21%, official name of the middle school mascot is the Rebels. Considering the fact Toccoa is situated in Stephens County named after Alexander Hamilton-Stephens, the Vice President of the Confederacy, one can understand why Mance’s ascension illustrates what one can do.  Even in a nation where diligent discussion about race relations is taboo yet a historical frontline issue.

“Toccoa is a place that praises its black high school athletes. But many of them are presumed to be academically inadequate, they never get a tutor, so when their high school days are over, that’s it for many of them,” Mance exclaims.

The swearing in of Mance, whose father is a retired Federal Reserve Bank Auditor and mother an Operations Manager with the local Social Security Administration, brought an entire community together. On this particular occasion, the town was praising one of its sons not for his athletic prowess, but for his intellectual impetus. For about 45 minutes, members of the Stephens County community took turns speaking about what the day meant to them personally and for the entire area. It was a day that shined a line of reason on what America was meant to be.

“It’s powerful sitting outside the courthouse seeing the American flag waving in the distance,” Mance recalls in the moments before he entered into the next chapter of his young life.

The legal world is one of the many powerful subsidiaries of democracy where blacks make up only a small percentage of professionals. According to recent figures, only 3% of attorneys in America are African American. This is a statistics Mance is well aware of and used as a motivating factor in overcoming the adversity and defeat he has faced.

“We need more people in our legal system that understand our plight, so that they can effectively improve it,” proclaimed Mance, a former high school senior class president in Toccoa.

chance2

The Molding of a Civil Rights Leader

Chad Mance was chosen in his small community at an early age to be a representative for what is right among African American males. He served annually as the Black History Month speaker at his middle and high schools. Mance, a former saxophone player, served as the drum major in his high school band. Then when he arrived in Atlanta at Morehouse College, he beat out a highly favored opponent to earn the prestigious position of Student Government Association president.

“Being the SGA President at Morehouse taught me about power. It taught me so much about the nature of people. I had young ladies I’d never met before asking to carry my books to class and be my personal secretary,” he explains.

At a college like Morehouse, known for grooming the best and brightest young black men, and where student politics can be cut-throat, Mance says he also learned some of the dangers of what can happen when people are gunning for you.

“Overall, what I take from that experience is that if you have an agenda, you can not be afraid to push it forward,” Mance stated.

Likewise, Mance had an agenda he pushed in preparation for his law career. Just like so many young aspiring lawyers with lofty goals he expected to enroll at Harvard Law following his stint at Morehouse. He worked a very strategic platform in an effort to best position himself for Harvard Law.

“I had the Capitol Hill internship, I took Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars courses, I took every practice LSAT exam created between 1993 and 2009,” Mance admits.

However, instead of rolling the dice on eventually being accepted at Cambridge, Mance decided to take a different route, and that’s when he looked at what UGA was offering. He began to consider what it could mean for his ability to advance through the legal ranks in the state of Georgia.

“I ultimately ended up in the place I was supposed to be,” he maintains.

Even at UGA, Mance had to face classism as he worked to make a name for himself at a majority white institution. He describes his early transition at UGA as “rocky,” but says his merits allowed him to build a quality reputation, and eventually form relationships with people that will be future business partners and long-time associates.

Now Mance boldly asserts, “From a legal standpoint, if you want to be a player in the state of Georgia, you need to go through UGA Law.”

chance3

The Village who raised this Pioneer

When asked about mentors, Chad immediately begins to rattle off names of strong black male role models in his family. From his father whom he says showed him at an early age what a man should look like in a suit. Then to his grandfather, whom he refers to as a man of immense integrity, to an uncle described as a “rogue intellectual” who taught him to look at the world the way it could be. Mance attests he had no shortage of examples of strong men in his life from an early age.

As he grew older, and began forming his own identity, Chad took up hobbies such as painting and poetry. He just like so many African American males also began to study the lives of martyrs, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.

“Malcolm X’s autobiography changed my life. It influenced me so much that I read halfway through the dictionary,” he stated.  “I wanted to debate like him. I wanted to speak like him. I wanted to command a crowd like him. I wanted to control a room like him.”

Morehouse students are taught that they stand on the shoulders of those who came before them. Thus, Mance when questioned about other great minds he studies and people that have influenced his perspective of life; he once more began to rattle off name after name after name of those whose writings and life he has studied or continues to study.

“Steve Jobs for his sense of unorthodox, and how he shaped the world. Bill Clinton for how he helped to change Arkansas for the better. Obama, for his sense of empathy. Dubois, Andy Young, Thurmond, Mays, Edison, Leon Higgonbothom, Cornel West “Race Matters,” “Before the Mayflower”, a book my dad made me read. I was shaped systematically,” he proclaims.

Mance gives flowers to many more whom he describes as mentors in his life who have personally molded him leading up to his historical swearing in as an attorney.

 “Tommy Dorch, and how he took 100 Black Men global, he taught me about entrepreneurship.” His voice then went into a quiet still as he finished with a heartfelt, “Judge Hatchet, she’s been like a mom to me,” Mance concluded.

In the future, this freshly minted African American lawyer plans to partner with a college classmate to start a firm in Georgia. A firm he proclaims will become one of the “pre-eminent trial firms in that state.” His partner in this venture happens to be a white American with longstanding connections in the legal realm. Mance believes this partnership represents a new generation of lawyers in America — one forming coalitions across racial lines.

He adds, “We want to redefine the status quo, using technology, political and legal prowess, and business savvy to advance the practice of law.”

As far as social responsibility is concerned, Mance is also spear-heading a legal movement for the under 30 young professionals and students. As for what he did to celebrate his swearing-in; Mance quietly made his way to a local non-profit agency where he spoke to a small group of youngsters.

Above all this Georgia son states, “I see myself with a lovely wife, beautiful children, and a career that helps people. I understand, I have the ability to take forward things that I believe.”

Originally Posted Here: http://ethanbrisby.blogspot.com/2013/07/history-happens-in-georgia-2nd-black.html

About the Author: Ethan Brisby is a writer, public speaker, and budding real estate entreprenuer. Brisby is the founder of the Team SHIFT, a Texas-based non profit targeting African American males; teaching princples for academic attainment, entreprenurship, and real estate investing. His core business values are partnerships and teamwork. Get connected with Ethan @ethanbrisby Facebook.com/EthanBrisby LinkedIn.com/EthanBrisby www.ethanbrisby.blogspot.com

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Positive Black Male News: Young African-American Males Culminate FAMU’s Summer Program Especially Tailored for Them

Positive Black Male News: Young African-American Males Culminate FAMU’s Summer Program Especially Tailored for Them

Positive Black Male News

famuThe Florida A&M University (FAMU) Black Male College Explorers Program will host its end of the yearbanquet on Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the university’s Grand Ballroom.
More than 50 young African-American males participated in the FAMU Black Male College Explorers Program this summer.  This program provided six weeks of highly concentrateddevelopmental experiences, which includes weekly seminars, workshops and motivational trips.
FAMU alumnus Edward G. Tolliver, who is the director of FAMU’s Black Male College Explorers Program, expressed his thoughts about the program.
“We know that this program works and has worked for so many years,” said Tolliver, who has been a part of the program for the past six years. “Replication is a must. It isreally gratifying to see what happens here. It makes you really proud of the fact that FAMU is partaking in the future of the next generation and future generations. It is moving.”
The objective of the Black Male College Explorers Program is designed as an at-risk prevention/intervention program specifically to prevent black males from dropping out ofhigh school; facilitate their admission to college; and significantly increase their chances of earning a college of degree. Middle and high schools from Tallahassee and major cities all over Florida are participating in the program.
Participating schools are asked to identify at-risk males enrolled in grades 7 through 11.
Participants in this year’s program were from Florida cities Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach. One student came from as far as Connecticut.”
“We are excited in terms of the diversity,” Tolliver said. “We had three Latino participants from Hillsborough County this summer.”
One of the highlights from this summer’s program was a trip to Washington DC, where the youth had the opportunity to participate in a symposia onblack males at the National Press Club.
The group also traveled to Atlanta, Ga. for a three-day motivational field trip, which included stops at the Georgia Aquarium, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site,Six Flags White Water Park and church service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. During the service, the137 participants from the FAMU, Bethune-Cookman University, Florida Memorial University, and Edward Waters College Black Male College Explorers Programs were allin attendance.
“I hope we did a good job in elevating consciousness of the trials that young men of color face from nativity to maturity from our trips,” Tolliver said. “Moreover, by advancingthis type of responsiveness, we may have added to guiding principles and systems that can improve these boys’ academic and survival prospects, for their improvement and that of our Sunshine State.”
For more information on the Black Explorers Male Program, contact Edward Tolliver at (850) 561-2407.
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League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Michael Mallery

League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Michael Mallery

League Of Extraordinary Black Men

Don’t ever stop educating yourself. ~ Michael Mallery

Don’t ever stop educating yourself. ~ Michael Mallery

TheBlackManCan is back in the state of Connecticut to bring you another EXTRAordinary Black Men. We bring to you a brother who is one the freshest and most respected young leaders around. We proudly present to you Michael Mallery President & CEO of I’m So Educated. Michael’s collective work and influence in the world clearly exhibits his passion and purpose for inspiring the next wave of young students to greatness. Michael sits down with TheBlackManCan to discuss I’m So Educated, his upcoming book, Phi Beta Sigma and advice for young boys of color.

TheBlackManCan: Michael, you are born and raised in Louisiana. Tell us about your southern upbringing and how it plays a role in who you are today.

MM: Well although my southern upbringing was pretty amazing, I credit the work of my parents and the major role they played in my life, to who I am today. From their love, guidance, and occasional spanking, molded me into the man that I am today.

My mother an educator instilled in me at an early age the importance of education. My father a humanitarian and retired military vet, instilled in me vision, hard work, and humility. That upbringing was paramount to my success today, and is something I plan to replicate one day when I have kids.

TheBlackManCan: You are a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Why did you decide to pledge? What should one consider if he is thinking if pledging a fraternity?

MM: Wow!!! The great Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. honestly, I decided to pledge and become a part of the Sigma brotherhood because of their commitment to the community. Standing on the principles of Brother hood, scholarship and service, I knew that those were principles that I holistically believed in, and I knew that we were going to make a difference.

Now I would be remised if I didn’t mention that I come from a family of blue and white. My father started the tradition and my family followed. My dad and my brother are Sigmas and my two gorgeous sisters are members of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

I would tell anyone before joing, one should ask themselves why they want to join and figure out who they are as a person. The fact of the matter is, majority of gpeople who join greeks change, whether its for the better or worse, they change. For instance before I joined Phi Beta Sigma, I knew who I was as a person. Iwasn’t someone who was shy or had trouble finding a girl, so I never had to use greek life as a way to get one. In short, you should know who you are, understand what the organization stands for, and choose what’s best for you. Listen, I can’t publicly speak on behalf of the divine nine, however I can say this, NO organization is, was, or ever will be founded on partying and strolling, as fun as it maybe, that’s not what our organizations were founded on. If that’s all you want, and if that’s all you’re looking for, I can promise you, your greek experience is going to be pointless.

TheBlackManCan: When did you realize that you had a gift to public speaking? How can one develop skills to be a better public speaker?

MM: I realized I had the gift to speak, after I made my first communion and had to speak in church. One thing I’ll always love my parents for is making me read in church and getting me involved in every club known to man. That combination of church and extracurricular activities at an early age, allowed me to develop confidence in myself. Speaking in front of hundreds of church folk every week starting at 8 years old, has allowed me to speak confidently in front of thousands now.

TheBlackManCan: What ignited the spark to start I’m So Educated? What is the meaning behind the name?

MM: Wow, well back in 2006, when I was a high school senior, I was a very strong academic student who, just like every young athlete had dreams of playing professional sports. I was a varsity basketball player who had all of the talent and potential in the world, including the scholastics. During my senior season, my high school coach made a promise that each senior on the team would get an athletic scholarship for college. I was excited because I knew I exemplified the true attributes of a student athlete. However, towards the end of the season my coach started to back away from that promise and slowly started discouraging me from my dreams.

I didn’t understand it then, but in my sophomore year of college, I was sitting in my Physics class when I remembered the words my coach told me while eating out after a game, words that I’ll never forget. “Mike, one day you will be buying the food for all of us on your big education salary because you’re “too educated” for this basketball game.” At that time I couldn’t comprehend the message my coach was sending me, which honestly enough wasn’t a negative one. It was at that moment in my Physics class when the message my coach was sending me became crystal clear “I’m So Educated™.

The meaning is simple.

YOU have the power, YOU have the ability, and YOU have the opportunity

to control YOUR own destiny.” 

                                                                                            -Founder Michael Mallery Jr.

That upbringing was paramount to my success today, and is something I plan to replicate one day when I have kids. ~Michael Mallery

That upbringing was paramount to my success today, and is something I plan to replicate one day when I have kids. ~Michael Mallery

 TheBlackManCan: What are some of the programs offered by I’m so Educated?

MM: I’m So Educated offers dynamic programs geared towards helping students connect the dots to their educational future. We offer peer mentorship, Student Enrichment Programs, and incredible motivational lecturers.

TheBlackManCan: In your own words, what does it mean to be educated?

MM: For one to be educated or if I stay true to my brand “So Educated” it simply means to acquire knowledge, apply knowledge, and share knowledge. If one educates them self often, then applies that knowledge to their everyday life, and finally, once they make it to their level of success or while on their journey to success, they share their knowledge to lift others up, I believe, is what being educated is all about.

TheBlackManCan: If you had name 2 books every person should read, what would they be and why?

MM: Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Point blank…these two books will change your life.

Speaking in front of hundreds of church folk every week starting at 8 years old, has allowed me to speak confidently in front of thousands now. ~Michael Mallery

Speaking in front of hundreds of church folk every week starting at 8 years old, has allowed me to speak confidently in front of thousands now. ~Michael Mallery

TheBlackManCan: You are currently working on a book. Can you tell us about it?

MM: Yes, Yes,  I am very excited for the launch of my 1st book. The title is a surprise, but it’s an amazing book centered on academic success and motivational tips for students across the world.

TheBlackManCan: You currently work at the University of Connecticut in the school of business. Tell us about your role at the school?

MM: I am very blessed to be a part of the UConn family. I am a program specialist for the office of diversity in the School of Business. I am responsible for developing programs to inspire students in surrounding high schools and at UConn. Also, I mentor and help students create strategies to maximize their potential.

TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself and I’m So Educated in the next five years?

MM: In the next 5 years, I will have my Ph.D. in Business and I’m So Educated™ will be a national educational brand.

YOU have the power, YOU have the ability, and YOU have the opportunity  to control YOUR own destiny."  ~Michael Mallery

YOU have the power, YOU have the ability, and YOU have the opportunity
to control YOUR own destiny.” ~Michael Mallery

TheBlackManCan: Why is it important for Black Boys and Men to see positive images of themselves?

MM: It’s of the upmost importance for black boys and men to see positive images of themselves every day. I’ve personally made it my purpose to wear suits or business casual attire 95% of the time, so that I’m always putting a positive image out there. I love the National Urban League, Black Executive Exchange Program, National Black Association of Accountants, NAACP, National Society of Black Engineers and the many organizations of color that showcase positive images of black men.

TheBlackManCan: What words of advice do you have for young boys of color?

MM: Don’t buy into negative stereotypes

Don’t ever stop educating yourself.

And Don’t ever, ever, ever give up!!!

Visit I’m So Educated –> http://imsoeducated.com/

 

League of EXTRAordinary is where we at TheBlackManCan highlight Black Men who are making positive and remarkable contributions to society.  Nominate a Black Male today on the contact page or team@theblackmancan.org.

 

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League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Wesley Bellamy

League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Wesley Bellamy

League Of Extraordinary Black Men

TheBlackManCan: Wes, you attended South Carolina State and now Virginia State. How has an HBCU education helped shaped who you are today?
WB: I believe these two institutions instilled a confidence within me that allows me to feel as if I am just as competent as anyone else in this world. I can honestly say that more than anything else, attending two different HBCU’s has shown me that there are no boundaries to what I can accomplish. Looking back on individuals such as MLK Jr., Booker T. Washington, and current leaders like Jim Clyburn, I have a mindset that I too can be a leader as they have been for our people. It has been exemplified that some of our nation’s brightest leaders have come from these very same institutions, thus it is up to us to continue this trend. With that being said, I am proud to be a Bulldog, and looking forward to finishing my masters at VSU and becoming a Trojan Alum.

TheBlackManCan: You were in route to going to law school and you decided to pursue a career in Education. What promoted the change in mindset?
WB: The people in my community inspired my interest to become an educator. More specifically, I felt that the parents and children with whom I interacted with daily were not being taught the things that needed to be in order to succeed. Things like reinforcing to our kids they are smart, college is important, have discipline while in and out of school, and most importantly seeing a black man with a shirt and tie on every day in a classroom setting. While serving on the board for African American Teaching Fellows, and  holding the Recruitment Committee Chairman title, it became evident that I should not try to only persuade others to come and teach our kids, I should accept the challenge and do so myself. Furthermore, I was accepted many law schools around the same time that my Non-Profit was getting off the ground. I could not just leave the people who have come to depend on me, and after much prayer, I decided to go the teacher/principal/Non-Profit Director route for now.
TheBlackManCan: What serves as a driving force for motivation to continue the work that you do?
WB: My own past motivates me. I know what it’s like to not have things go in your favor as a kid, and all you need is a little guidance to get you over the hump, so to speak. I also firmly believe that this is what God has placed me on this planet to do, help others in whatever way he needs me to. There is no better feeling in this world than seeing an individual, young or old, who some may have given up on, finally start to have some hope and turn things around and improve their situation. These are the things leaders in the past did for our people, they instilled hope. Now it is our turn to lead the way.

TheBlackManCan: What have been some of biggest obstacles and how have you overcome the obstacles?
WB: Obstacles are only tests of character and will. I would say things like people thinking I was too young to lead an organization, not having the traditional structured family environment growing up, and the deaths of a few close friends were my biggest obstacles, however they were also blessings. For without those tests, I would not know how to trust God and understand that in due time, all storms cease, and the sun will shine.

TheBlackManCan: On December 7th , 2011 you started a non-profit called Helping Young People Evolve (H.Y.P.E.). What ignited the spark to create H.Y.P.E.?
WB: H.Y.P.E. originated from a need within Charlottesville, VA for more innovative after school programs for our youth. Many of the kids in the program come from very impoverished neighborhoods and to a certain degree, desolate situations. This program is aimed at instilling discipline within them, but also giving them a glimmer of hope. I also wanted to create an entity that was known for giving back and empowering ALL people, hence, the “Community Days” that we have for the city in addition to the services that we provide for the kids.
TheBlackManCan: What is the mission and vision behind H.Y.P.E.?
WB: H.Y.P.E. seeks to address the achievement, opportunity, and aspiration gap that exists for low-income (predominantly African-American) youth in the City of Charlottesville. Our program aims to provide minority children from underserved communities with a structured afterschool program that instills discipline as a means to academic and physical excellence. Our vision is to continue to grow and create a standard of excellence that will permeate not only through all of our youth, but the patrons of the city of Charlottesville and surrounding areas as well.
TheBlackManCan: Can you share with us some recent events that you have together?
WB: Sure, we have had an array of events recently that have impacted several cities across the Southeast. In December we had two Coat Drives in Columbia, SC and Charlottesville, VA in which we donated 2,100 jackets to the homeless and families in need. In January, we had a “Talent of the Stars” talent show in which the elected officials of Charlottesville, VA partook in a talent show in an effort to raise money for the boxing and mentoring club. On May 5th in Charlottesville we had our 2nd Annual “Spring Fling Community Day” in which we had free food, haircuts for the kids, job training, health screenings, water balloon games, face painting, a moon bounce, voter registration, other organizations handing out information, and a day of building relationships for people in the area. We will be having the same “Community Day” in Florence, SC on 6/23, Columbia, SC on 7/14, and in Myrtle Beach, SC on 8/5. We simply want to show people we care.

TheBlackManCan: How has H.Y.P.E. been received in the community and what are your plans for the future?

WB: The support that we have received has been amazing. Our local city government has gone above and beyond to ensure that H.Y.PE. has everything necessary to be a success. Furthermore, the community has really come forth and supported us after witnessing tangible results. With that being said, the vision for the program is to create sister sites in other locations, such as Columbia, SC and Baltimore, MD. We have been in discussion with officials from both cities and there definitely seems to be interest to work something out in the near future. The end goal will be to establish a charter school that would help our youth achieve at their highest potential. Not saying that the current school system is inadequate, personally, I just feel that a more concentrated and focused setting could provide greater results.
TheBlackManCan: You are currently pursuing a master’s degree in Education Administration, Why is it important to build a mindset to pursue advanced degrees?
WB: Honestly speaking, one can never truly stop learning. Being that I am interacting with kids daily, it is important for me to be able to lead them down the right path. It is equally important for kids of all ethnicities to see African Americans in position of higher authority. It is my desire to not finish until I receive my Doctorate, which I aspire to complete before 30. These advanced degrees will enable me to have a mindset that views an array of different things from a perspective in which I currently do not have. There is so much to learn from not only experience, but from school. By pursuing these degrees I am also trying to show the youth that I interact with, that it is ok to go to school, do well, and pursue your dreams. It truly is gateway to success in my opinion.
TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself and H.Y.P.E. within the next five years?
WB: Within the next five years I envision H.Y.P.E. serving close to 600 kids over three states. Within this time frame we also hope to have our charter school up and running serving close to 100 or so 9th Graders. If the academy has not opened, we should be in the final stages and close to the launch.

TheBlackManCan: If you had to pick three words to define yourself what would they be and why?

WB: Helper, Servant, and “Future-Leader.” My goal in life is to help whoever I can, however I can, whenever I can. That is what I am here for.
TheBlackManCan: Why is it important for Black Boys to see positive images of themselves?
WB: Before we can accomplish anything, we have to love ourselves. That’s why it is vital that Black Boys see themselves as future leaders, albeit presidents, doctors, lawyers, principals, etc… But most importantly stand up, strong black men who are productive assets to society. I tell the young men in my programs all of the time, be whatever you choose to be, but make sure that you are proud of the man that you see in the mirror.

TheBlackManCan: What words of advice do you have for Young Black Males?

WB: Have faith and believe that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of difficulties. Additionally have the discipline and courage confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. You are descendants of Kings, I love you and believe in you.

 

League of EXTRAordinary is where we at TheBlackManCan highlight Black Men who are making positive and remarkable contributions to society.  Nominate a Black Male today on the contact page or e-mail us at team@theblackmancan.org.

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