mentoring

His Story: Don’t Give Up on Your Mentees

His Story: Don’t Give Up on Your Mentees

His Story

mentoringEffective mentors never give up on their mentees.  Your mentees may make mistake after mistake, but they still need great mentors in their lives to continue to encourage them to do better.  We all have made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes.  Your punishment for your mentee, therefore, shouldn’t be to abandon him or her.  Too many phony mentors stop mentoring their mentees when the mentees aren’t performing well.  Many of these phony mentors simply desire to brag about what they’ve done for their mentees, so when the mentees are struggling to progress, this prevents them from engaging in vain self-promotion.  Your mentee should never have to wander around and search for a new mentor, and/or seek the guidance of another mentor simply because you don’t feel like being bothered with him or her any longer.

Authentic and effective mentors never make mentoring about them—they always make it about those they mentor.

To be an effective mentor, you have to have a true love for helping people.  The person you’re mentoring needs your help and love.  When you’re a selfish mentor, you lack the love necessary to be useful not only to your mentee but also to yourself.  True mentors don’t engage in self-aggrandizement; they aren’t vain people. You have some pathetic mentors who don’t want their mentees to have achievements greater than their own.

Mentoring is serious business.  If you’re not truly interested in helping people to progress in their various endeavors, then stop calling yourself a “mentor” and stop pretending like you’re so serious about mentoring. You need to recognize when you shouldn’t be mentoring anyone; you’re the one who needs to be mentored.

No one said mentoring is easy.  You’re going to experience some challenges and problems while mentoring. Those challenges and problems shouldn’t cause you to become a coward and run away from them and your mentees. Those problems and challenges should come to make you an even more effective mentor by you learning to tackle them boldly and directly.  Too many of our vulnerable young people are being lost because mentors are giving up on them.  Many mentors often give up on these young people simply because they sometimes didn’t do what the mentors told them to do.  Well, how many times did your mother and/or father tell you to do something and you didn’t do it? Exactly. Did your mother and/or father give up on you?  Why give up on your mentees then?

Your mentee shouldn’t feel more comfortable talking to another mentor and seeking the guidance of another mentor more than you.  When this happens, you’ve done some things that have made your mentee lack confidence in you.  One of the ways you can cause your mentee to lack confidence in you is to avoid him or her.  Constantly letting the mentee’s calls get answered by voicemail is a sure way to evince your disinterest. Stop avoiding his or her calls and be honest with him or her about how you’re feeling. Communicate your displeasures with him or her.  Don’t be afraid to demand him or her to do better than he or she is currently doing.  If you’re going to be an effective mentor, then you have to be willing to have frank discourses with your mentees.  Although the conversations may be unpleasant at first, they will learn how beneficial it is for you to be open and candid with them.

If your mentee seems to change his or her mind frequently about career goals, don’t become frustrated with him or her.  View this as an opportunity to assist them in becoming more focused and committed to specific career aspirations.  Working in collaboration with your mentee, devise a plan to aid him or her in accomplishing career aspirations.  He or she will have some specific things to work towards and focus on, diminishing those proclivities to shift frequently from one desired career to another.  If you give your mentee time to talk to you, you may discover that it’s really not changes in career goals he or she really has but simply a longing to have someone listen to him or her.  To be an effective mentor, you have to recognize when your mentee simply needs to talk to someone, and the successful mentor makes himself available to listen.

When another mentor has to devote a significant amount of more time to your mentee than you spend with him or her, you’re simply a pathetic mentor.  What you need to do is go back and sincerely assess whether you were committed to being a mentor in the first place.  Don’t let your failure to be there for your mentee result in him or her becoming a victim of depression, which can lead him or her to committing suicide.  Do you really want that on your conscious?

Your mentee needs you.  Don’t give up on him or her.

About the Author:  Antonio Maurice Daniels, a Ph.D. student and Research Associate in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My dominant research interests are the academic achievement of Black male students throughout the educational pipeline and ecological sustainability in higher and postsecondary education.

Revolutionary Paideia is a cultural commentary blog offering daily pieces on many diverse topics, including education, sports, personal development, black culture, popular culture, and current events. You can have all daily pieces from Revolutionary Paideia arrive in your email inbox daily by subscribing to the site (the location is on the left side of the homepage). Follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/paideiarebel. Also, follow Revolutionary Paideia on Facebook here: Revolutionary Paideia.

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His Story: Paying it Forward: I’m Still a Mentee but now I Mentor

His Story: Paying it Forward: I’m Still a Mentee but now I Mentor

His Story

2-R-Williams-Speaks-to-SchoolRashaun Williams didn’t realize he was being mentored until he began to see the role he played in other young people’s lives.

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Throughout my years in school, I was on the debate team, which taught me how to analyze multiple perspectives while staying neutral. Student council, which prepared me to speak for multiple voices equally. The drum squad, which showed me teams are only as strong as the weakest player, and track and field, which taught me that if the mind has the endurance to prevail, the body will only follow. However, after witnessing first-hand how poverty placed people in despair, degradation, and destitution, I felt as though the work I did in my free time made no real contribution to the world. I wanted to be a part of something greater than myself so desperately, so I took what I learned through my experiences in school and began a life of service to community. I started a volunteer community group called Phresh Philly, which promotes sustainability through social entrepreneurship and high school activism.

In 2008, while learning entrepreneurship at the Enterprise Center, I met Russell Hicks. We only really spoke to one another in passing, but the one time we did have a conversation, I learned that social entrepreneurship was my calling. Russell explained that his life was devoted to starting businesses that “do good” for the community. Although I wasn’t sure what that really meant at the time, it sounded perfect for me! After graduating the program, I didn’t see Russell again until 2011. By this time, I had given up all my extracurricular activities to focus on serving my community. Russell and I began attending town hall meetings at City Hall, where Russell knew EVERYONE in the room—and I mean everyone—but still made an effort to connect with me.

When he asked me: “What you been up too?” I proudly replied: “I am President of Phresh Philadelphia, a volunteer organization focused on community development, empowerment, and cleanups!” That moment felt great. Being able to tell Russell Hicks that I, Rashaun Williams, became a social entrepreneur like him—priceless.  He responded by saying:  “Well we need to do some work together brotha!” I went home that night, forgetting all about the town hall meeting, all I could think about was how humbled I was to have the opportunity to work with Russell Hicks. I could tell he was genuine in his statement and time proved it. From then on, Russell and I worked with community organizations and CDCs, organized clean ups in North Philadelphia and began mentoring youth throughout the city. Through his guidance and belief in me, I was given the power to empower others, and I knew this was my calling.

♦◊♦

Through a series of community empowerment events that Russell and I had planned together, I met Christopher Norris, CEO, Techbook Online Corporation, and we too began to build a solid relationship of service and commitment to community. Chris knew the city like the back of his hand, and whenever something was happening on the streets we were there. I learned more than I can put in words, but during my moments of reflection I put the lessons to practice in order to make my organization better. I shifted my focus on sporadically creating events around Philadelphia to focusing on academia, technology, business development, and environmental studies.

After spending years watching leaders, doers, directors, entrepreneurs, teachers and mentors do what they do best, it was time for me to take my service to community to the next level. I didn’t know it, but Chris was cultivating my growth as a social entrepreneur, sharpening my mind and allowing me to discover how this city operated in and out. It wasn’t long before I received a phone call from Chris, saying: “You’re applying for the BMe Challenge, and you’re gonna win!” I wasn’t sure if he was just looking to build my confidence or if he really believed I could win, but I applied and after months of working through the process, I became the youngest BMe Leader in Philly.

Chris and I eventually became business partners. We’re the Program Directors for TechKnoweldge G!™  a S.T.E.A.M powered edutainment campaign that informs the public of sustainability practices and engages schools and communities in sustainable project based learning activities. Our bond both as business partners and brothers grew as we continued to innovate, collaborate, and build on existing ideas. I had finally had a business partners who had more thoughts than me at a single time —that made business fun. Together, just like Russell and I had done in the past, we developed out-of-school time programs, mentored youth, and improved our business models together. It never occurred to me that I had surrounded myself with so many black males that were older, wiser and more accomplished than me, until my peers in school acknowledged changes in my behavior; a deep maturation that gave me an “old soul,” they said. I then began to ask myself: why so many people focused their energy on my success? Out of all the experienced, knowledgeable, and well established entrepreneurs in the world, why work with me? I was slightly confused, very humbled, but most importantly, I was afraid. My youth and inexperience could be the detrimental, and I didn’t want my weaknesses to inhibit anyone’s success. But Chris help me realize that mentorship is about seeing one’s potential, and creating an environment for which that potential can flourish.

♦◊♦

Mentors direct their mentees from point A to point B, and in between that time, mentors nurture independence so their mentees will be able and ready to go from point B to C on their own. Mentors place mirrors in front of mentees, allowing them to chisel their own imperfections; the chiseling starts when mentees are ready to grow. Mentors can’t make mentees travel down a road of success; they can only show them the way. As my mentors and I travel, synergy grows and brotherhood strengthens. I didn’t realize Russell Hicks and Chris Norris were mentoring me until I began to see how I played a role in other young people’s lives.

Now I am a mentor to many youth between the ages of 14 and 18, and I’m realizing that patience, understanding, humility, and wisdom are the foundation to effectively reaching others. I see the same passion for action in my mentees, and I understand how inertia antagonizes them to do more, give more, and be greater. I pay it forward by remembering that I was – and still am – a ball of energy without clear direction, but I’m not be alone. I am better off because these two mentors entered my life and now I am working to do the same for others. There’s potential in everyone, but sometimes only YOU can bring out one’s best self.

Happy National Mentoring Month! Celebrate by becoming a mentor today!

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m DJ Reezey® & that’s the DJ’s drop!™

2013 BMe Leader Rashuan Williams is the Founder/Executive Director of Phresh Philly and the Director of Youth & Millennial Iniaitives, Techbook Online Corporation. 

Source: TBO Inc®

Twitter: @therealTBOInc

Facebook: /therealTBOInc

©2013 All Rights Reserved.

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His Story: The Truth About Black Male Mentors

His Story: The Truth About Black Male Mentors

His Story

1-Alex-Peay-BMeBMe Leader Alex Peay sets the record straight: “Black men mentor everyday.”

It was just the other day when I received the shock of my life. I was talking with my mentor, Trabian Shorters, CEO, BMe, about National Mentoring Month and he informed me that there isn’t much data available on black male mentors. Doing what any millennial will do in today’s hyper-connected society, I pulled out my phone and googled it.

READ: New Year to Bring New Network, Narratives for Inspired Black Men

Across my phone’s screen quickly appeared headlines that I knew weren’t true: “Black Men Do Not Mentor” and “Communities in Horrid Conditions Due to Lack of Black Male Mentors,” were just some of the false narratives available for public consumption. Thinking about the countless hours my team of black male mentors put into building our peer-to-peer mentoring organization, Rising Sons, I said to myself: how can they say that when we are doing the work, everyday?

READ: Paying it Forward: I’m Still a Mentee but now I Mentor.

The more I thought about that lie, the more frustrated I became. My truth is, I spend my days helping to grow a network of inspired black men, many of whom spend their personal funds to operate mentoring programs for black boys. The public is spinning the wrong narrative; its not that black men don’t mentor, it’s that there’s a lack of support, funding and visible celebration for those that do.

 

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Growing up I was blessed to have a positive black male figure in my life. His name was Uncle Kenny; he was the ideal figure of a mentor. Uncle Kenny—or “Uncdad,” as I liked to call him—ran his own mentoring program for black boys in Queens, New York, called The Chosen Few.

It reminded me of a fraternity for boys. I remember vividly there was a choir of boys who would use their voices to empower themselves and inspire the community.  My uncle Kenny taught me how to properly knot a tie and even how to give a firm handshake. During the summer of 2006, before going into my sophomore year at college, “Uncdad” passed away.

READ: How A Young Father’s Death Made me a Mentor

By winter of 2006 I started Rising Sons; but without my “Uncdad” around—and not being on good terms with my father—I had no black men I could turn to, or so I thought. Rising Sons became the mentorship I desired. We were a discussion group of majority black and Latino male students who got together and talked about our lives and communities. Since we came from different cultures and backgrounds we learned from each other. We built a community where we could support each other personally and professionally.

READ: You Don’t Have to be Perfect to be a Mentor

I’m proud to say the tradition we created still lives on today, as we help each other scale the work that we do for the community. I, in addition to the others black male mentor I’m associated with, have sacrificed so much to do this work.  So it hurts to only see news about black men destroying our communities. It hurts so bad to get rejected for funding when you KNOW your program is good enough. It hurts when you have to spend your last couple of dollars to make sure your mentee gets home or eats, but we do it.

We can choose to waste our time complaining about those black men who don’t mentor or serve the community, or we can step up and support the ones that do. We all identify with the large brand name mentoring organizations, but a number of them don’t engage black men. In closing, I would like to thank BMe (Black Male Engagement) for saying yes to me when everyone else said no. A BMe Community Impact Grant  was the first real funding Rising Sons ever received and it gave us the encouragement to believe that anything is possible.  BMe views black men the way societies should see black men: as assets to the community. As a BMe Leader and one of more than 3,000 inspired black men from across the country, I support black male mentors and I hope that all of you will, too.

Happy National Mentoring Month! Celebrate by becoming a mentor today!

2012 BMe Leader Alex Peay is the Founder of Rising Sons and an inaugural member of the Philly Roots Fellows.

**Editors note: Christopher “Flood The Drummer” Norris has curated all of these stories from the mentors in his community for a special a series on mentoring. after the series is complete all of the essays will be made into a book by TechbookOnline.

Alex Peay

 

About the Author: A Philly Drummer playing a Global Beat, Christopher A. Norris is an award-winning journalist, online content producer and professional drummer endorsed by TRX Cymbals. An American businessman, Norris currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Techbook Online Corporation, overseeing a strategic initiative of mobilizing local, regional, national and global communities by encouraging the production, safeguarding and dissemination of diversified contents in the media and global information networks.

Source: TBO Inc®

Twitter: @therealTBOInc

Facebook: /therealTBOInc

©2014 All Rights Reserved.

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His Story: Black Male Mentors Share, Inspire, Empower

His Story: Black Male Mentors Share, Inspire, Empower

His Story

At an event showcasing recipients of the Philly Roots Fellowship, a program supported by the Open Society Foundations that equips mentors with the tools they need to help young African-American men succeed, five powerful black male mentors sat center stage.

But it was 19-year-old Rashaun Williams who moderated the conversation among more than 60 black boys. They talked about being on the giving and receiving ends of mentoring and the importance of knowledge transfer between generations to ignite “phresh perspectives.”

The event, which celebrated National Mentoring Month, was co-organized by Techbook Online, a millennial-led news organization headquartered in Philadelphia designed to make the world aware of untold stories, and Sankofa Freedom Academy, a charter high school in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.

The group of teenagers hung onto Williams’s every word. They were enjoying themselves, and the positive energy in the room allowed for an open discussion.

When Williams, the youngest BMe Leader in Philadelphia, revealed he was still a teenager himself, the young men reacted with “Yoooo, he a young bull, that’s wassup,” and “Nineteen? I didn’t know you could do stuff like this at nineteen, wow.” BMe is a network of black men committed to making all communities stronger. It is backed by a partnership of foundations including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and the Heinz Endowment.

Williams, who is also a popular DJ, told the young men that he did not realize he was being mentored until he saw the impact he was having on other young people’s lives.  “An idol is someone you look up to; a mentor is someone who looks back,” he said.

Williams then asked the boys, “What is manhood?” and “What is black manhood?”

One after another of the students popped up and gave their definitions.

“Manhood is when you do things for people but you think of others instead of yourself,” said one student.

“Black manhood is working together—having a collective responsibility,” answered another.

One student said, “Black manhood is defying the odds of what people expect you to do.”

“I think manhood is a state of mind of maturity,” said another. “I think with manhood you have to be willing to sacrifice and have priorities. Everything you do should have a purpose, because your actions don’t just affect you but everyone around you.”

Williams asked, “How does society view black manhood?”

A young man wearing a black hoodie stood up and said, “Across the world, we are portrayed as violent, disrespectful to our women, and that we don’t take care of our children. But we know that’s not true. Society is real biased, and it’s harsh on us.”

We have it within our power as a society to topple barriers to equal opportunity for everyone, including African-American men and boys, who often face steep obstacles and inaccurate depictions in the media, which can affect self-perceptions and lead to diminished self-esteem.

Despite the word on the street, African-American men and boys are not problems that need to be solved—they’re assets. Every day they’re working to build strong communities.

About the Author: A Philly Drummer playing a Global Beat, Christopher A. Norris is an award-winning journalist, online content producer and professional drummer endorsed by TRX Cymbals. An American businessman, Norris currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Techbook Online Corporation, overseeing a strategic initiative of mobilizing local, regional, national and global communities by encouraging the production, safeguarding and dissemination of diversified contents in the media and global information networks.

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His Story: Things Black Men and Boys Say

His Story: Things Black Men and Boys Say

His Story

Continuing the celebration of National Mentoring Month, 2014 Echoing Green Search Partner, Techbook Online – in addition to collecting stories from black male mentors – co-organized a conversation between black male mentors and black teenage boys. 

The important dimensions of black males’ lives, such as manhood, brotherhood, masculinity and community, were just a handful of topics discussed last Friday at Sankofa Freedom Academy, located in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.

In a room full of more than fifty black teenage boys, a group of inspired black men – led by B.O.L.D member Rashaun Williams, the youngest BMe Leader in Philly – engaged the youth in a conversation that aimed to foster not only an interest in being mentored or becoming an mentor, but to encourage knowledge transfers between generations that ignite “phresh perspectives.”

2014-01-19-DJReezeyleadstalk-thumb

In a room full of more than fifty black teenage boys, a group of inspired black men – led by B.O.L.D member Rashaun Williams, the youngest BMe Leader in Philly – engaged the youth in a conversation that aimed to foster not only an interest in being mentored or becoming an mentor, but to encourage knowledge transfers between generations that ignite “phresh perspectives.”

BMe Leader Rashaun “DJ Reezey®” Williams asks: “What is manhood?”

 

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Continuing the celebration of National Mentoring Month, 2014 Echoing Green Search Partner, Techbook Online – in addition to collecting stories from black male mentors – co-organized a conversation between black male mentors and black teenage boys.

2014-01-19-PhillyRootsFelows.JPG
(Black Male Mentors Take Center Stage to Share, Inspire and Empower: From L to R: Philly Roots Fellows: Rueben Jones, Eric Worley, Joshua Rivers and Jeff Jones.)

The important dimensions of black males’ lives, such as manhood, brotherhood, masculinity and community, were just a handful of topics discussed last Friday at Sankofa Freedom Academy, located in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.

2014-01-19-DJReezeyleadstalk.JPG

In a room full of more than fifty black teenage boys, a group of inspired black men – led by B.O.L.D member Rashaun Williams, the youngest BMe Leader in Philly – engaged the youth in a conversation that aimed to foster not only an interest in being mentored or becoming an mentor, but to encourage knowledge transfers between generations that ignite “phresh perspectives.”

BMe Leader Rashaun “DJ Reezey®” Williams asks: “What is manhood?”

BMe Leader Rueben Jones, Founder of Frontline Dads, Fires up The Student Body When He Talks about the Perception of Black Males:

 

Philly Roots Fellow Joshua Rivers, Founder of FOCUSED International, Surprises The Group of Boys With His Introduction.

Many of the students in attendance had never been exposed to this level of discourse with inspired black men. They not only showed their appreciation by being attentive and fully engaged, but they asked for more opportunities to connect and share with black male mentors.

In a room full of more than fifty black teenage boys, a group of inspired black men – led by B.O.L.D member Rashaun Williams, the youngest BMe Leader in Philly – engaged the youth in a conversation that aimed to foster not only an interest in being mentored or becoming an mentor, but to encourage knowledge transfers between generations that ignite “phresh perspectives.”

2014-01-19-BlackBoysRaiseHands-thumb

What those young black teenager boys saw last Friday is something I’m privileged to witness almost every day – black men working together to build strong communities.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™

About the Author: A Philly Drummer playing a Global Beat, Christopher A. Norris is an award-winning journalist, online content producer and professional drummer endorsed by TRX Cymbals. An American businessman, Norris currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Techbook Online Corporation, overseeing a strategic initiative of mobilizing local, regional, national and global communities by encouraging the production, safeguarding and dissemination of diversified contents in the media and global information networks.

Source: Huffington Post

 

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League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Anthony Ford

League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Anthony Ford

League Of Extraordinary Black Men

We need to flood our society with images of those black men that ARE making a difference in the world. ~ Anthony Ford

We need to flood our society with images of those black men that ARE making a difference in the world. ~ Anthony Ford

TheBlackManCan is making its way back to Houston, Texas to bring you another EXTRAordinary Black Man. We proudly present Real Estate Mogul and Motivational Speaker Anthony Ford. Anthony Ford is not only the owner of a successful “house flipping” company (REC Houston) that teaches ordinary people how to FLIP houses for profit but he is also a “life saver”. Anthony volunteers his time every week by visiting and mentoring at risk and poverty stricken youth at a Houston Area High School as well as hosts several community events, feeding the poor and homeless and clothing those kids whose parents can’t provide them with decent clothing. He is also the author of the forthcoming business book “Stand Apart” which is due to hit shelves in January 2014 where he stresses the importance of taking what you’ve learned through dire situations and twisting it to starting a business as well as living a life that truly “Stands Apart” from the rest! Anthony sits down with TheBlackManCan to discuss his Foundation, the #fordhustle movement, entrepreneurship and advice for young black man.

TheBlackManCan: Tell us about the #fordhustle movement? What is the mission and vision behind this movement?

AF: The #fordhustle movement derived from a nickname that everyone who knew me had given me. They gave me that name because every time they looked up I had my hands in some type of new business venture or was apart of some new idea of some sort. So it wasn’t long after I received this nickname that I started the #fordhustle movement. There are two components to the #fordhustle movement-The first component is teaching my kids and my younger siblings how to become successful entrepreneurs by starting their own business and applying the hustle and ingenuity necessary but comprising it with what they’ve learned scholastically to see that their business thrives and therefore leaving a legacy behind. Then the other component to the #fordhustle movement is to teach my kids and siblings how to give back to the communities that made us who we are today by going back and feeding and clothing the homeless and under privileged families that are awe stricken and less fortunate than we are. This movement however is just not for my family; it’s for anyone who wants to learn how to be successful in business yet has a heart to serve those who are struggling!

TheBlackManCan: How did you develop your entrepreneurial spirit? 

AF: I developed my entrepreneurial spirit from my dad, he was a “go out and do it and get it by all means” type of person, he owned a few businesses when I was a young kid and would give me a chance to run and operate those businesses in the summer while I was out of school and that gave me the spark to be an entrepreneur.

I walked four kids across the stage last school year that otherwise would not have graduated had it not been for my program! ~ Anthony Ford

I walked four kids across the stage last school year that otherwise would not have graduated had it not been for my program! ~ Anthony Ford

TheBlackManCan: How does one go about building an entrepreneurial spirit and why is it important to have one?  

AF: I don’t believe that a person could build an entrepreneur spirit until they’ve first prioritized their life into what their lifelong goals are and then have taken the time to assess their risk tolerance. Once a person has done these things then they could enter entrepreneurship. I think that its important to have an entrepreneurship attitude because it is almost, and I stress “almost, the only way that you could live securely in the present and leave a legacy in the future.

TheBlackManCan: You have a successful Real Estate Company. Why did you choose Real Estate?

AF: I chose real estate because of where I’m from! I’m from a neighborhood where most of my people are renters versus homeowners and so since I am a trailblazer type of person-I strive to be different, to stand apart! In an effort to be different; I purchased my first home at the age of 22 but I went through some difficult times when purchasing my first home because I had a lazy and unprofessional Realtor who through her poor work ethic; caused me to loose a home that I had custom built from the ground up, at that time I was 21 yrs old and didn’t know much about real estate but I knew enough to know that she was the reason that I lost my home, it took me almost a year to bounce back from the hurt and damage that she had caused. From then on I knew that I wanted to be in real estate so that others wouldn’t have to go through the same misfortune that I had went through while trying to purchase a home for the first time, for I would be the Realtor that would go to the ends of the Earth to get my clients to become homeowners!

TheBlackManCan: What are some essential skills that are needed to be successful in the field?

AF: To be successful in real estate you have to be tenacious and ready to work day in and day out, innovative, different in your thinking, a net-worker and a marketing genius!!

Mentoring is a quick and insurmountable way to attach yourself to the positive vibes and teachings of another person that's greater than you are or that's at a place where you're trying to be! ~ Anthony Ford

Mentoring is a quick and insurmountable way to attach yourself to the positive vibes and teachings of another person that’s greater than you are or that’s at a place where you’re trying to be! ~ Anthony Ford

TheBlackManCan: Why should young men look to own a home and not rent?

AF: I feel as if young men should own a home versus renting one for several reasons; but the main reason being that as men you ought to aspire to leave legacies for the generation that is to come after you-leaving an asset such as a home is a great legacy item. With a home being one of the greatest assets that a human can obtain; I’d admonish every young man out there to have one of his family heirlooms be a home.

TheBlackManCan: Tell us about the Teleois Foundation. What does the word Teleois mean?

AF: The word Teleios means to “reach its end”; to discover your divine purpose in life.

TheBlackManCan: What is the focus on your foundation?

AF: The focus of my Teleios foundation is to take school aged teens that are in gangs and have criminal and drug charges and turn their life around by helping them to discover who they really are and why they were placed on this Earth. Once I teach them this; two things happen: First, they start to live a more meaningful life which keeps them away from drugs and criminal activities and then Secondly, I teach them how to mentor other kids that are in similar situations as they once were; by helping them to discover their meaning in life just as I have done for them. I walked four kids across the stage last school year that otherwise would not have graduated had it not been for my program!

TheBlackManCan: You live a life of lifting as you climb. Why should more people embrace this thought process?

AF: Well I believe in “lifting as you climb” simply because I feel as if God has granted me success and elevation as a means to show others the way. He didn’t make me successful so that I could brag, boast or promote myself but he made me successful to show others that they too can get to where I am. Actually I feel as if everyone should adopt this principle of lifting as you climb because before they were successful-someone had to show them the way; so why not pay it forward!

My advice to the Black men of today is to use your influence in a positive way!  ~Anthony Ford

My advice to the Black men of today is to use your influence in a positive way! ~Anthony Ford

TheBlackManCan: Mentoring plays a vital role in the development of people. Why is mentoring important to you?

AF: Mentoring is important to me because mentoring is the only way that a person could gain a wealth of wisdom and knowledge without ever having to go through the bumps, bruises and experiences that it normally takes to gain such insight! Mentoring is a quick and insurmountable way to attach yourself to the positive vibes and teachings of another person that’s greater than you are or that’s at a place where you’re trying to be!

TheBlackManCan: Who are some of your mentors?

AF: My Pastor and my previous barber are my mentors..

TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself and your endeavors in the next five years?

AF: Within the next 5 years I see myself leading thousands of people down the road to a more meaningful and successful life here on Earth…I see myself producing reality shows that promotes positive living, entrepreneurship and concepts of paying it forward!

I think that its important to have an entrepreneurship attitude because it is almost, and I stress "almost, the only way that you could live securely in the present and leave a legacy in the future. ~Anthony Ford

I think that its important to have an entrepreneurship attitude because it is almost, and I stress “almost, the only way that you could live securely in the present and leave a legacy in the future. ~Anthony Ford

TheBlackManCan: Why do Black Men and Boys need to see positive images of themselves?

AF: It’s very important for other black men and boys to see positive images of themselves because I think that society has ostracized black men to be culprits and menaces to society whereas most black men and boys have sublimely accepted that mantra to be true! We need to flood our society with images of those black men that ARE making a difference in the world, the black men that ARE standing up for the right causes and that are mentoring and empowering other black men and boys to do the same!

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

AF: My advice to the Black men of today is to use your influence in a positive way! Black Men are amongst the strongest of this world, for whatever it is that we as black men would like to do-the world actually embraces it. If we sag our pants and become rappers, the entire world (all ethnicities) copies our actions. If we want to become the president of the U.S.-the world supports us. So If we could take that same influence and do some positive things in the world, we’d be dangerous-in a good way!

Check out Anthony on the Web:

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TheBlackManCan Institute- Baltimore Video Recap

TheBlackManCan Institute- Baltimore Video Recap

TBMC TV

TheBlackManCan travels to Baltimore, MD! TheBlackManCan Institute designed to uplift, empower, educate, motivate young men of color. The purpose of TheBlackManCan Institute is to provide comfort and support for boys of color. Boys of Color attending TheBlackManCan Institute can be assured that their cultural needs will be addressed and they will be free to express themselves while fostering brotherhood. Learn more athttp://tbmcinstitute.theblackmancan.org/

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TheBlackManCan Institute-Hartford Video Recap

TheBlackManCan Institute-Hartford Video Recap

TBMC TV

TheBlackManCan Institute touches on several key elements: Entrepreneurship, History Chasing Dreams, Financial Literacy, Style & Fashion, Leadership, Academic Excellence, and Hip-Hop. Our success is measured by the number of students able to walk away with more knowledge, resources, practical guidance, and a useful network to navigate their paths to achieve their goals. The Black Man Can Institute is a deliberate step forward in creating a roadmap to success for young men of color.

The Black Man Can prides itself on leading the way for our current and upcoming generations of intellectuals and leaders. We understand that we are examples and must also create outlets for learning and opportunities. The Black Man Can Institute is one way to achieve these goals. The institute is a one-day series of workshops that focus on different ways to uplift, empower, and inspire young men of color. Learn More athttp://tbmcinstitute.theblackmancan.org/

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His Story: Shannon Sanders: “A Man with a Mission”

His Story: Shannon Sanders: “A Man with a Mission”

His Story

Article By: Shellie R. Warren/2013

If you’re fortunate, you can live out some of your years fulfilling your purpose. For the two-time Grammy, Emmy and (one time) Dove awarding winning songwriter/producer Shannon Sanders, that would consist of using his remarkable musical abilities to ignite some of the true talent of our time including India.Arie, John Legend, Robert Randolph and others.

Yet if you’re focused, you will know that the time that you’ve been blessed to have on this earth goes well beyond receiving applause and accolades. You’ll rise up each day with a heightened sense of awareness that it’s important to go beyond living in purpose—but to also be mission-minded.

For Shannon, that mission is clear: “To bring forth an understanding of what it means to live and love from a man’s perspective using the power of words and music.” Sure, that includes penning songs like “Brother’s Keeper”, an ever-growing crowd favorite off of India.Arie’s latest LP SongVersation. But for him, it goes way beyond that. When Shannon is not on the road serving as India.Arie’s musical director or when he’s not in the studio working with breakout artists such as Laura Reed, he is actually thinking of innovative ways to place the spotlight on another passion that he has: mentorship.

 

be accountable to our seed. When you see something in your seed, you’ve got to be willing to develop that. ~ Shannon Sanders

be accountable to our seed. When you see something in your seed, you’ve got to be willing to develop that. ~ Shannon Sanders

“The topic of manhood is something that is very important to me,” says Shannon. “I believe a big part of it is that I didn’t have my father in the home, although I did grow up with my grandfather. Looking back, I realize that there were a lot of things that I longed for when it came to having a relationship with my dad at that time…there are simply certain things that young men need that they look to their father, first, to provide.”

Although Shannon explains that a lot of his upbringing turned out to be a “hindsight blessing”, he also admits that boys growing up without their fathers is a cycle that needs to be broken. For him, that started with one, forgiving his own dad and two, making the commitment to be extremely present in the lives of his three children: Shannon (20), Simone (17) and Seth (10).

“Children are amazing,” says Shannon. “I learn something new from my kids on a constant basis and one of the main things that they’ve taught me is that what they value most is my availability and accessibility. They need to know that they are a top priority, that they have my full support and that I love them. Not one day goes by when I don’t tell them that I love them.”

We have to want to be responsible for our young men, which means we must be ‘response-able’ when and where they need us.” ~ Shannon Sanders

We have to want to be responsible for our young men, which means we must be ‘response-able’ when and where they need us.” ~ Shannon Sanders

In reflection, Shannon believes that those three simple words are what many people are missing and long to hear. Especially black men. “When it came to me and my dad, I was the first one to tell him ‘I love you’ and I remember that for a while, he really struggled with saying it back. Not because he didn’t feel it but it’s not something that is highly encouraged: vulnerable dialogue and the exchange of emotions between men.”

However, Shannon believes that in order for the family dynamic to become healthier so that our community can thrive, there are certain things that not only men must want to do but they should be willing to teach other boys about.

I learn something new from my kids on a constant basis and one of the main things that they’ve taught me is that what they value most is my availability and accessibility. ~Shannon Sanders

I learn something new from my kids on a constant basis and one of the main things that they’ve taught me is that what they value most is my availability and accessibility. ~Shannon Sanders

“It’s important that we as men have a standard for ourselves,” says Shannon. “Even if our childhoods were not ideal, there is a natural tendency in us to be ‘go getters’ and a big part of that should be about leaving this world better than we’ve found it. That means that if you have children, don’t just be present, but put forth the effort to live your life in such a way where it leaves a legacy for them. Show them what it means to be committed. Say something each day that will inspire them. Do things that will keep them motivated to fulfill their own dreams and aspirations. There is something that’s life-altering about a father who actively takes a part in raising his children. It’s not about his level of education,  the amount of money that he makes or even if he and his children’s mother are still together. It’s about investing who he is into what he helped create. That is empowering to his lineage and also to the community.”

As a man who is a firm believer in the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”, Shannon is also very committed to the importance of mentorship—to being willing to “fill in the gaps” when it comes to young men who may not have a father to guide them.  “A father is a foundational element to any boy’s life,” says Shannon. “When that is missing, it breaks a young boy’s spirit and he spends a lot of his life trying to fill that void; sometimes in some very destructive ways. Sure, a mother can do an amazing job trying to compensate for what is missing, but it’s not her responsibility to do that and as a woman, she’s not even fully able to. Those of us who know of boys without a father, and all of us do, we need to be willing to step in and help her. We have to want to be responsible for our young men, which means we must be ‘response-able’ when and where they need us.”

For Shannon, a huge part of this means using his platform to bring more awareness to these issues and to also cultivate initiatives that will help to provide men with that they need to be strong, educated but perhaps more than anything else, capable.

Those of us who know of boys without a father, and all of us do, we need to be willing to step in and help her. ~ Shannon Sanders

Those of us who know of boys without a father, and all of us do, we need to be willing to step in and help her. ~ Shannon Sanders

“Accountability is a big word to me,” says Shannon. “When it comes to divine order, we first need to be accountable to God. Then we need to be accountable for ourselves. And then we need to be accountable to our seed. When you see something in your seed, you’ve got to be willing to develop that. As men, and especially black men, we are wounded in many ways, but we also have the tools to unite in our struggle and rebuild.

Yes, music is a big part of my purpose but definitely ‘manhood’—that is my mission.”

©Shellie R. Warren/2013

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Exquisite Women: Shonika Proctor

Exquisite Women: Shonika Proctor

Exquisite Women

TheBlackManCan: Shonika, You are the founder of Group Interactive, Inc. What is the company all about?

 

SP:  Group Interactive, Inc. is a Washington, DC based for purpose small business that designs non-conventional entrepreneurial and vocational training curriculum for teenagers. What makes the programs ‘non-conventional’ is that teenagers who are in my private coaching program (aka Renegade CEO’s) are essentially the pilot group for inspiration and creation of the curriculum. They support in every capacity from content creation to branding and training.


TheBlackManCan: You are an award winning blogger and you have written several book including Teen Entrepreneur Success Secrets and Double Click on This Preschoolers and computers. When did you realize you had a passion for writing?

 

SP:  Hmmm, I realized I had a gift for writing in the first grade because my teacher pointed it out to me. But I never actually did much with my writing (beyond journaling) until my early 20′s. Patrick Oberman (my then employer) told me that I had an incredible gift and he also told me that history belongs who write it. So I began to write to document ideas and my vision long before I would see many of those concepts become mainstream. With his encouragement and support we co-wrote Double Click on This Preschoolers and Computers together (it took nearly 8 months). And then after that, I found my groove and I went on to write 5 more books, with each book taking me anywhere from 1 day to 12 days to write in its entirety.


TheBlackManCan: You are widely considered the Pioneer of the Teen Entrepreneur Coaching Industry. How did this come to be?

 

SP:  Completely by accident!!! I realized there were programs and books on the market geared towards entrepreneurial teens but none that worked with teens (exclusively) and in an individual capacity over a certain period of time to support them with the ideas regardless of what phase of business they were in. So after 2,500+ hours of volunteering with teens I decided to co-create a formal industry with and for them.


TheBlackManCan: Why is important that we build the mindset that Entrepreneurship knows no age?

 

SP:  I have come to un-learn that entrepreneurship is not a ‘mindset’. It is a level of consciousness. It is important because it determines your ultimate quality of life or lack thereof, regardless if you run a business or work for someone else or want to accomplish anything in your academic, family or community life.


TheBlackManCan: Who are some of your teens and what businesses have they created?

 

SP: WOW! I have so many incredibly talented teens across the globe doing all kinds of interesting things from service to manufacturing based businesses, but today I want to expose some of my teens that I seldom talk about:

 

Edward Nash, 18 (UK) – iPhone apps and mobile applications including one app that received nearly 10,000 paid downloads in a week

 

Ismael Oates, 13 (USA) – He is an industrial designer (currently working on some designs of skateboards and bicycles)

 

Whitney Washington, 19 (USA) – She is an extremely gifted videographer and ‘creative entrepreneur’ that promotes emerging collegiate dancers and artists

 

Emil Hajric, 16 (Bosnia/Sarajevo/Herzegovina) Software Programmer/Developer: His company designs high end business specialty applications for corporations

 


TheBlackManCan: You are the co-founder/strategist for the first Cisco Entrepreneur Institute in North America – Adreamz Institute. What is the goal and mission of this Institute?

 

SP:  The Adreamz Institute (in collaboration with Carmen Scott Dawson, Advanz LLC) launched in 2009 mission centers around advocating for entrepreneurial resources for all walks of life leveraging best of breed practitioners, web 2.0 and the Cisco branded curriculum (available in 8 languages). Our programs are focused on supporting individuals to accomplish their personal and professional dreams. We have developed a complete poverty reduction strategy that leverages web 2.0, mentoring, and assistive technologies.


TheBlackManCan: You and your Chile based business partner Felipe Gonzalez recently shared a vision to rebuild Chile through the youth. Can you tell us more about this vision?

 

SP:  Felipe Gonzalez and I, along with our other Santiago, Chile based business partners Matias Gonzalez and Rodrigo Bello V are awakening and inspiring the entrepreneurial culture in Latin America starting with our work in Chile. They are Chilean nationals and are excited to help their country achieve its goal of becoming a first world nation by 2018. I started working with them in November 2009 and it has been an incredible and unbelievable experience. Together, we created a culturally sensitive bilingual entrepreneurship training program for youth and adults. And we also founded the Consortium of Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Latin Americans (CEILA) so that we can better support Latin American entrepreneurs especially in the Americas.

 

Our vision is to leverage our international partners so that we can proactively support Chile, using global best practices, as it rebuilds its country and economy after a devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake (Feb 2010). We will start with providing entrepreneurship education to youth in the affected communities. By working with youth and connecting them with the opportunities in the economic development pipeline (locally and globally), we are hoping that other Latinos will be inspired and follow suit.

 

TheBlackManCan: How and why should we have our youth thinking “Global Economy”?

 

SP:  Any youth who is registered and active on a social networking site should already be thinking global. Their ‘friends’ should not all ‘look’ and ‘think’ like them! They can easily make connections with other young people by simply looking for others who share their interest i.e. entrepreneurship, skateboarding, hip hop music etc. I think for the most part, young people are already doing this. It’s adults that need to get with the program ;-)

 

TheBlackManCan: WHY think Global Economy?

SP: Right now, we are in a very unique period in time in that we are experiencing both a global phenomenon and a global opportunity. Over the last half of the century, the majority of jobs have been reduced to a handful of major multinational companies. And with the near collapse of the global financial system, many individuals are having to create their own jobs. With access to the internet and technology almost ANYBODY can get online and start a business that provides a product or service to anyone who can find them with the click of a button. They can also manufacture things in short runs for a low cost, relatively speaking. This opens up tremendous opportunities, even for those with limited business experience or money.

 

You have to be thinking Global Economy and be culturally sensitive because depending on the product or service you offer you never know where it will be well-received. When I first launched my blog and introduced my company, I had no idea that the majority of my inquiries would come from outside of DC let alone the U.S. and now more than 50% of business is done internationally. Some of the countries where I received the most interest from I never even heard of the country before! Chile or Latin America was not even on my radar and now they could quickly become my largest market over the next year.

 

TheBlackManCan: You also go by the name Nika’Nator, what does this nickname come from and mean?

SP:  Ha ha – Daniel Uribe one of my young entrepreneurs from Southern California (originally from Colombia) gave me this nickname.  When others started calling me NikaNator he changed it to NN.  The name was basically a shortened version of my name and Nator meant ‘destroying’ , in this case it was demolishing doubt and building dreams. Daniel still calls me this but some other people now call me The Dream Walker.


TheBlackManCan: If people are interested in your services, what is the best way to contact you?

SP:  I can be found on all the major social networking sites Facebook, Linked In, Twitter. Or they can email me teensrule@renegadeceos.com


TheBlackManCan: What words of advice would you like to share with the youth?

SP:  Your passion and enthusiasm is contagious so don’t be afraid to share your dreams with everyone you meet until someone you connect with supports you on that mission. And more importantly, no matter how much resistance you meet, stay fearless and crazy – ‘Keep it Renegade’ and I’ll meet you halfway.

 

Exquisite Women is where we at TheBlackManCan highlight Black Women who are making positive and remarkable contributions to society.  Nominate a Black Woman today on the contact page or e-mail team@theblackmancan.org, subject line: Exquisite Woman!

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The Village: Defy Ventures

The Village: Defy Ventures

The Village

defy venturesDefy Ventures provides carefully selected, ambitious men who have criminal histories with life-changing entrepreneurship, leadership, and career opportunities.

Defy Ventures is funded and managed by a group of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who recognize that many former drug dealers and gang leaders share similar skill sets and talents with top business leaders. Through an intensive internship program that includes MBA-like training, executive mentoring, leadership development, and career placement, Defy Ventures offers its interns a legitimate chance to succeed as income earners, entrepreneurs, fathers, and role models in their communities. Defy’s signature program engages interns in a series of business plan competitions that award up to $150,000 in seed capital to winning ventures.

Defy Ventures is a New York City-based nonprofit organization that is entirely privately funded by executives, foundations, and other generous donors.  Learn more here.

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League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Howard R. Jean

League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Howard R. Jean

League Of Extraordinary Black Men

Howard and MISTERs Panoramic

Howard R. Jean with The MISTERs


TheBlackManCan is in Cheyney, PA to interview Howard Jean at Cheyney University about The Call Me MISTER program.  Check out what this EXTRAordinary Black Man had to say about the program and his experience engaging people to give back to their communities.

TheBlackManCan:  Howard, you are currently the Program Director for The Call Me MISTER program at Cheyney University.  Can you tell us what this program is all about?

HRJ: The Call Me MISTER program, started in 2000 at Clemson University by Dr. Tom Parks and a team of visionary leaders, was created to addresses the shortage of African-American men as elementary teachers. Call Me MISTER is a teacher leadership program that provides a dynamic curriculum and scholarships, which enhance a pre-service teacher’s experience. This enables them to gain experiences that produce highly qualified teachers who are also serve as mentors. Each MISTER is obligated to return to their community as teachers for each year they receive in Call Me MISTER support.

Call Me MISTER is not just a program but a lifestyle commitment to embark on a mission to diversify the face of classrooms in America, change how African-American men are perceived by America and most importantly, improve the quality of how our children are educated in America. Since the program’s inception, the mission has been to re-instill a sense purpose and passion in the classrooms through African-American men who are teachers and mentors. We are dedicated to producing, as Bill Cosby said upon his visit for a brunch we sponsored in his honor, teachers who not only focus on the textbooks but instill hope, creativity, faith, love, respect and compassion to each child they come in contact with. Because our MISTER’s are products of these communities they intend to serve, they “overstand” the rationale and motivations of our youth, which will allow them to address issues at the core. Many times we focus at crucifying the product of the problem and not the core of the problem.

TheBlackManCan:  Why is it important to increase the number of African American teachers in particular African American Males?

HRJ: Increasing the participation rate of African-American men in the education system will create a social ripple effect which can repair many of the problems that we all are faced to deal with. Incorporating African-American men in the development of the next generation of leaders allow African-American men to become investors in society. These future leaders, regardless of their race, will be positively impacted by an African-American man, which either breaks down walls or creates no space for walls to be built as it relate to race relations. Furthermore, having African-American men in positions of leadership in the education system gives them a platform to serve their community. Digesting the cold facts that, have a higher incarceration rate, participate higher in the unemployment rate than the college going rate are overrepresented in special education programs across Americas schools and 50% of black males do not graduate high school. Call Me MISTER seems to address this cultural pandemic with societal implications with the placement of African-American men as teachers, mentors, and role models.

TheBlackManCan:  You are the founder and C.E.O. of S.E.I.L. (Success through Education, Inspiration, and Leadership).  What led you to start this organization and what are the mission and goals?

HRJ: S.E.I.L. (Success through Education, Inspiration and Leadership) was started with the help of 5 friends and family members I attended high school with who left home to pursue an education and returned shortly after graduating from college. The original members or S.E.I.L. are my twin brother (who is also a teacher and graduate of the MISTER program), Hayward Jean, Travis Johnson, L.J. Brown, Bruce Hickson and Carlos Cato. We, possessing the urge to start early in impacting our community, came together to form S.E.I.L. I conceptualized the organization from a philosophy that success can be achieved by understanding the importance that education, learning, religion, inspirational messages and leadership plays. Initially the goal was to place the African-American male at the center of our programs and initiative so that the community can build around and with them. The mission grew to focus on various disadvantaged areas of our community without direct focus on any particular race or gender.

Our goals are to simply provide support, resources and experiences to members in our community through programming and mentorship. The mission is to raise the involvement of community members, broaden the perspective and provide empowerment strategies for growth and development in tangible and intangible areas.

The only thing that separates them form you is their work ethic and accepting the challenge to be great! ~Howard Jean

The only thing that separates them form you is their work ethic and accepting the challenge to be great! ~Howard Jean

TheBlackManCan:  You truly have a national reach, you also helped found and currently chair Success for Life which is based in South Carolina. What led to the founding of this organization?

HRJ: Through my work with S.E.I.L. and the radio talk show “Brothers Let’s Talk About It” where members of S.E.I.L. and I discussed issues that affected our community from a younger perspective (all of us being 22 to 23 years old) and coming up with solutions on air attracted the attention of others who shared similar interests to help impact the community. Mr. Rhonda Ray, CEO, asked that I chair her board and being a participating co-founder, which humbled me because of the task at such a young age. Success For Life Inc. is geared towards providing supporting to students in the Aiken County Public and Charter School systems with programming, tutoring and scholarships. We have impacted students at each of the 7 high schools in Aiken County with a scholarship for students who are products of single-parent households; of which I am also a product.

TheBlackManCan:  You are currently writing a Book “Be the CEO of YOU”, can you share some information on this project?

HRJ: “Be the CEO of YOU” is the production title of a current project which will circulate around the book. My book simply started out as a daily text message. I sent texts focusing on what was revealed as it related to accomplishing goals and restructuring my life to a group of friends affectionately named “Movers and Shakers”.  My text messages went from one page texts to two page texts to three page texts and so on. I received positive feedback and turned them into a daily email. I added more names to the distribution list and which began to be circulate around offices of colleagues and friends. My messages became the core of morning meetings for teams and etc. I felt that my perspective and voice on success and maintaining focus could help others as it was helping me, so I started writing the book. I maintain the organic feel of my writings through maintaining the same method of typing the thoughts into my BlackBerry .

I am confident that “Be the CEO of YOU”  will help people reorganize, restructure and achieve success in all areas of their life. I will share and connect with people through all mediums of communication in order to make the message accessible by everyone which makes it a 3-dimensional product. When we hear CEO, it resonates leadership, importance, status and many other positive adjectives. When we see the word “YOU” there are mixed emotions. In my opinion, that shouldn’t be the case. At the core of everyone lies a dream, purpose and mission in life. That dream, purpose and mission has to be managed like a company and taken seriously as if it is worth millions of dollars. By transferring the same esteem into various areas of our life, the product will yield SUCCESS. Because the project is still being developed, I cannot share too much but I share tangential thoughts on my twitter page, @Howard_J and website, www.howardrjean.com/sampleone (which is currently under construction). I look to have everything in place by the end of this year and on the road and in shelves throughout the year of 2011.

TheBlackManCan:  You have a strong record of giving back to the community in-particular the one you grew up in. Why is it important to be socially conscience?

HRJ: Giving and receiving is a cycle in life that many people have misconstrued. Two reasons motivate me to give back: our fallen ancestors and the future generations.

Our ancestors who gave their lives for us to be here did it blindly. I say blindly because they could not imagine the terminal ending that they were sacrificing their lives for but did it with hope and faith that their contribution would be for the better. Hope and faith are two of the most underused but most powerful words in the English language. The courage, confidence, and will to maintain hope and faith in spite of whatever may be going on should never go unnoticed.

Secondly I am motivated to give back because of the future generations to come. Legacy building through legacy giving is something I feel that we all should take part in. Passing down wealth is imperative but also passing down the virtue or giving, benefits an entire society. I believe that actions of “good” will not only support people in their current state but also perpetuates an ideal and plants seeds of philanthropy and humanitarianism.

TheBlackManCan:  What words of advice do you want to leave with today’s youth?

HRJ: I’d like to share a message that I share with groups across the country as an empowerment speaker, “Embracing your celebrity, celebrating your own identity” ™. They should embrace the celebrity that lies within them and celebrate their own identity. The youth of today sometimes spend more time studying and idolizing their favorite actor, musician, artist, etc.  They can share with you the details of their favorite celebrity’s life to the last public appearance but rarely spend the same amount of time learning about who they are or loving themselves. They sometimes lose themselves into the reality TV phenomenon, leaving their own lives empty with no purpose, substance, or zest. I want to tell the youth the same air, same thoughts and same time it takes your favorite celebrity to perfect their craft or create, you have access to the same tools. They became who they were because they embraced who they were and enjoyed being themselves, in most cases. Your life is just as valuable as theirs and can have the same impact they have in their field. The only thing that separates them form you is their work ethic and accepting the challenge to be great! The same greatness that lies in them lies in you also.

I would like to commend you and your team on the work you are doing, taking the work of these great men you are connected to from the silos in which we work to a medium that can connect us all. I salute you brother, Godspeed.

Read more about Call Me MISTER here.  You can reach Howard R. Jean at www.howardrjean.com and @Howard_J.

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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Black men step up as mentors and role models for Fairbanks youth

Black men step up as mentors and role models for Fairbanks youth

Positive Black Male News

Pizza lures them in, but the main course is conversation with an emphasis on the value of education.

That’s the way it is at the Tuesday noon mentoring sessions at Tanana Middle School and at an after-school Tuesday robotics program at Hunter Elementary School. To read more click here: http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/7114953/article-Black-men-step-up-as-mentors-and-role-models-for-Fairbanks-youth?instance=home_lead_story

theblackmancan.org wants to provide you with news stories from across the world that promote a positive black male image. Many of the stories featured here may not be on the front page of your local newspaper, but we believe that it is our job to inform you on all the positive black male news circulating the world.

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