If you work with youth I may not need to tell you about the immediate need for change in the minority male community. The North Carolina Community College System has put their money where their mouth is and established a network called the minority male mentoring initiative statewide after being allocated grant funds. Many community colleges apply for the grant in hopes of sparking such change on their campuses and improving minority male involvement. Annually these colleges and many other interested parties attend a conference that has a sole focus of improving minority male retention and graduation. Extremely proud to be a part of this movement I was asked to join the planning committee for the conference. Of course I gladly accepted. With attendance in excess of 400 participants it was a phenomenally humbling experience.
Dynamic presenters, networking, and outstanding keynote speakers, the conference took on a life of its own as mentors assumed their roles and students openly accepted the wealth of wisdom offered. Being blessed with the opportunity to present I chose to present on some of the topics covered in my book, The Eye of the Mentor: Hip to the Game.
Award-winning journalist, social activist and political commentator Jeff Johnson headlined the event along with Tatiyana Ali from the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire. Each did their best to show students that if you stay focused goals can be reached even though distractions are inevitable whether from the opposite sex or from peers. Friend, and actor Mr. Craig Stokes was also there teaching students to consider themselves as a brand as they embarked on their careers. Stay tuned to Shaperspeaks for more on the event.
Our book, The Eye of the Mentor, will be released on the site December 1st 2011. I am truly exicted about it’s response so far and for those who have advanced copies I thank you for all of your support