BLACK BOYS OF DISTINCTION HOST PROJECT I CAN 2 2009 SYMPOSIUM
Spartanburg, SC (BlackNews.com) - One year after launching the Black Boys of Distinction mentorship program to change the negative statistics of black male youth, Pastor Tommy Quick says we are organizing the Project I Can 2 Symposium to continue to raise awareness about the importance of community-wide participation to help save black boys. It will take place at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, July 31 and August 1, 2009 with the theme, "Creating Positive Futures for Black Boys." During the symposium, Pastor Quick, Dr. Steve Perry and David C. Miller will serve as the keynote speakers. Several workshops providing applicable information and tools for those who want to assist will also take place. This event is free and open to the public.
In addition to increasing awareness of the issues and challenges facing black males as they develop, the symposium seeks to increase parents' ability to effectively raise black young men, enroll more young men in the BBOD program, recruit additional mentors and strengthen partnerships/collaborations within the community.
Pastor Quick says we are looking forward to Dr. Perry and Mr. Miller's participation in the symposium, "These men can inject expert knowledge and share inspiration on the subject of what must be done in our communities to save our boys. They have dealt with many of the issues we face here in South Carolina in their own states. They are very passionate about this particular issue as I am, and I am pleased these two profound and enlightening speakers could join us as we seek to further galvanize the public to help improve the future of our youth," he adds.
Dr. Steve Perry is the founder of the Preparatory Magnet school in Hartford, Connecticut and author of the critically acclaimed book Man Up Nobody Is Coming to Save Us. He will be featured in the upcoming sequel to CNN's documentary, Black in Americaand will soon release his fourth book, Raggedy Schools.
David Miller is the Founder and Chief Visionary of Urban Youth and Urban Leadership Institute, LLC, in Baltimore, Maryland. He has over 14 years of experience working with thousands of youth in detention centers, aftercare programs and disadvantaged schools and communities throughout the United States.
Other guest will include John Hammond III, CEO, 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Atlanta, Ga., and Dr. John Lane, SC Dept of Education, and Darryl Lester, Community Investment Network and Hindsight Consulting, Raleigh, NC.
The workshops will focus on current realities for Black Boys, the importance of education to improve quality of life, how single parents can effectively raise a young black male, and the role of churches and community organizations to engage and help save black males. Pastor Quick believes the steps Promised Land CDC, the umbrella organization for BBOD, is taking are necessary to combat the destructive cycle that is plaguing so many African American communities.
"This organization was created to minister to children in the community and a blueprint for agencies across the nation to follow. After 3 years of counseling, I have seen first-hand the special challenges boys face. The national statistics for dropping out of school, behavior issues, and special education class placement and the resulting loss productivity among black boys are staggering and paint a grim future for black males," says Quick. "There's no way I could sit idly by and watch that happen. Our boys needed special targeted programs because the general programs that were in place were not working for too many of them. Over the past year, we have witnessed some amazing results with the boys we work with."
The 2008 Project I Can Symposium was the forum where Pastor Quick, Founder and Executive Director of Promised Land Community Development Corporation, Pastor of Promised Land Church and Presiding Officer of Pastor's International Covenant Alliance announced the creation of Black Boys of Distinction to the community. Over 300 people in attendance received the program warmly and 30 men agreed to be mentors. BBOD has grown to serve 90 young men, between the ages of 9 and 17, who are receiving hands-on attention from adults who realize that it truly does take a village to raise a child. Their curriculum includes life skills, decision-making, anti-drug and anti-violence messages and education. The boys also participate in several field trips designed to expose them to careers and educational/recreational activities they may have never encountered. News of their success quickly spread and BBOD has been incorporated into two local elementary schools and approved by the South Carolina Department of Education for possible inclusion in schools across the state. They also receive inquiries about their programs from organizations across the nation.
The Project I Can 2 Symposium will take place in Wofford College's Leonard Building. It will begin 8:00 am with continental breakfast and registration. Opening ceremonies will be at 9:00 am.
For more information, visit www.blackboysofdistinction.org or call (864-978-7557).