New Online Publication Highlights the Altruism of Black MalesIn an effort to improve media coverage and public perception of African-American men and boys, millennial-led news organization Techbook Online last month launched a campaign to celebrate black male mentors and their impact on communities. The stories collected - from both millennials and boomers - were aimed at highlighting the important dimensions of black men lives, such as: fatherhood, leadership and community service.
Although the Philadelphia-based publishing firm spearheaded the initiative, it was supported by multiple stakeholders - including GoodMenProject.com, The Dr. Vibe Show, SEPA Cares, affiliate of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and BMe - all who agree that black men are assets.
"Black men are assets to society. Every day more than 1 million black men do something to support the development of a young person who is not their child. They do so as coaches, teachers, mentors, friends of the family and community fathers," writes BMe founder and former Knight Foundation Vice President of Communities, Trabian Shorters, who authored the foreword to the Techbook.
BMe builds caring and prosperous communities led by inspired black men. BMe touts that everyday black men share, inspire and empower communities. Many of the BMe Leaders - including myself - shared stories of hope, hopelessness, failures and successes throughout the month of January, which inspired everyday black men to step up and also share their personal narratives - a total of 18 were published, aggregated and repurposed for a new digital product, The Black His-Story Book: A Collection of Narratives from Black Male Mentors.
Everyday Techbook Online publishes socially relevant stories of impact, issues, inspiration and innovation. Our focus: to connect communities through content. Being a part of BMe, as well as the CEO of Techbook Online, I'm blessed to be able to leverage the network into narratives that convenes the conversation online and influence the collaborations on the ground. As the leader global media company that reaches up to 100 million readers a month across platforms, I stand behind President Obama's call for more philanthropic and corporate leaders to create opportunities for boys and men of color to thrive and succeed. Techbook Online, along with GoodMenProject.com, has pledged to extend the black male mentor storytelling campaign indefinitely, enabling black men and boys to share the amazing work they do every day to strengthen their communities with the a global audience.
Techbook Online's 2013 "Man of the Year," Trabian Shorters, and his team at BMe, a pioneering network that celebrates black men who quietly and consistently make positive differences in the lives of others, also stand ready to answer the President's call. The Miami-based nonprofit released a statement last week which in part reads:
"All Americans will benefit from ensuring that the ladder of opportunity reaches more black men and boys. Black men are now and have always been great assets to the nation and to our communities. One in four black men in America is a military veteran, and another 400,000 are on active duty. Every day, black men across this country are starting businesses, mentoring, achieving in the classroom, teaching and volunteering their time to help others. It will take telling the authentic stories of everyday black men like these to energize young boys of color to reach their full potential. We are clear about the kind of world we want to live in - a place where black men and boys are recognized and celebrated as assets to our communities - and we are not alone."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. Together black men and those that love them can build a nation where everyone benefits from the vibrancy, cohesiveness and success of our diverse population. We're all in it together and we share responsibility for the common good.
CLICK HERE to download The Black His-Story Book: A Collection of Narratives from Black Male Mentors.
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