The 15th Annual Male Youth Conference, "Strategies for the Development of the African American Manchild" convened this past Saturday at Los Angeles Southwest Community College. The conference featured a vast array of workshops designed to inspire young men to reach their potential in life. The keynote speaker this year was the dynamic Mr. Danny Bakewell Jr., President and Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper. Mr. Bakewell's eloquent, inspirational message of personal responsibility and self knowledge resonated with the audience and touched all in attendance.
The conference was organized by a four man committee including, Dr. Todd Roberts, Mr. Michael Harris, Mr. Sidney Cosby, Mr. Torrence Brannon Reese, and was sco-coordinated by educational and mentoring consultant, Stephanie Inyama. the manchild conference was founded 15 years ago by Dr. Earnestine Thomas-Robertson, Dean of Academic Affairs at LASWC.
Inspired by the lives of several of the young men in attendance, the thematic focus this year was, "Mentoring to Save A Generation". Workshops were conducted by several of Los Angeles most dynamic presenters, all experts in their collective fields of endeavor; they included; Mr. Michael Franklin, Mr. Shaka Satori, Mr. Aquil Basheer, Rev. Oliver Buie, Pastor Marcia Meredith, Mr. Travon Williams, Mr. J. Eldridge Taylor, Ms. Beverly Silverstien, Mr. Ron Goodall, Mr. Mansa Erving, and so many more.
Guest included Community College District Trustee Angela Reddick and sponsors/supporters included the LA Sentinel, the 100 Black Women of Los Angeles, the Foundation for Arts, Mentoring, Leadership & Innovation, the Squid & Squash Foundation, the Brotherhood Crusade, Audubon Middle School, West LA Community College and LA Southwest College.
A central objective of this conference was to recruit mentors for young men in need; as a consequence, the Foundation for Arts, Mentoring, Leadership & Innovation, (FAMLI) is sponsoring a follow up dinner and conversation forum entitled, "See A Man, Be A Man" (title of our male mentoring project) for conference presenters and young men in need. This dinner will take place on Tuesday, March 17, from 7pm until 9pm at the Sizzler Restaurant in the Baldwin Hills Shopping complex.
At this dinner, men are coming together to provide immediate assistance to several young men; however, one young man in particular, is 20 years old, just out of jail (2 months),is a new father, unemployed, his father was murdered when he was 6 or 7 years old, his mother struggles with substance abuse, his older brother is finishing his 10th year in state prison, and he is homelesss and in need of clothes and money. The men meet him at the conference and pledged to assist him as long as he looks to help himself. He accomplished his first goal simply by attending the conference.
Anyone wishing to get involved as a sponsor/supporter, volunteer or mentor (both male & female), please contact, Torre` Brannon-Reese at 323. 864.2656, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.