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Black Men Discuss Manhood and Domestic Violence Prevention
By Shannen Hill, Contributing Writer
Published April 27, 2016
(At Upper Left): Kandee Lewis tells the men why they are important. (At Upper Right): Coach Cornell Ward speaks to the crowd about his life journey. (At Bottom): Black men engage with the youth at healthy manhood event. Photo Cred goes to Jelani Khalfani

(At Upper Left): Kandee Lewis tells the men why they are important. (At Upper Right): Coach Cornell Ward speaks to the crowd about his life journey. (At Bottom): Black men engage with the youth at healthy manhood event. Photo Cred goes to Jelani Khalfani

The Positive Results Corporation brings together men to discuss their struggles and how to overcome them.

Hundreds of Black men from different age groups spent the entire day together to have an open discussion about manhood and responsibility to women at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Saturday, April 23 form 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The men discussed multiple topics, including fatherhood, mentorship, relationships and how to come to terms with being wrong. The speakers also hit some raw subjects about life after jail, being seduced into selling drugs and family trauma.

“As a Black male growing up, there’s a lot of confusion on what’s right and what’s wrong and how to maintain through life, so events like this are important because you’re able to be around other Black males and see how important it is to grow and know yourself and to be ok with asking for help, to be ok with saying what’s on your mind, to be ok with being emotional, to be ok with talking to someone face-to-face and not bottle that in and it gives you an outlet to express your emotions,” said Joe Luckett, guest speaker and CEO of Affluent Solution Group, a creative marketing agency.

All of the speakers gave their personal testimonies on the struggles they had in life that many Black men encounter. Some of them struggled with gang violence or falling into the wrong crowd because they didn’t know that there were other men to turn to. Others gave testimonies on feeling the need to sell drugs because it was available and the money was good. Some struggled with just seeing violence everyday and thinking that they have to live up to a tough life.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Reese Pitts, 16. “The things that they’re talking about, I’ve seen some of my friends struggle with and I know that from being here, I can go back and take what I learned and tell them, ‘hey, there are other solutions.'”

One aspect that each speaker had in common was that at some point they realized they had to turn their life around. Many of them had to come to the realization on their own, so they wanted to give their stories so that the next young man can learn from it instead of going through it.

“A lot of the time, the education system fails them, or there is no father in the household, or they’re just in a dysfunctional situation sometimes,” said Coach Cornell Ward, speaker and co-host for the event. “It’s about being able to speak life into them, letting them know that people do care about them, that we do love them and that there is a way out even when they don’t think that there is.”

The event was put together by Kandee Lewis, who is the executive director of the Positive Results Corporation. Her organization specializes in promoting healthy relationships and preventing violence. Usually she works with young women, but she thought it was important to engage the men because they are often overlooked.

“I love that we can create a space for men to come together and talk about what it means for us to be healthy men,” said Tony Porter, keynote speaker and co-founder of A Call to Men. “We as good men have a responsibility to be part of the solution of ending violence towards women and girls and what I appreciated was that the women allowed the men to be their authentic selves.”

This event sparked conversation and inspired men who attended from Lancaster, Long Beach and more to have something similar in their community. To find out more about how you can get involved, visit www.prc123.org.

Categories: Crenshaw & Around
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