Urban Male Mentoring Recap

In November of 2013, Future Boston launched our Signature Series, The Urban Male a discussion around the men of color within our city and our investment in their success. Past dialogues have focused on the topics of: Entrepreneurship, Achievement, Freedom, and Social Investing.

This past Wednesday February 17th, EpiCenter Community & Future Boston hosted our sixth Urban Male dialogue to discuss mentoring — formal and informal roles.

As Malia Lazu stated in her opening introductions:

“We created this series because we felt that it was important for men of color of our city to have a safe space to come together — to share and cultivate these relationships on a deeper level.”

Featured Panelists Included: 
Reginauld Williams, Community Relations Manager at Press Pass TV
Anthony Richards, Executive Director of Youth Design
Bruce Bickerstaff, Owner of Akoben Consulting & Communications

Our featured Artist was Derek Lumpkins: Sound Sponsorship via DJ Jomo King. And Videography Sponsorship was provided by Zeen Media.

And the space sponsorship was provided by Back Bay Social Club.

Malia welcomed the group with intros, background information on The Urban Male panel series, and briefed the group with some sneak peek conversations about what is to come and to be continued via Epicenter Community!

All of our panelists dropped honest words of wisdom all night. Initial emphasis was given to the question of who are your mentors? All of the panelists were strongly influenced by female role models — grandmothers, sisters, and mothers. Their male role models stood as father figures, brother in laws, and uncles who have been in an out of prison throughout their life.

The emphasis for the evening is that mentors come from various people in various life experience and roles, but all come with a particular knowledge and are accompanied by an unconditional love — care & concern for the well being of the other person.

All panelists were in agreement that the mentoring needs to be all of the points mentioned below:

  • Psychological and Social
  • Create a “Place of purpose as an African Man in this time and place on earth.”
  • Needs to be an authentic interpersonal communion
  • Cross Cultural & Intergenerational
  • Peer to Peer: the need for peers to be setting examples for one another
  • Networking Up: leveraging your networks in order to provide opportunities for others as well as teaching your mentees on how to utilize both your and their networks.

The panel emphasized that we need to be a ‘mentees’ first and recognize it as such. We must acknowledgement our personal silos of behavior and reaction. Mentorship is about breaking down old cycles and habits — those that are attached to mere survival rather than growth.

Or as Reginauld Williams stated its a matter of “developing a sense of personal agency.”
Tony Richards commented, “You need to be more comfortable learning rather than leading.”

We essentially need all perspectives, ages, and balance in the various roles we play.

Core Values of Mentorship Discussed by the Crew:

  • Focus on you: If we are not uplifted we cannot move forward
  • Share both the Risk and Responsibility of the Relationship
  • Be willing to learn as a person
  • Wear an Empathic & Emotionally Intelligent Lens

It is our responsibility as mentors to embody courage in order for us to share it with our community.

Stated by Bruce Bickerstaff:

“In what I say to my older brethren, we need to find a balance to pass on the best of what we brought to ‘the movement and to recognize that everyone at every age needs access to a portal of advice.”

Video of the discussion will be available next week and we will post that link on all of our social media platforms for those of you who were not able to join us.

The next discussion will take place in the Summer of 2016.

Stay Tuned. Be Reflective.

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