If you’ve seen my TEDx Talk, you know I’m a mother of a son, a domestic violence survivor and that my father Artimeo was a young man of color who went to prison vs. college.
So you know why I want young men to live and lead like: “I matter. You matter.”
Through 2015, The Respect Institute and our Clinton Global Initiative partners will provide 1,000 young men of color ages in the San Francisco Bay area and Silicon Valley with self-respect building coaching to improve their ability to stay connected to caring mentors and choose positive pathways. We’re training youth influencers like the Boys & Girls Club and law enforcement officials to use our trauma-informed Respect Basics Coaching method to transform “transactions” with young men into self-respect building “coaching interactions.” We are grateful to the thought-leaders who will advise us: former youth offenders, police chiefs and those like Christopher Chatmon, executive director African American Male Achievement Oakland Unified School District.
And young men want this for themselves—we’ve been listening. I just received a letter from an inmate in New York, asking us to please send more Respect 360 toolkits for the young men ages 16-21 who are incarcerated there with the adults. He said: “I love the aspect of journaling. I know it will benefit the youth of this facility so much. I know it has helped me.”
P.S. We also know that investing in young men fortifies our empowerment of young women so they, like myself, can continue to break cycles of disrespect and thrive. Women, see: 1,000 Women for Respect