The Milwaukee Bucks hosted their inaugural Team Up for Change event. The event consisted of:
- Keynote speeches by student Zion Rogers and renowned spoken word artist Clint Smith.
- An educational series facilitated by Public Allies Milwaukee, addressing the various "forms of discrimination" young people face.
- Workshops facilitated by Safe & Sound, covering a variety of topics from community safety to positive identity.
- A panel conversation from Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings owners about the importance of corporate social responsibility.
Our department would like to send a special thanks to the Milwaukee Bucks for extending the invitation to our BLMA Ambassadors. We wish them the best this season as they strive for a championship.
Friday, January 03, 2020: Sterling Brown, Vin Baker, and staff from the Milwaukee Bucks Community engaged our BLMA Ambassadors and mentors from our First Thursdays Mentor Luncheon program to dinner at Mo's: A Place for Steaks. The dinner discussion addressed entrepreneurial endeavors, financial literacy, life after high school, lifestyle of a professinal athlete, the importance of mentoring, and overcoming trials and tribulations.
Saturday, January 04, 2020: Marcell Jackson, who serves as a mentor for our First Thursdays Mentor Luncheon program at Washington High School of Information Technology, was acknowledged by MENTOR Greater Milwaukee as George Hill's "Mentor of the Game".
Wednesday, January 15, 2020: The "Own Your Future" event featured Frank Mason III, Cameron Reynolds and several operational staff. They shared their personal stories of success, honing in on the importance of not giving up, perseverance, "sticking to your plan", and shared information about the various career pathways within the sports industry.
Our department would like to send a special thanks to the Milwaukee Bucks and wish them the best this season as they strive for a championship.
David Polk (MATC Apprenticeship Director) and Joshua Johnson (Chief of Field Operation for the Bureau of Apprenticeship Standard) collaborated with our department to host over 150 of our students for the National Apprenticeship Week Celebration at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Students had the opportunity to hear from panelist that have had successful careers in the trades, as well as Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes about the importance of these professions. Students also engaged in interactive tours showing them the hands-on aspects of the trades. Our department would like to send a special thanks to David Polk, Joshua Johnson, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and all that made this event a success.
This is the second year the Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement has partnered with Art Start and Turnaround Arts Milwaukee to execute The Art Start Portrait Project. The hard work and efforts of all involved helped to increase the amount of participants from twelve students in 2018 to 18 students in 2019. The project provides students a platform of self-determination where, through creative processes involving the arts and oral histories, students share how they feel they are seen by others and how they wish to be seen.
In preparation for The 2019 Art Start Portrait Project opening exhibition, the Department of Black and Latino Male Achievement and Art Start assembled an installation team. This endeavor was part of a service learning project where studnts engaged in applied mathematics using various equipment and measuring tools to proprely curate the exhibition space. Their hard work and determination was quite a success and our team would like to send a special thank you to Bradley Tech High School students Antonio Ponce De Leon, Devin Kyle, Ginuwine Scott, Jan Paris, Javier Juarez Jr., and Misael Natividad.
Special thanks to Ald. Khalif J. Rainey of the 7th District for providing our young men another extracurricular opportunity. Our students had the opportunity to hear from Hip-Hop artist King Gillie and Wallo267. The artist shared the following quote, "Don't let the television tell you your vision and appreciate your individuality," and talked about the importance of knowing yourself, staying true to your convictions and principles, and having a critical consciousness of the imagery put forth about Black and Latino males in the media and the hip-hop industry.
The Department of Black & Latino Male Achievement collaborated with Jason Fields, Joaquin Altoro, Kalan Haywood I, Kevin Newell, Marc Wade and Robert S. LaGrant to execute the Financial Freedom Summit for graduating seniors involved in BLMA programming from Bradley Tech, Riverside, South Division, and Washington high schools. Topics discussed were credit, entrepreneurship, investing, real estate development, and savings.
Students had the opportunity to tour the Five Fifty Ultra Lofts and hear from Kevin Newell, as well as from the remainer of the men that helped with executing this event, about all the fine detail that went into this development. They also toured a vacant, MECCA Sports Bar and Grill to hear about this development, too, and the impact it will have on the city. Our young men concluded the day with panel discussion on how to be on the path towards financial freedom.
The Department of Black & Latino Male Achievement gathered at Milwauke Area Technical College (MATC) for their last mentor luncheon of the year, which brought together over sixy mentors and over one hundred twenty students from five schools. The event was hosted at MATC thanks to Walter Jack Lanier, who welcomed everyone in attendance and had uplifting words to share for our director and our young men.
The event also included appearances from former MPS Board President Mark Sain, Sheriff Earnell Lucas, and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. The topics for the day were based on the BLMA principles of community, fatherhood, and understanding manhood.
Our department would like to send a special thanks to all of our mentors for the 2018-2019 school year.
The weekend of April 27-28, 2019 marked the photo shoot weekend for The 2019 Art Start Portrait Project. Saturday's photo shoot was for students from Bradley Tech and Sunday's was for students from Sherman Multicultural Arts School. Students concepts for the photoshoot were developed through the creative process that Art Start and BLMA staff have engaged in with the young men.
The first creative workshop consisted of the students engaging in imaginative thinking using scenario and role play, having the participants paint their own hats as well as other artistic renditions, a professional photo shoot, work with a hip-hop artist to create and rap their own versus, and an interview to learn about their aspirations and what they would like people to know about them. The second creative workshop brought in Maurice Ivy Dowell and Terrell Frazier from INCITE, which is short for the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics.
Their expertise was used for the oral histories portion of the project and to determine the best way for us to work as a team to capture our students oral history in its most authentic form. In addition, we strategized on how to best use information students shared in both creative workshops to develop a concept that accurately reflects the students aspirations while keeping in mind the platform of self-determination we want to provide them.
Our deparment believe it is important that Black and Latino boys and young men tell their stories to create a platform of self-determination so they can take control of their narratives oppose to having a white-washed, stereotypical view portrayed of them. We look forward to having these images come to life for this years Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) Week.
Please visit our Facebook Page or follow our Instagram to see the photos of our boys in a larger scale.
The Literacy Lab's Leading Men Fellows gather for another "Chat & Chew" with the Department of Black & Latino Male Achievement. This time male, administrators of color from the Milwaukee Public Schools district joined the team to discuss "Career Opportunities & Pathways in Education" with the fellows. The opening discussion consisted of the following two questions:
- Prior to entering the field, did you ever see yourself going into education? If YES, what sparked your interest? If NO, what led you to this career path?
- Prior to starting the Leading Men Fellowship, did you every see yourself doing something like this? Why or why not?
Additional questions that guided their conversations for a majority of the get together were:
- What advice do you wish you would have received prior to starting your career as an educator? Prior to starting The Leading Men Fellowship?
- In what ways have you seen education change since you started? In what ways do you see education changing in the future? What changes do you feel are necessary?
- What professional development opportunities are there for educators?
- What career advancement opportunites or other career pathways are there for educators?
- How does one go about climbing the educational ladder? What was the process to move up within the field like for you?
- How can one use their experience in educatino to move up the ladder in a different field?
The event was closed out by having everyone in the room share their best memory working with young people. BLMA and The Literacy Lab looking forward to hosting more events like this in the future.
Committee members, volunteers, and workshop presenters of the 6th Annual Black Male Achievement Summit at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee gather for a photo. The summit occured on March 18-19 of 2019 and had over thirteen hundred participants for both days. The theme of the conference was "Black Boys Thriving: Reimagining the Narrative." The Department of Black & Latino Male Achievement served as committee members and assisted wtih volunteering and workshop presentation. They will continue to support this event and look forward to having the event again in 2020.
This creative workshop consisted of students working with Art Start, BLMA, Maurice Ivy Dowell and Terrell Frazier. Maurice serves as the Project Coordinator for INCITE while Terrell is a Graduate Fellow. INCITE is short for the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics. "Leveraging the ideas and empirical tools of the social and human sciences, INCITE conceives and conducts collaborative research, projects, and programs that generate knowledge, promote just, equitable societies, and enrich our intellectual environment. INCITE is the institutional home to the Columbia Center for Oral History Research and the Oral History Master of Arts."
It is important that Black and Latino boys and young men tell their stories to create a platform of self-determination so they can take control of their narratives oppose to having a white-washed, stereotypical view portrayed of them. Students will choose a portion of their oral history to go alongside their composite image and short video for the opening exhibition of The 2019 Art Start Portrait Project, which will occur during 2019 Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) Week.
Our department would like to thank Maurice and Terrell for training Art Start, the BLMA team, and our on-site coordinators on how to properly conduct an oral history. We'd also like to thank them for assisting us with the second creative workshop.
The second year of a continued partnership between Art Start and BLMA brought ten students from Bradley Tech High School and ten from Sherman Multicultural Arts School to begin The 2019 Art Start Portrait Project. In comparison to last year, the project expanded to include eight more students, which both Art Start and BLMA are proud of given the importance positive narrative change has for our young men.
The creative workshop consisted of the students working with the Art Start team to engage in imaginative thinking using scenario and role play, having the participants paint their own hats as well as other artistic renditions, a professional photo shoot, work with a hip-hop artist to create and rap their own versus, and an interview to learn about their aspirations and what they would like people to know about them. The day closed out by having the students share something they were thankful for or give props to a participant.
The Literacy Lab's Leading Men Fellows had their first "Chat & Chew" with the Department of Black & Latino Male Achievement. The discussion addressed the work the fellows engage in, the positive impact they are having teaching literacy skills for young children, and the importance of having Black and Latino male teachers in school districts that serve students of color. All current fellows are alumni of Milwaukee Public Schools and also believe their work helps to promote positive narratives of Black and Latino males. The 2018 fellows include:
The Leading Men Fellowship is a perfect opportunity for current Black or Latino male, MPS seniors. Reference the flyer below to learn more about the fellowship, its benefits, and commitments expected of fellows.
In a celebration hosted by the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership announced the launch of a new initiative in Milwaukee designed to expand mentoring and support young people. MENTOR Great Milwaukee will be a partnership among Milwaukee Public Schools, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the City of Milwaukee. This partnership is the first of its kind to include an NBA team, its host city, and the largest school district in the state.
MENTOR Greater Milwaukee will provide the necessary infrastructure to improve mentoring program quality, recruity and support more mentors, scale effective programs and innovations, foster collaborations to transform systems, collect data to describe the impact of mentoring in the broader community, identify gaps in the range of services needed, influence public policy, and increase philanthropic support for the field.
The Department of Black & Latino Male Achievement had students (pictured above) Daniel Cook-Leflore from Riverside University High School, Antonio Ponce de Leon from Bradley Tech High School, and Latrelle Johnson from Washington High School of Information Technology, serve as BLMA Ambassadors for their event. Our young men had the opportunity to speak about the positive impacts our 1st Thursday Mentor Luncheons have had on their lives with people that attended the event. They also had the opportunity to meet and take a picture with NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier.
The partnership between Marquette University and BLMA brought over two hundred students for the first inaugural Leadership and Brotherhood Summit.
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Thanks to the Invitation II Fund Foundation and Campaign for Black Male Achievement, students Antonio Ponce de Leon from Bradley Tech High School, and Devonta Hymes and Latrelle Jonson from Washington High School of Information Technology participted in the CBMA Restoration Retreat on July 5-7th, 2018 at Lincoln Hills, Colorado with BLMA Director LaNelle Ramey. The retreat addressed life skills, financial literacy, mentoring, and health & wellness whille connecting participants with nature through outdoor activities.
The CBMA Restoration Retreat, will serve as a sort of 2018 “halftime” experience for all participants to relax and reflect on the first six months of 2018, while also collectively charting a course for finishing the year in strong. The overarching goals of the Restoration Retreat are:
- Provide young men with a healing and restorative experience with nature;
- Introduce young people to brand new experiences and information
- Build intergenerational community between attending cities;
- 2018 Halftime Reflections and Projections for Finishing the Year Strong
- Brainstorm the possibility of what an annual healing and restorative experience on the ranch would look like.
Students connected and discussed similar issues faced by boys of color with other students from Baltimore, Oakland, Detroit, Louisville , Baton Rouge and Sacramento. Students worked together to build strategies and recommendations on how to make improve their neighborhoods and schools together.
BLMA students also had a chance to meet and hear Robert Smith, riches African American in the United States, about factors to impact their communities and make changes needed to change their community. Mr. Smith shared with the young men the importance of knowing their history and having pride in their culture and stressed the importance of family.
Special thanks to Ald. Khalif J. Rainey of the 7th District for providing our young men extracurricular opportunities. The first occured when two hundred students viewed the move Black Panther followed by a talkback session addressing the importance of positive portrayals of men of color in the entertainment industry. The second opportunity occured during Hip Hop Week MKE, and allowed students to meet artist Mysonne at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum. Mysonne shared his thoughts on male responsibility toward self and the community, and understanding and redefining manhood.