We expect to see some returning faces from last year’s conference and welcome those new to our event. Last year’s conference was a huge success, according to one student attending last year, ““This was an experience I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. It was life changing!” I know that this year will be even better.
The theme of our conference is "I'm Not the One!" It is centered on the tragic statistics that represent the African American boys and men in this country today. Roughly 1 out 2 (45%) of Black children ages 0-18 grow up without a positive male role model in the home, Half or 1 out 2 African American Men between the ages of 20 and 30 that did not attend college or university are non-custodial fathers. More than 1 out of 3 (36%) of Black children live below the poverty level. 1 out of 5 Black boys will drop out of high school and for those that manage to stay in school; over half will take more than the traditional 4 years to graduate. 1 out of every 3 Black males between the ages of 15 and 29 will go to jail or prison. And the most tragic of all is that over 86% of the deaths of Black males between the ages of 15 and 24 are homicide related!
Our conference will give each of these 200+ young Black men the information and support they need to say, “I’m Not the One!” and to guide them to ensure that their children’s statistics won’t look so tragic.
This event will give this group of students strong, positive Black male role models in the form of Key Note speakers (both renowned motivational speakers) and break-out session leaders (members of the local community and beyond have signed on to be a part of our event). Each of our speakers will come armed with lessons, experiences, and activities that are designed to help these boys first hear and understand these statistics and what they mean to them and then give guidance to change them for themselves, for their children, and for future generations!
We hope to hear each of our student participants say, ”I won’t be a statistic!” , “I will be different!”, I will graduate high school, go to college, and become a success!”, I will set new standards for being a role model because….I’m Not the One!”