|Warm Winter Greetings to All!
With Visible Men, it’s always about our boys. There’s much to report.
We are presently serving 28 black boys in our three after school pilot programs in Montgomery County, Maryland and Farmville, Virginia. These dedicated students come from diverse backgrounds and share a common need and eagerness, which is to be exposed to successful black men.
Each week, the students come together after school under the leadership of a Visible Men Academy Group Leader to study the VMASuccess Principles.
Among the many positive words the students and group leaders use to describe the program experience are brotherhood, character building, empowering, refreshing, inspiring, and essential.
Thanks to Family Support Center for their ongoing efforts in support of our Visible Men Academy groups at Sligo and Argyle.
Please meet our Visible Men Academy Group Leaders…
Sligo Middle School – Silver Spring, MD
Argyle Middle School – Rockville, MD
Ryan Carter, Ibn Salaan, Christian Hebert-Pryor
(Hampden Sydney College students)
Prince Edward High School – Farmville, VA
There is more to come in our Spring newsletter about these three exceptional Hampden-Sydney College students who approached us last summer with passion, commitment, and focus. They turned an idea for aVisible Men Academy group into a reality in their college town.
We are pleased to announce our first Metro DC Visible Men Student Art Contest , an initiative that invites black boys to submit visual, digital, or computer generated art that showcases a Visible Man (submissions accepted through 3/15/12). Five talented contest winners will be prized generously at an upcoming 3 on 3 Charity Basketball Tournament sponsored by VM Advisory Board Member Romone Penny and his agency, Pursuit DC. The event takes place on 3/31/12 at KIPP DC School. Please come join us for a day of sport, art, fellowship, and inspiration. http://www.pursuitdc.com/
We are inspired by stories of Visible Men as they penetrate the mainstream media. One great example is the movie Red Tails which tells the heroic story of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War 2. OurVisble Men Academy group at Sligo recently took a field trip to watch this critically acclaimed film.
Through this and other media efforts, we continually explore the impact of media and imagery on the unique emotional, behavioral, and educational needs and outcomes of black boys.
I am honored by my recent selection to the Aspen Institute New Schools Fellowship, a program for entrepreneurial leaders in public education. I recently returned from my first seminar in Aspen and was moved and inspired by the thought leaders and change makers this powerful community convenes. This fellowship is a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from accomplished leaders in the public and private sector who live their commitment to social change.
(page 10 http://www.newschools.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/AspenFellows-CohortIV.pdf )
Upcoming speaking events – Neil Phillips:
Oak Hall School, Gainesville, FL – February, 28
Pursuit 3on3 Charity Basketball Tournament – March, 31
Gamma Xi Boule, Sarasota, FL – April, 12
How can you help Visible Men?
Currently, we need support in the following areas:
1. Visible Men Academy End-of-the-Year Banquets and Success Kits
2. Capacity-building and Operational support
3. Corporate Sponsorship
We invite you to donate now: http://visiblemen.org/donate-shop/
It was a proud moment for Shannon and me when our 6-year-old son recently proclaimed his understanding of why we’re always working on “Visible Men stuff”. He wisely stated “It’s not fair that some kids don’t have good schools that are safe like mine. That’s not right.”
Finally, while writing this letter, I received word that one of our very special Visible Men mentee’s has been accepted to three elite private schools in the Washington DC area. His mother told us that “meeting the Visible Men has changed my son’s life.”
This is why we exist.
As always, thank you for your continued support and for being a valued member of the Visible Men family.
Let your light shine,
Founder, Executive Director
Shannon Rohrer-Phillips, MSW
Visible Men is a 501c3 non profit organization