21 May, 2018
19 May, 2018
On Wednesday, 16 May 2018, the Nation of Nigeria under the leadership of its International Men’s Day Coordinator and the Co-Coordinator of the Africa International Men’s Day Working Group Mr. Matthew Gansallo joined nations around the world including India, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia in the inaugural observance of World Day Of The Boy Child.
When reached for comment, Mr. Gansallo made the following observation:
“As part of the inaugural World Day Of The Boy Child,. I organised an interactive seminar and workshop with boys aged between 11 -17 at the A2MC College in Lagos, Nigeria. We spoke to the boys about personalities, violence, aggression, calmness, the concept of love, values, education, sports, music, and all that they are interested in. Then we spoke to them about their gender and how they feel about being boys in their society, what is expected of them, and what sort of men they aspire to become. The seminar was scheduled for one hour, it lasted four and one-half hours. They had so much to say and it proved our suspicion all along that no one has actually really spoken to most of them about them in that manner before. Many of them are filled with fear and anxiety about themselves and their relation to the opposite sex. They had so much so say after we succeed in breaking the ice and making them comfortable. It was a real learning curve for me and all the men involved. We are now thinking of starting a 'Mentor a Boy' Initiative across the entire city and Identifying real hardworking honest ordinary male models."
Many at-risk children – boys, girls, male adolescent youths, and female adolescent youths – make their journey from childhood to adulthood in communities that are immersed in economic turpitude, crime, violence, and spiritual, emotional, and psychological toxicity. The landscape of these communities is dotted with abandoned houses and storefront buildings, “stop-and-go” businesses, and vacant lots -- devoid of legitimate real-life options and many of the essential resources, support services, and tools that young souls need to mature into productive, successful, and well-adjusted adults. Upon their release, Juvenile Lifers and incarcerated youths will pour into these communities. For the most part, they will return to these communities in the same condition they left -- uneducated, unskilled, unemployable, and in dire need of mental and physical health resources and support services. These marginalized souls need a “hand up” and a “way out”. For these souls, the SCI Graterford, PA LIFERS Public Safety Initiative, a component of OPERATION FRESH START ™ is the “hand up” and “way out”. Crafted by The Honorable James M. DeLeon, a highly respected and veteran jurist in the Criminal Court Division of Philadelphia’s Municipal Court, OPERATION FRESH START ™ is being heralded as a Global Model for eradicating recidivism and creating pathways to reintegration and redemption for formerly incarcerated souls.
The SCI Graterford, PA LIFERS Public Safety Initiative has expanded its focus on at-risk boys, to include girls, incarcerated youths, and Juvenile Lifers. Mentoring and changing the mindset, behavior, and decision making of at-risk boys, girls and incarcerated youths is the objective of the SCI Graterford, PA LIFERS Public Safety Initiative. It is an objective that the Interfaith Community will help to accomplish through the establishment and operation of Transformational Centers in churches and mosques throughout the City of Philadelphia. Designed by a brilliant group of Thought Leaders who crafted the SCI Graterford, PA LIFERS Public Safety Initiative, the Transformational Centers will mentor at-risk boys, girls, and incarcerated youths who lack access to positive adult role models and legitimate real-life options – to move them to reflect on their behavior, appreciate the community in which they reside, and to realize their worthiness and the potential they possess and must explore. Yet, mentoring and changing the mindset, behavior, and decision making of these souls is just one key “piece of the puzzle” to helping them rise above the conditions of their environment, reach their full potential, and access legitimate real-life-options.
Many incarcerated youths and Juvenile Lifers, upon the completion of their sentences and release from correctional facilities, are homeless; lack high school diplomas and vocational training, household management and money management skills; and have very limited, if any, access to mental and physical health resources and support services. In other words, they lack the very things that are essential to their successful reintegration into society. Under the OPERATION FRESH START™ -- SCI Graterford, PA LIFERS Public Safety Initiative banner, a “Plan Of Action” will be crafted which will connect – with all deliberate speed -- Juvenile Lifers who have been released from correctional facilities and youths currently involved in the juvenile justice and adult correctional system with the necessary resources, support services, and tools they will need to successfully transition into society after years and even decades of institutionalization. Providing these souls with among other things, housing, household management skills, vocational training, money management skills, and entrepreneurial skills is giving them a “hand up” and a “way out”.
Imagine, if you will, hundreds upon hundreds of incarcerated youths and Juvenile Lifers streaming into our communities who have access to housing and mental and physical health resources and support services . . . who have household management and money management skills . . . who have vocational skills and entrepreneurial training . . . who are employable and employed . . and who are creating their own businesses and will be able to offer employment to members of their communities. These souls who were once marginalized are now empowered . . . hopeful . . . purpose-driven. They are purchasing homes and properly maintaining households as a direct result of being equipped with access to housing and household and money management skills. They have jobs and careers. For those newly empowered souls who embarked upon an entrepreneurial career path, not only are these souls creating a career and employment for themselves, they are also creating legitimate real-life options in their communities. They are renovating abandoned storefront buildings in their communities and transforming them into stores and business offices. At the same time, we have at-risk children – boys, girls, adolescent males, and adolescent females --- who have undergone a mentoring process at the Transformational Centers established in their communities. These young souls – the Next Generation Of Leaders and “Emerging Keepers Of The Planet” -- now know and understand their “worthiness”; how they are connected to their communities; and how their behavior, decision making, and mindset impacts everyone.
Let’s take a step back and look at what is unfolding here. The SCI Graterford, PA LIFERS Public Safety Initiative does more than give a “hand up” and a “way out” to at-risk children, youths, Juvenile Lifers and incarcerated juveniles. It gives entire communities a “hand up” and a “way out” of an expansive and paralyzing cloud of economic turpitude. It resuscitates communities that are dying a slow death – a slow death brought on by the spiritual, emotional, and psychological toxicity that economic turpitude, lack of legitimate real-life options, and a vacuum in compassionate and solutions-based leadership creates.
16 May, 2018
World Day of the Boy Child is the 16th of May 2018, the first observance of this day. How many of us will take the time to reflect about the boys in our lives or the boys we once knew who are now men? Would we have done anything differently?
In my upbringing, my experiences with interacting with boys was different from the average female. I saw boys as important as girls even though the emphasis was placed on girls and women. For too long, young boys have been neglected with sayings and positions like “He’s a boy, he’ll tough it out” and “Boys don’t cry.” I have witnessed this destroying young boys in that they are unable to cope and as adults, they are broken and dysfunctional.
There is a greater need for support for our boys and involvement from their families and should not be left to grow up on their own as we are seeing increasing scenarios of underachievement, mental problems, behavioral problems and deviance.
Daily it is lamented in the media of how many women are dying but annually the statistics are more men and boys. Will we continue to downplay boys’ and men’s issues and at what cost to them and our society? World Day of the Boy Child is a great initiative to bring focus to boys again.
12 May, 2018
HONORABLE SALIMA SILER MARRIOTT GIBBS, COMPASSIONATE VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS TALKS TO IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R)
Humanitarian, Criminal Justice Reform and Restorative Justice Thought Leader, educator, and public servant The Honorable Salima Siler Marriott Gibbs has been a compassionate and tireless voice for the voiceless. Dr. Gibbs is the sole guest on IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®’s Saturday, 12 May 2018 telephone interview hosted by Diane A. Sears where she shares her inspiring and powerful story which has a plethora of life lessons. The audio recording of the powerful dialogue with Dr. Gibbs can be found at the following link: https://fccdl.in/
m22qwyZERZ. An award-winning educator, during her tenure
from 1972 through 1996, as an Assistant Professor at Morgan State University,
Dr. Gibbs was bestowed with the “Outstanding
Teacher Award, Department of Social Work and Mental Health, Morgan State University” in 1990. Throughout her career as a public servant -- in Maryland’s House of
Delegates, where she represented Baltimore, Maryland’s 40th
Legislative District from 1991 through 2007 and in her role as the City of
Baltimore’s Deputy Mayor for Community and Economic Development from 2006
through 2010 – Dr. Gibbs has been a powerful advocate for the welfare of
children, women and families; affordable and accessible education; Criminal
Justice Reform; Restorative Justice; and community development. Dr. Gibbs’ advocacy also extends to global
affairs. She is the Co-Editor of a
global affairs policy paper entitled,
“U.S. Policy Toward South Africa” (1984).
In 2001, Dr. Gibbs received a fellowship from the Foreign Policy
Institute – a direct result of her interest in international relationships and
addressing international challenges.
A fervent advocate of Criminal Justice Reform, Dr. Gibbs relentlessly advocated for the abolition of Maryland’s death penalty. From 2004 through 2007, Dr. Gibbs served as Chair of Baltimore’s Citywide Re-Entry and Re-Integration Steering Committee. As a member of the Maryland’s House of Delegates, she championed affordable access to higher education and the welfare of children, women, and families. From 1999 through 2007, Dr. Gibbs served as the Chair of the Baltimore City Delegation to the Maryland State House. She also served as Vice Chair of the Law and Justice Committee, Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland (1998-2000) and as the Caucus’ Regional Chair from 1994 through 1998 during her tenure as a member which spanned from 1991 through 2007 and Chair, Children and Youth Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee (2003-2007). Dr. Gibbs was also a member of the Ways and Means Committee and served as the Chair of its Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families. From 1993 through 2007, she was a member of the Joint Committee on the Management of Public Funds; Joint Legislative Workgroup on Community College Financing (1994-95); Special Committee on Higher Education Affordability and Accessibility (2003 through 2004). During her membership from 1998 through 2007 in the National Conference of State Legislatures, Dr. Gibbs served as its Regional Chair from 1994 through 1998. During her membership in the National Conference of State Legislatures which spanned from 1998 through 2007, Dr. Gibbs served on its Human Services and Welfare Committee.
Dr. Gibbs, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University; a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland; and a Doctorate in Social Welfare from Howard University.
IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD® brings together Thought Leaders and key stakeholders from around the globe who engage in a straight, no-chaser dialogue on public policy, culture, health, legislative initiatives, Criminal Justice Reform, education, Restorative Justice, economic sustainability – issues impacting Fathers, their communities and our world.
at May 12, 2018
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