African American Male Mentoring Workshop

On March 20, 2018, five students from the Young Male Scholars’ (YMS) program at Gardena High School conducted an African American Male Mentoring workshop with twenty student participants and invited speakers.  Students Markease Harris (12th grade), Danny Wood (9th grade) and Jaden Mudd (9th grade) began the session with a Power Point presentation on the YMS program, citing sociopolitical statistics and demographics on racial justice in the U.S.  Students reviewed YMS and WLP collaborations on improving access to Advanced Placement education, academic mentoring, college readiness, redressing the school-to-prison pipeline, and sexual violence prevention. HRC staff member Kevin Coleman, a Morehouse and Cal State Dominguez Hills graduate and decorated veteran, gave a powerful presentation on his personal and professional background.  Coleman discussed the importance of self-reliance, discipline, community engagement, and challenging racist notions of black masculinity. Coleman’s inspirational remarks were enthusiastically received by the mentees, who expressed appreciation for his professionalism and tenacity. Sexual violence prevention advocate Rashad Beal, program coordinator at Peace Over Violence, discussed how his upbringing in hyper-segregated Texas informed his growth as an educator and mentor.  Beal emphasized the connections between misogyny and institutional racism and challenged the young men in attendance to interrogate sexism in their everyday lives. The second-in-a-series session was co-facilitated by Gardena restorative justice coordinator, Garrett Lee, who is also a Morehouse alum.