Latest posts by Bryanna Briley (see all)
- How Exceptional Black Women Lead — A Conversation With Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever
Dr. DeWeever’s latest book helps black women realize their full potential- June 12, 2018
- Nick Cave’s Soundsuits Confront Racism With Radical Artistry [Video]
An exhibition entitled “Here Hear” was previously on display at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Detroit, close to Cave’s alma mater.- October 17, 2016
- Body PositiveSpeaker Malia Anderson Talks Passion, Perseverance and Paying It Forward
“What if I just woke up every morning and said ‘This is my body and I love it.’ and then I went out the door and presented myself in the best possible way?”- October 9, 2016
We Are Marcus is a virtual character development program intended to provide guidance to students of various backgrounds. The platform caters to the needs of middle and high school students.
Their website describes how the platform works, “Men of color tell their stories to students directly – no filter (only some fine tuning for age appropriate student takeaways). We discuss perseverance, overcoming adversity, significant people, and keys to success to name a few.”
“Then, students participate in discussions based on the speaker’s answers to reflect and plan for their personal development.”
Crossing the Color Line
The program helps to bridge the gap between the percentage of white males and black males that graduate high school. More young black men are present in the system of mass incarceration than they are invested in their education and the value of learning.
POTUS Barack Obama addressed this disparity with the establishment of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force in 2014. “By focusing on the critical challenges, risk factors, and opportunities for boys and young men of color at key life stages, we can improve their long-term outcomes and ability to contribute to the Nation’s competitiveness, economic mobility and growth, and civil society,”Obama acknowledges the task force.
The work of the initiative has given some black boys access to the benefits of having a mentor. We Are Marcus wishes to give more young black boys the ability to benefit from having a mentor. Founder and CEO Christopher King says of the initiative’s mission that “Mentor organizations are currently limited by time and capacity. Our dynamic vision leverages technology in a way that mentoring organizations have not tapped into.”
What Happens Next?
Currently, We Are Marcus is a prototype in the form of a digital interface. This format bypasses conflicts like scheduling compatibility. King highlights other benefits of the digital interface: “We’ve found that students feel more comfortable, more quickly and more open to reflecting on their own lives without judgment in this format. Anyone who has worked in a classroom will agree. Technology is the way we keep our kids engaged.”
King has two primary goals during marketization. He plans first to share the service with schools, mentorship programs, and youth enrichment organizations. Next, he wants to offer the service to juvenile rehabilitation facilities and other establishments.
Having been mentored, King understands the immense impact a mentor can have on a child’s life. He wants to share the lessons he learned with today’s youth, rather than neglect them. “My [goal] is to develop a sustainable social enterprise that redefines character development for students of color in and outside of school,” he said, I’m charging myself with redefining mentoring relationships by creating future-focused technology.”
“Ultimately, I’d like to disrupt this area because I care tremendously about building up communities and understand the rich value of ongoing learning for all people. From what I have observed and studied, crucial time is being wasted on strategies that have not produced better outcomes for students of color. I believe I can make a difference”
We Are Marcus welcomes donations on their Indiegogo page.