Growing up as a boy, we were taught that men had to be tough, had to be strong, had to be courageous, dominating — no pain, no emotions, with the exception of anger — and definitely no fear; that men are in charge, which means women are not; that men lead, and you should just follow and do what we say; that men are superior; women are inferior; that men are strong; women are weak; that women are of less value, property of men, and objects, particularly sexual objects. I’ve later come to know that to be the collective socialization of men, better known as the “man box.” Continue reading
“Encouragement”! That is the advice Mr. Krause has for male mentors. We need to encourage our youth, especially young girls to reach their full potential. “You don’t know how little you do can mean so much. It’s the words of encouragement, it’s that smile, it’s giving someone a compliment, it’s giving someone your advice…letting them know they can get through it”. He wants male mentors to know that there are many rewards for the time, effort, and resources you donate to community. Continue reading
Our first feature will be on Mr. Shayne Evans. Mr. Evans is the CEO and Director of University of Chicago Charter Schools. “Through effective leadership, Evans works to strengthen the collaborations that exist among the four campuses and create new partnerships to leverage the expertise of teachers, leaders, counselors, social workers, tutors, and after-school providers.” This is apparent through his collaboration with Polished Pebbles. The Donoghue, NKO, and Woodlawn campuses host the Polished Pebbles mentoring program for their young ladies. Continue reading
February marks Men’s Month! We want to take this time to recognize and celebrate the role responsible men play in our girl’s lives. Throughout history, there have been many black men that shaped our futures. Strong, black, men role models are essential to helping our girls build positive relationships with men. Continue reading
Last week we shared with you Cynthia Boykin of What U Need Is… Today we want everyone to know about Cameka Smith of BOSS Network. Cameka Smith is the founder of BOSS Network, “Bringing Out Successful Sisters”. With a Master’s in Education, … Continue reading
At KellyFairtheMentor.com, we had the opportunity to interview Cynthia Boykin of What U Need Is… We are happy to share with you her insights and inspirations for mentoring and strengthening community! First, a little bio on our wonderful Cynthia Boykin. “The Master Networker”, she is the founder of What U Need Is…an essential connection between businesses and consumers in Chicago. As is said about the founder, “Cynthia is known for being able to build relationships, connecting the right people together skillfully and swiftly.” Continue reading
As January is National Mentoring Month. I want to take the time to share with you one of my most favorite people…my Nana! She has inspired me in many ways, including in my mentoring career. My Nana showed me that mentoring takes many different forms. One way that people can be mentors to their community, is by having a commitment to service. My Nana was an usher for 63 years! Continue reading
Earlier this week, I attended the memorial services for the founding minister of my church in Chicago, the Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon. For 50 years, Rev. Colemon founded and led an international ministry that grew out of her Chicago-based church, Christ Universal Temple, with approximately 30,000 followers world-wide. The list of people and organizations that she supported and #mentored include well known individuals like the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Les Brown. Her service was set to be two hours but, with over 30 speakers there was no way this could be achieved, even with some of the most efficient planning in the world. For five total hours, speaker after speaker, whether they were ministers, elected officials, celebrities, educators, entertainment executives, they all talked about the tough love, advice, endless support, and mentorship that Johnnie provided them that helped them achieve their dreams.
Although, I was just one of many that day paying tribute to this awesome lady. I, like many of the speakers was also inspired to achieve my personal best in life by Rev. Colemon, whom we all lovingly called Johnnie. And, although I may not have had many personal interactions with her, through her sermons, books, publications, and some meetings, she was very much a mentor to me as well. Johnnie had this electric energy that just made you want to be powerful, and bold, and dynamic just like her. Whether you had the opportunity to be personally mentored by Johnnie, or inspired from a far, she made us feel like we could take on the world with the faith that any of us could have live the best life possible, if we should so choose to.
So, WHY AM I A MENTOR? I thought to myself what better tribute and thank you could I give to Rev. Colemon could I give, but to dedicate my time to inspiring another generation of girls that they too can live healthy, happy, and prosperous lives. We all have received some help, mentoring, and love from someone else at some point in our lives, and it’,s our responsibility to keep this mentoring recycling process in motion.
So share with us why are you a mentor?
As we look back on the year 2014 and the socio-political events that have affected African-American communities, it is important that we remember Polished Pebbles. Black girls are often forgotten as issues affecting them are not properly addressed compared to black boys. At Polished Pebbles, we are determined to be a positive intervention! We work against stereotypes to empower our girls to improve their situations and futures! Please join our partners, sponsors, volunteers, and mentors who have taken a stand with us by giving back! When you give, it benefits all! Continue reading
Happy Holidays from Polished Pebbles and Kelly Fair! Continue reading