In February, Polished Pebbles and KellyFairtheMentor.com celebrates Men’s Month. We take this time to acknowledge the important role that men play in the social and emotional development of our girls. The importance of men can sometimes be forgotten in our push for girl power and women empowerment. While women need strong women role models in their lives, they also need male mentors.
You can easily find literature on the importance of male role models for boys. The Internet is filled with articles on how black men need to mentor young, black boys and teach them about manhood. While this is true, little attention is paid to the fact that our girls need the same lessons.
By having men involved in a girl’s mentoring program, you are opening them up to so much more than simply women empowerment. You are showing our young girls that women empowerment and manhood go together. Polished Pebbles pushes the truth that our girls are witnessing the same violence in neighborhoods as black boys. Thus, they are developing the same misconceptions about black manhood as our young boys.
According to One Voice:
“In order to be a man, you need to see a man,” I was told by one staffer. Another said “young girls need to see positive examples of maleness, so they know who to choose as a life partner.”
Weaving men into your mentoring program can only improve your impact in the community. You will be helping to shift the stereotypes surrounding black men, which affect our girls.
Men, if you want to impact your community, become a mentor! Teach younger generations the true meaning of manhood and fatherhood. Show them that success comes in so many different forms and that they are all capable of achieving them. Be a man who is making a difference.