In the society we live in there is always so much negative news in the media surrounding “black men” as we usually never hear much about the positive things that are taking places in our communities.
A group out of Philadelphia called “DollarBoyz“, yea it may sound like a gang however it’s not. The group of young “black men” made sure men all across the Philly region stayed out of trouble during this past summer. Check out the inspiring story.
THIS SUMMER, while some Philadelphia youths were wreaking havoc on city streets, Tyree Dumas and the kids he works with were holding dance parties.
Dumas, 22, is executive director of DollarBoyz, a group that aims to keep youth out of trouble by involving them in afterschool and weekend programs such as dance teams and rap contests.
“It’s about showing them that there’s different things in life, that they have things to live for,” said Dumas, of North Philadelphia. “One of the kids, he’s 16, he reminds me every day he’s not going to live past 21. Just to have that kind of mind-set . . . ”
Dumas is one of more than 750 city men whose efforts are being acknowledged as part of the BME (Black Male Engagement) Challenge – pronounced “Be me” – which is collecting the stories of African-American men who are taking the lead in making a positive difference in their communities.
The program is being supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Open Society Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
“High school dropout rates, murder rates, incarceration rates, it’s all dominated by African-American males,” said Martin, of Northeast Philadelphia. “My goal is to turn this tide.”
Some of the men are taking small, but significant, steps. One is the self-designated cleaner of alleys in his neighborhood. Another works with local barbers, teaching them how to talk to their clients about HIV/AIDS. And there’s a man who volunteers at a local domestic-abuse shelter in honor of his daughter, who died at the hands of her abuser.