What an absolutely amazing evening spent with the young men of Cherry Creek school district at Smoky Hill High School. The "Boys Are Talking Forum-Cherry Creek" was a huge success because of the spirit of these young men in advocating for themselves as well as the amazing attendance of over 200 people to hear, learn, and support this effort and these young men. Through humor, genuine concern, inquisition, and sheer brilliance, the young men really stood tall as they told their individual stories about being young men of color and how that impacts their experiences in school, the community, and with law enforcement. With a super engaged audience who asked the young men some thought provoking questions, they brilliantly navigated the tough topics of culture and race with absolute candor. They truly spoke their truth!
As the CEO of the Sims-Fayola Foundation and on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Foundation, I am truly overjoyed with the event and hopeful for the young men of the Cherry Creek school district. This is the beginning of a very powerful partnership to improve the life outcomes of the young men of color in that district.
Our hope is that this forum provided a platform for the many educators and administrators that were in attendance to discover the value of including these young men in the school design and culture process. It's time that we include the young men in the conversations and solutions that are being designed for them!
WE GIVE THANKS TO:
1. CU Denver for serving as our higher education sponsor and providing a wonderful dinner from Jim & Nick's barbecue. Each of these issues discussed impacts these young men's access to higher education.
2. Mike Giles, Executive Director of the Office of Inclusive Excellence for Cherry Creek Schools for allowing this event to be one of the tools you use to create inclusive excellence in the district.
3. Jonathan McMillan, Founder of Be Better Than Average, for co-moderating this amazing event and your brilliant and unapologetic way of commanding and managing a crowd to get to the heart of an issue.
A BIG THANK YOU TO:
Mr. Omar Montgomery, Director, Black Student Services Adjunct Professor, Ethnic Studies Department University of Colorado at Denver. Words cannot express the impact of the message that you gave. It was a very high impact, but practical message about life that inspired both students and adults alike! Omar is also the new & Founder of LeaderVate and the new President of the Aurora NAACP Chapter.
Until next time, enjoy some photos from the event and let's keep the BOYS TALKING!