For those interested in having me come speak to their students or participants, the following are six workshops from a list of many that I've either done or are on-going.
Message to a Youngblood – Life Lessons for Our Sons
Based on my advice book for under-represented young males of African descent, this workshop covers common everyday obstacles these young men face, including police terrorism and mass unemployment, and how to develop means of surviving that promote their individual aspirations while positively affecting their community. Generational poverty, hyper-masculinity, finding healthy definitions of Black manhood, anger management, coping with institutional racism, and how to make good choices when faced with few options are some of the other topics covered.
Trouble Girls – Working with Female Teen Bullies
Using my experience as an alternative High School teacher, along with my two advice books for young females of African descent, this workshop focuses on teenage and young adult girls who bully other girls either in school or on social media. The goal is to learn where their over-aggressiveness actually comes from and how to help them channel their energies in more positive and productive ways. The workshop also helps youth advocates learn how to identify bully mindset and find alternative educational and counseling tools in an effort to reach them.
From Group Home to Aging Out of Foster Care – Critical Life Decisions
Behavioral and mindset intervention for youth living in housing facilities supervised by the city, state or private funding. Whether a newly admitted teen or aging out of foster care, this interactive discussion presents an opportunity to learn the tools in adjusting to living under the same rules with individuals either familiar or most likely never encountered before, as well as the absence of the substitute family and what an action plan looks like. This workshop is especially valuable to residential counselors seeking effective and alternative ways in helping their young clients communicate their burdens in more productive ways and in the process achieve the family’s objectives. Also covered is job and college readiness, vocational training, de-institutionalizing the mind, and making smart choices in times of few options.
Single Parenting – Parent Stress/Peer Pressure
My most popular workshop, this is an effort to help frustrated single mothers and fathers or separated parents who need help learning how to co-parent together. Their daughters and sons are invited to share their struggles with communicating their emotional needs with their parents and, in turn, parents are given the opportunity to express their parental struggles. The objective here is for the family in crisis to learn how to effectively communicate with one another, how to address difficult subjects and understand the effects of poor choices and generational trauma.
The Marginalized Student – From Identifying to Celebrating
This workshop helps teachers and counselors learn how to work more effectively with teens and young adults of African and Latino descent from under-represented communities, as well as American youth from rural areas, using alternative education and cultural intervention models.
Male Sexualities – Doing Away with Assumptions and Re-Learning Our Sons
This workshop helps parents, counselors, case managers and youth advocacy administrators learn why some males who have sex with other males choose not to self-identify as 'gay' or 'queer', or any other labels they feel is being forced on them by societal trends while negating their cultural needs and their own everyday realities as young men of African descent. The workshop uses this interventionist's book, I'm Not Gay, I Just Mess with Guys Sometimes as a platform for discussion and self-actualization.
Prison Bizness – Why Are So Many Black Men in Jail?
Using my experience working with young incarcerated males on Rikers Island, the audience is encouraged to identify the reasons behind the alarming number of Black males in prison, how the privatization of the incarcerating of our sons is big business, how poverty and bad choices help the prison industry thrive, how the ‘prison pipeline’ works and what the Black community can do to help stop this on-going trend.
Released From Prison, Now What? – Discovering New Options for a New Life
This interactive workshop includes learning about local resources that assist post-incarcerated populations, un-learning institutional mind training, job readiness and the realities of re-entry into the general population. Discussing the effects on the families and children of the incarcerated, the community as a whole, and steps towards reunification is a key component of this workshop. This initiative also includes guest speakers representing agencies aimed specifically at assisting newly-released inmates, along with former inmates or court-involved individuals and key figures alike to share how they overcame obstacles, including their negative habits and associations.
I’m in College, Now What? – Transitioning from High School to College
As a college advisor, I use this forum to help High School students prepare for college-level studies and offer effective ways for newly admitted college students on how to avoid academic probation and other common college life pitfalls.
Word and Art Therapy – Healing Our Selves Through Words and Imagery
Collaborative life coaching with other interventionists who join me in helping youth and adults experience healing from emotional trauma through writing, photography, music and other art forms. Participants aren’t required to know how to write, draw, take great pictures, read music and so forth. The goal of this workshop is to learn various non-traditional tools in healing the self from toxic thoughts and habits through poetry and journal writing, as well as sketching and painting, dance and theater, images and self-portraits, using all these art forms to provoke becoming comfortable expressing our feelings, and to ultimately develop healthier thought and behavior patterns.
These workshops were offered at the following cultural and educational settings:
Nubian Directions, Poughkeepsie NY
Andrew Glover Youth Program, NYC
The City University of New York
Dutchess Community College NY
Peekskill Youth Bureau, Peekskill NY
Rikers Island Educational Facility, NYC
Harlem Justice Scholars, NYC
New Era Creative Space, Peekskill NY
EMBARK, Peekskill NY
Real Skills, Poughkeepsie NY
Sister’s Bookstore, NYC
Yo! Baltimore, MD
Guilford College, NC
North Carolina Central University, NC