Sometimes I tire of conversations about investing all our energy mitigating the effects of cyclical poverty instead of working to eliminate it
Gentrification, street violence, affordable housing, unskilled workforce, neglect of long term health...
We refuse to face the consequences of a subculture in which boys do not prepare to become resources for their children, because they grow up in neighborhoods that since integration and the out movement of the families with working fathers who could afford to move out, have no such examples, and that child poverty is primarily due to children only having the resources of one parent, and is exacerbated by the fragility and stress that having no one to share the burden creates.
Sometimes, I am just as weary of the perception that our work in the Silverback Society is about improving the lives of the boys we lead and teach, when in fact it is about improving the capacity of next generation's fathers so their children don't have to grow up in poverty, breaking the cycle for their seed from then on, with them as the bearers of a proud, capable father culture, by providing boys with a good example and their daughters with a measuring stick for other men.
And then some people take issue with the concept that fatherhood is valuable and important not only for children's economic well being but also social emotional development, as if little girls giving it up to the first older man who shows them some attention isn't because she didn't get that from a father who loved her properly.
However, I will not give up or back down. If I am in the room and the issues of poverty come up, I will ask, "Why are we behaving as if 35% of black people are destined to remain poor from now on. Why are we not considering opportunities to break the cycles of children growing up without the resources of more than one adult?
I'm observing a trend in which some women are adapting with gay lifestyles, and I see where that lifestyle makes life more economically viable for their children. One household, two earners, shared parenting responsibilities, so, for me, this is no macho, self righteous, heterosexual position, but an understanding that increasing the capacity of next generation fathers will go far in reducing crime, enhancing the workforce, and changing the trajectories of all them and and the women, children and communities that will benefit from their productivity, parenting and as examples to others.
As I don't see capitalism going away anytime soon, for me "equity" happens when the percentage of African Americans, Latino American, Asian Americans, Indigenous Americans and European Americans living in poverty is about the same. Some of the fight is about correcting institutional barriers, but a lot of the work is damping down the flywheels of self defeating cultural distortions that have many of us mired in cyclical poverty in which too many men are not skilled or educated enough to provide resources and be role models for children.
NEW ORLEANS — The Silverback Society is proud to announce the acquisition of our first Deputy Director – Gregory N. Rattler, Jr. After 4 years of participation as a Silverback volunteer mentor at Edgar Harney Elementary School, Gregory brings considerable talent, skills and executive experience to the administrative team.
Gregory comes to the Silverback Society after almost 3 years of serving the City of New Orleans as the Director of CeaseFire New Orleans. In that capacity, he created a specific organizational focus on investment in the growth and development of program staff and participants alike. Mr. Rattler spent time as a Program Officer for Black Male Engagement at the Foundation for the MidSouth – where he managed a funding portfolio of organizations supporting an increase in both the Black male high school graduation and college admission rates in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. As Director of the New Orleans Fatherhood Consortium, Mr. Rattler was instrumental in the passing of the Louisiana Fatherhood First legislation in 2013 and the publishing of “Our Fathers, Our Future” and “Recognizing the Underutilized Economic Potential of Black Men in New Orleans”. Along with his college roommate, he co-founded the 44th Education Initiative to encourage and prepare high school students, particularly males, for early college admission.
Mr. Rattler is a native son of New Orleans, a graduate of St. Augustine High School, earned his B.S at Howard University and Master of Public Health graduate degree from Tulane University. He recently completed a three year W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellowship concurrently with Silverback Society co-founder Lloyd Dennis where they learned that could and would work well as teammates
“In my heart, joining the Silverback Society as a mentor was an honor. So this journey as a staff member is an opportunity of a lifetime. I have had the pleasure of mentoring some dynamic young brothers at Edgar Harney and work with some exceptional brothers on the mentor team. I’m truly humbled by the prospect of work with men who are willing to share their gifts and talents to motivate 8th grade boys to control their own lives and become better men for the next generation.”
The Silverback Society was one of two non-profits selected by The Greater New Orleans Foundation to have presenters at GNOF's presentation of their "Spark Plug" award in a ceremony on October 34th. Kaja Rhea, a member of the Warren Easton High School Chapter of the Silverback Society had the honor of representing the Silverback Society. He described the impact that the Silverback Society has had on his life since becoming a Silverback Scholar in 8th grade at Lafayette Academy, and then introduced La June Montgomery Tabron, CEO of the W.K.Kellogg Foundation and the 2017 recipient of the Greater New Orleans Foundation's Spark Plug Award. In his comments Kaja personified the hopes and dreams of those who created and continue to invest time and resources in the Silverback Society mentoring and manhood training program. The proof is in the pudding! CLICK HERE OR IMAGE FOR VIDEO
The Association of Black Cardiologists honored Tulane University cardiologist Dr. Keith Ferdinand with its 2017 Spirit of the Heart Leadership Award for his lifelong work as a champion of change in advancing health equity and reducing cardiovascular disease disparities. Dr. Ferdinand, a professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine’s Heart and Vascular Institute, was recognized along with five other trailblazers at the Association of Black Cardiologists’ (ABC) eighth annual Spirit of the Heart Awards Gala in New York City in Oct.
The Angel Award® honors everyday people doing extraordinary good to meet the physical, emotional, creative or spiritual needs of Louisiana’s kids. Since 1995, the Foundation has recognized more than 160 of these outstanding individuals. Each Angel Award also provides much-needed resources — a $20,000 grant for each Angel’s nonprofit charity. CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.
Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. We've created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community.
We are always looking for men who are looking for a way to make a difference that is compatible with his other commitments, men who are willing to volunteer 16 to 20 hours a year in local schools as part of a team to mentor and teach young men about responsible man hood. If you or someone you know is interested in learning how to join our mentoring movement, click the image and watch our 30 sec video.