May Newsletter: This is What Leadership Looks Like
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This is What Leadership Looks Like
LPTM Continues to Model Excellence in Black Male Development
Dear wonderful Life Pieces Family,
Every single day for over 18 years, we have dedicated ourselves to this work.
That's how long Life Pieces To Masterpieces has been on the ground and in the lives of young black men from Washington, DC's most challenging communities. That's how long we've seen the remarkable transformations that occur within an intentional environment of love, security, and expression.
And that's how long we've made our unique, comprehensive commitment to each individual's holistic growth and development, working specifically with young black men from age 3 all the way to 25.
This approach hasn't always been popular. Early in our history, we were frequently denied support - sometimes from funders who believed our concentration on young black men was too narrow, sometimes from others who believed the age range we served was too broad. But we trusted our knowledge and experience. We knew that young black men face unique challenges that require direct attention, and we knew that a system of sustained, long-term relationships would be necessary to help them navigate those challenges throughout their development.
We are proud of our decision to maintain our values and our methodology. We are proud of the transformative results our commitment has produced. And - fittingly, as Leadership is the value we focus on with our Apprentices during the month of May - we are proud to see local and national recognition of the value of our approach spread as we establish ourselves as leading experts in the field of black male development.
In DC, the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation released its first "Focus Point" report, centered on the connections between Out of School Time and academic success among African American males. Co-Founder and Executive Director Mary Brown represented Life Pieces on the panel of experts convened for the release, relaying passionately how our laser focus on black males throughout their youth has put those young men in position not only to succeed in school, but to be agents of positive change.
Nationally, the Task Force for President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Initiative - meant to spur opportunity for young men of color - released its first set of recommendations on May 30, 2014. This excellent report reaffirmed the importance of engaging youth throughout their development, calling for investment in the type of long-term, cross-cutting commitment we have always stood by. The report asserts the need to "Support locally driven efforts that are more comprehensive - addressing the educational, physical, social and emotional needs of young people- and that span multiple life stages from cradle-to-college."
The holistic, supportive, and loving work the report calls for has been our hallmark throughout 18 years at Life Pieces To Masterpieces. Through our artistic process and proven Human Development System, our young men build not only their academic and artistic abilities but also their resilience, problem-solving skills, physical health, and social/emotional literacy. And through our unique commitment to working with ages 3 through 25, we are able to engage those needs throughout every stage of their development.
We believe this is what leadership looks like. It's why Life Pieces To Masterpieces received the Colege Board's 2014 Dr. Asa G. Hilliard Model of Excellence Award for creating a proven, replicable model for providing opportunities to African American youth. We're proud to have you in our family as we continue to model excellence in black male development.
Read through the rest of the newsletter to learn more about our leadership and our response to the White House Report: