AAALI's Manhood Development Program hosts Day of Brotherhood

SFUSD students and guest speakers pose for photo at Mission High School

The African American Achievement and Leadership Initiative’s (AAALI) Manhood Development Program (MDP) welcomed over 70 African American male students from Martin Luther King Jr., Willie L. Brown Jr., and Visitacion Valley middle schools,Mission High School and June Jordan School of Equity at Mission High School for MDP’s Day of Brotherhood in April.

The purpose of the event was to build affinity between black male students from various San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) schools and learn from the experiences of successful African American men.

“This day is for you, brothers. For you to walk out of here today believing that you can do anything and be anything you want to be in this world. And I truly mean that,” MDP Program Manager Bobby Pope told students during his opening remarks.

While enjoying breakfast provided by the African American Parent Advisory Council, Pastor of Third Baptist Church and President of the NAACP San Francisco Branch the Rev. Amos C. Brown, and founder of the MDP program and current Deputy Director of Equity for Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), Christopher Chatmon also provided opening remarks to the young audience.

The students attended breakout sessions to learn about the experiences of African American men including Public Enemy 2.0 and former MDP Program Manager Brother Jahi, Anthony Gilmour aka Tone Capone, and manager for rapper Too Short, Lionel Bea and hear what motivates them in their work. After lunch, closing remarks were provided by keynote speaker Damien Posey of The City Eats and United Playaz.

“One of AAALI’s core values is black excellence. Black excellence is knowing who you are and having a vision and purpose for yourself,” said Pope. “The men in this room that I’ve invited out today represent black excellence. The students have to know that if they really want to achieve their goals, they have to see examples of why it’s important to put the time and energy into it, then make the sacrifice to reach success.”