The implementation of a year-round Rites of Passage Program will help reverse the achievement gap for young black males in the rural black-belt south. We will ask critical questions, explore, and provide experiences in 4 intersecting domains: 1) the self: identity consciousness, immersion in black historical achievement, art, culture, and science, self-care, life skills, goal setting, critical thinking and problem solving, fitness, and spiritual development; 2) the community: civic engagement, collective work & responsibility, cooperative economics, consensus decision making, democratic processes, social transformation and the role of change agent; 3) the natural and built environment: principles of sustainability, the divine design, biotechnology, wind & solar, water catchment, observing and living in harmony with the cycles of nature; and 4) career and vocational exploration: assess college and career readiness, administer interest surveys, explore career, technical, and trade options, skill building, job shadowing, field trips, and guest speakers.
The Rites of Passage program will positively impact black males in a variety of ways. Through the curricula and learning objectives students will: have greater appreciation for the land and nature itself, and how we as individuals are part and parcel of it; demonstrate character development based on values of cooperation, social entrepreneurial ship, self-determination, self reliance, interdependence, and hard work; explore ways to increase positive family relationships; learn strategies to deal with school expectations; develop leadership skills; increased motivation; explore career options; take field trips; interact with professionals from various walks of life; and controlling the source of food production; leave with stress management and coping skills, important life skills; be better prepared to deal with adverse situations; critically reflect on the choices they make. The programs will be heavily focused on the art of creating and manifesting and to envision their ideal life.
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