The Made Man honors male leaders redefining the black narrative

More than 30 local male leaders gathered recently at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for a day of mentorship and workshops where the men were honored by The Made Man for their to the community.
Founded by Ky Dele, psychologist, president and CEO, Blueprint Global Group in partnership with 100 Black Men of America, Inc., TMM is a national eleven multi-market, multi-tiered corporate and community initiative with the mission of honoring the achievements of African American male influencers for their leadership, lifetime achievement in their respective fields, social consciousness and significant contributions to community empowerment. By honoring these leaders, TMM hopes to build a bridge for the honorees to volunteer their resources in d the donation of business attire.
“This is not an ordinary platform where we just showcase achievement. We actually pride ourselves in building a bridge for honorees to give back. In every city, it’s a daylong program. We start our day with our honorees and in every city we take our honorees to a local high school to speak to underserved male students. They do roundtables and discuss the tools that are needed to become a future Made Man,” said The Made Man founder.
A large part of TMM’s message, Dele said, it to change the often negative narrative surrounding African American men by allowing these very men to take charge of their own narratives.
“I noticed that so many of our amazing African American male leaders were doing such great work in the community, in their lives and for their legacy and people just didn’t know about them. The narrative of African American leaders out there, specifically African American men, is more about what the black man is doing wrong. There is just so much negative imagery of what our men are about. I feel that 80% of our men are doing more right than wrong,” Dele said about her inspiration for creating TMM.
“I don’t feel like I’m doing anything extraordinary because the men are actually doing the work. All I’m doing is shining a light to it. I just felt it was organic and needed for us to have a network for them to meet each other, for them to be thanked and for the narrative of African American men to be updated and to be owned by African American men, not someone else.”
Since its inception, TMM has honored more than 300 African-American male influencers, created a networking platform of more than 5,000 Made Man members, oversaw the donation of more than 13,000 suits to underserved males, conducted 2,000 workshops and sponsored 6,000 students apply to HBCU’s through the Common Black College Application.
During the day of mentorship and workshops, the honorees spoke at schools and community organizations to help inspire and educate local underserved male youth and adults. The day also included a suit for success clothing drive to ensure these men are prepared for the workforce.
Shawn T. Blanchard, author, speaker, mentorship specialist and CEO, Lions Dream Publishing & Productions was among those honored at Tuesday’s reception. Believing strongly in TMM’s mission, Blanchard sees the organizations work as not only vital, but directly connected to the injustices that plague black men in this country.
“I’m really excited about platforms like Made Man because the media is only going to tell one side of what’s going on with black men. You see it all of the time. We see it with Colin Kaepernick and we see it even with the Las Vegas shooting. When you have a person in Las Vegas shooting and killing and you go straight to mental illness and all of the issues he had, but when it comes to a black man, like Colin Kaepernick, they call him names. What’s really going on in our country when the black man is always put on the chopping block?” Blanchard said about the importance of organizations like The Made Man.
“What does this translate to our young children about who they are who because all they see is negativity? They grow up believing this. What do you become when you have a negative belief system about yourself? So, it’s important to make sure that we embed not only the positive belief systems, but the truth of who we are.

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