Watching as my wife and I do weekly the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” founded and moderated by Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr, we were able to see firsthand the impact of mentoring in his life and the lives of all his famous guests.
Read here about Gates’s distinguished record.
"Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr at 72: Celebrating a scholar and his legacy" Read more here: https://t.co/mOhEn0OGfq
— Henry Louis Gates Jr (@HenryLouisGates) September 19, 2022
He traces his guests from varied backgrounds back generations and frequently discloses many with a family history who were slaves! The multiplicity of all our ethnicity tells its own story of the many talents immigrants have brought to America.
One of Professor Gates’ recent guests served time in prison but with luck was discovered and mentored into film stardom to his surprise and gratitude.
But in finding and presenting the diverse backgrounds of Gates’ guests, every one of them can point to a mentor or mentors who guided them into believing in themselves and their life choices leading to their successes!
As America works its way out of our curse of racism, best exemplified by the African American example, the mentoring examples has proved central in producing so many successful outcomes. President Obama and VP Harris are but two of many who eluded the racist stereotype role assigned by too many of our white majority to too many for too long.
Examples of racial progress are now everywhere but one local DC organization I recently was introduced to by my friend Larry Mills is the mentoring work of Washington Jazz Arts Institute whose 45th anniversary performance I attended on September 9th at the People’s Congregational Church of Christ on 113th Street, NW, DC.
Both young musicians and their instructors gave evidence of how much confidence this program engenders.
See the picture of the young players in action here.
FYI: Join our friends at the Washington Jazz Arts Institute at their upcoming 25th Anniversary Gala!
An amazing performance by WJAI youth with a special alumni big-band performance that you don't want to miss!
For more details, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/u4bIq67JVF
— Aaron Myers (@DCArtsDirector) August 10, 2023
In my subsequent interview with the program’s President and Artistic Director, Davy Yarborough, who is a superb saxophone player, he told me of the many WFAI members who have gone on to multiple successful careers, not all in music but greatly helped by their early experiences.
The large number of mentoring programs around the US are proving their huge power.
As you can read here from the US Government program site:
Youth mentoring—a consistent, prosocial relationship between an adult or older peer and one or more youth—can help support the positive development of youth. Mentoring has been shown to improve self-esteem, academic achievement, and peer relationships and reduce drug use, aggression, depressive symptoms, and delinquent acts. Many young people have access to mentors (both naturally occurring and program supported); however, many more do not. In addition, there continues to be documented variation in both the quality of mentoring and its impact on youth outcomes.
OJJDP’s mentoring work aims to both increase opportunities for youth to have mentors and improve the quality and impact of the mentoring they receive. Through its research, programmatic grants, training and technical assistance, and publications, OJJDP provides national leadership to support the delivery of high quality mentoring to a diverse and growing population of youth. The OJJDP National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC) has been developed as a key research and practice resource for the mentoring field.
Together with its partners, OJJDP is working on boosting mentor recruitment, enhancing mentor-mentee matches, and increasing the number of youth who have mentors.
#OJJDP celebrates National #MentoringMonth and recognizes the impact that caring, invested adults can have on the next generation of leaders and change-makers. Find out how you can be a mentor today: https://t.co/8W443YHnbP
@MENTORnational #MentorsMatter #ThankYourMentor pic.twitter.com/dJWy7lL6V5
— OJP OJJDP (@OJPOJJDP) January 26, 2023
— Together Software (@TogetherSoftwre) May 4, 2021
The loss of local connections such as the disappearance of most small-town newspapers and a decline of other local community meeting places helped exacerbate ideological divides by failing to encourage regular personal social contacts!
Over the past few decades, more than 2,000 newspapers across the country have closed, leaving many communities without a reliable source of local information. https://t.co/ohOF1wI4Ar
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) August 20, 2023
America can come together again but not from the Trump GOP’s vicious, sustained, and continuous promotion of hatred, racism and homophobia that undermines the efforts to help our vital middle class understand the importance of a working democracy! Shutdown by the GOP House of Representatives of our Federal government would not offer a solution to anything.
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“We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”: https://t.co/TA4j7cp1tE
“From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”: https://t.co/lkC2t3E1A9 pic.twitter.com/bQsL2mLBcO
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) November 1, 2021
Henry Louis Gates Jr. on the significance and history of Juneteenth
Washington Jazz Arts Institute – Millennium Stage (March 31, 2023)
Critical Mentoring—Because Young People Deserve the Best of Us | Torie Weiston-Serdan | TEDxKGI
Inside A Small-Town Iowa Newspaper’s Fight For Survival
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