SCHOOL BUZZ: “Young Men in Suits,” Shaping Teen Boys into Men

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Damian Mackey is a man that will never give up and always works hard to make a change.

 

As principal of James Logan High School, Mackey started a movement by organizing a group of African-American and Hispanic students, called FAMM.

 

This movement is dedicated to supporting today’s generation and allowing youth to reconnect with their history.

 

“FAMM is not an acronym, it’s a term of endearment used by my students as a way of saying we are in the same family together. In other words, ‘our family,’” said Mackey.

 

On Saturday, May 30, the group will present Young Men in Suits, a workshop for teen males in the greater Bay Area, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at James Logan High School, 1800 H St., Union City.

 

“We want to start running relationships with our families and offer a workshop for the teenage boys of our community,” said Mackey. “The data is clear. Our teenage boys are not only suffering academically, but they are losing the essence that makes being a teenager both fun and a rite of passage into becoming a ‘man’,” he said.

 

Professional individuals will speak to the group about important social issues that are relevant in the lives of young people today. The event will teach students on proper etiquette, code switching, dating, the history of the “n word”, family, college, and athletics.

 

Students will also learn the best way to persevere through difficult times.

 

The young men will be able to connect with each speaker as they share their stories, and also ask questions that students can then apply to their own lives and daily challenges.

 

“It’s essential that they hear the testimonies of people who sat in their seats and actually made it. It’s also extremely important for them to forge alliances with their peers, so they have ‘brothas’ to lean on who understand their obstacles. We also fully expect they will have a lot of fun,” said Mackey.

 

The challenge has been to create a forum that is both authentic and relevant to young men coming from all walks of life. Through Young Men in Suits, Mackey hopes to engage the minds of youth in Union City and local Bay Area communities by exposing them to concrete men of valor who are knowledgeable and real.

 

“We feel there is a serious disconnect between the skills and attributes necessary for the men of the future to be successful, the image they are projecting and their own perspective on how they will find success in the future,” said Mackey.

 

Young Men in Suits can become a positive outlet that will touch families and give young men valuable experiences that they will take with them throughout their lives.

 

By focusing our efforts towards young men, ages 13 to 19 years of age, “young men can shape their self image and create a picture of who they are as a ‘man’. We anticipate that and understand the positive consequences available if we tap into their personal lives,” Mackey said.

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