Community Conversations: Strategies on Positive Youth Development

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“I HAVE A PLAN! TO STOP THE BLACK BOY FROM BECOMING A POSITIVE BLACK MAN!”

The Richmond Arts and Culture Commission and the Iron Tri­angle Neighborhood Council present “Community Conver­sations” a presentation and discussion on Positive Youth Development on Wednesday July 17, 2019, at Nevin Com­munity Center in Richmond.

This presentation is part of a series of events leading up to the stage play “Money Speaks: In Streets,” written by Ptah Tracey Mitchell and scheduled to premiere in October 2019.

The discussion is a prelude to Mitchell’s play that deals with Positive Youth Develop­ment for African American men. According to Mitchell, the play is based on his work as a Restorative Justice Violence Intervention Specialist and the research of scholar Dr. Wade Nobles.

“Dr. Nobles taught me that the two most important aspects of Restorative Justice are Rites of Passage and character de­velopment,” Mitchell said. He went on to explain that he had been a facilitator of the Hawk Federation, a Rites of Passage Manhood Development pro­gram created by Nobles.

These works, along with his efforts with the Venice Help­er’s Alliance 2000 Commu­nity Intervention Program in Los Angles, inspired Mitchell to write the play.

Ptah Tracey Mitchell

“Money Speaks: In Streets” is a community intervention project that uses therapeutic theater as an artistic healing tool that addresses ongoing trauma caused by violence.

The play functions as both a character development tool and rite of passage for African American boys and men fac­ing peer pressure that can turn into dangerous behavior.

The play ultimately uses art as an anger management and conflict resolution tool to con­front beliefs, values, behaviors, and attitudes that lead to vio­lence. “There are evil forces that have a plan to stop every Black Boy from becoming a positive Black Man,” Mitch­ell said.

The forces have been cap­tured in an image by artist Fred Franklin, which depict the main elements in society challenging youth. These challenges led Mitchell to design a presentation about strategies to help single moth­ers and families raise Black boys.

Those who have read the play describe it as an “Off Broadway Bar Mitzvah for Black Boys” that promotes Restorative Justice as an alter­native to the Criminal Justice System.

Mitchell invites the public to attend the event to let your voice be heard in “Commu­nity Conversations.”

The event takes place Wed. July 17, 2019 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Nevin Community Center, 598 Nevin Ave. Rich­mond, CA 94804. For more information please contact: (415) 745-4151

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