Radio personality Armand Carr, executive director of “All Tied Up,” a mentoring program that prepares young men for success, hosted an evening of fun for 100 teens of the Bay Area at Pandora SiriusXM’s headquarters in downtown Oakland on Nov. 14. The high-energy and interactive event was sponsored by Pandora in partnership with Jamba Juice, The Oakland A’s, Costco and LinkedIn.
DJ Kenzo brought the beats as guests enjoyed sandwiches, cookies and a choice of three flavors of Jamba juices. The evening also allowed students to network, learn about Holy Names University, and were assisted with creating their own LinkedIn profile for career readiness.
In his keynote address, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley talked about being a public official as a career path and international soccer star, Devnate Dubose of Oakland’s brand new soccer team spoke of finding his athletic passion and travelling the world. Former Oakland Raider Ronald Ollie also addressed the audience.
During the workshop portion of the program, Carr shared his own journey toward self discovery during adolescence while encouraging students to be F.L.Y. “F.L.Y. means; First love yourself,” he said. “You have to first love yourself, then you are able to respect your brothers, others, and especially women.”
Respect, trust and the art of embracing “your brothers” were also highlights of Carr’s talk. “Young men in the audience, start trusting each other and embracing one another with a genuine hug, not the phony hugs you’ve been accustomed to.” Carr requested the young men in the audience to hug each other and share three qualities about themselves that they are proud of. “As young Black men, I want you to have more out of life, determine your unique gifts and identify your super power (innate gifts).”
Carr passed out ties to the entire audience and challenged them to help each other tie them around their necks properly. While emphasizing the importance of professionalism and non-verbal communications, Carr discussed the significance of a tie and what it represents.
Carr further explained that Black men need a voice in the community and their super power gives them their unique voice to be used as a necessary platform for not only their personal journey, but their value to the community as involved citizens.
Carr then requested the youngest audience members to demonstrate that an individual is never too young to identify their strengths and showcase them to the public. Carr’s own son, Arion Carr, 8, was also called to the stage.
Messai Davis, 11, told the audience about his superpowers and Ivan Newton, 6, danced like Michael Jackson. A panel discussion involved Empire recording artist Don Quez, managed by video producer Cameron Gazaway. Oakland activist, poet and rapper Jwalt performed one of his hit songs.
While demonstrating the power of networking, Carr also explained that all of the panelists at the event, were people that he happened to meet. “By staying in touch with people I met and following up with them is how this panel came together.”
Retired NBA champion and Golden State Warriors Ambassador Adonal Foyle was honored with the first All Tied Up Gentlemen’s Award. Carr, along with his partner and publicist, Eileen Gazaway, presented a custom painting of Foyle as a superhero.
“This man right here is the epitome of being a gentlemen,” said Carr. “He is a professional on and off the court and exhibits all the qualities it takes to be a success.”
“This is an honor and everything Armand Carr has said is the truth about what it takes to be a success,” said Foyle, who spoke of living on St. Vincent, an island in the Caribbean, with few opportunities and working hard to become a graduate of Colgate University and play for the NBA. “I’ve come from an island and went on to playing with the greats like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and many more,” he said. “Find out what your gifts are and what you are passionate about, work hard and you too can make a difference in the world and contribute to your community.”