This March, I had the great pleasure of participating in the second Rumble Young Man Rumble Convening at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky. When I got the invitation, I did not know what to expect. I had a lot of questions. What’s a Rumble? Who was going to be there? Would I get anything out of it.
When I arrived I met a room full of men and women that greeted me like we were old friends. They were talking about “working together,” “legacy,” “the urgency of the moment,” and “saving our sons.” They all believed in the transformative power of mentoring and they were determined, actually, adamant, that failure was not an option. I was overwhelmed by their passion and commitment. It reminded me that the only reason I had the privilege to be in that room was because of my own mentors.
Two years ago, I met two amazing men who lived what they preached, Rushion McDonald and Steve Harvey. They literally took me from nothing and gave me an opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Today, I have the privilege of organizing the mentoring programs that they founded and lead today. This Friday, young men from single-mother-led households all over Chicago will spend the weekend with Steve, Rushion and dozens of men that have committed themselves to helping them become men.
This will be the eighth time attending a mentoring weekend, but every single time, I am overwhelmed by how hungry the boys are for mentors, connection, and love. This year even more boys applied than before and only 1 out of every 55 applicants will be able to attend.
We do our best to reach the boys that are there, but what about the ones we can’t serve? Before I met my Rumble brothers I had no answer for those boys. Now I know I have partners in this work. Because of these newfound partnerships we will be adding something new to the Steve Harvey Mentoring weekend this year. For the first time ever, we will be hosting a recruitment drive! Using our media platform we are calling for men to step up and with the help of Big Brothers Big Sisters we are going to help find longer term mentors for young men that have been waiting for that support.
The campaign will start in Chicago, but extend nationally and we hope we can be another strong voice asking men to step up and get involved. I am so excited about this new work and even more excited to be working with my fellow Rumblers across the country. To learn more about Steve Harvey’s commitment to mentoring please visit www.steveharveymentoring.com.