National Mentoring Resource Center Blog

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Incorporating Evidence-Based Cultural Frameworks into Mentoring

APRIL 13, 2018
BY: BRIAN SALES, DIRECTOR OF TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE, MENTOR: THE NATIONAL MENTORING PARTNERSHIP

Culturally Responsive MentoringDuring my work in the formal mentoring field and youth development, I have surprisingly seen little research incorporating culturally responsive frameworks for mentoring youth of color. Seemingly, much of the mentoring research continues to remain void of references that illustrate the unique and historical coping strategies symbolizing the strength and resilience of people of color, Black people in particular. Since the largest number of identified youth in MENTOR’s: Examining Youth Services Across America report reports over 75% of the children and youth served are youth of color and 30% are African-American, my observation is even more distressing. 

Whether working in small cities or culturally diverse suburbs, I also noticed programmatic approaches that were often “deficit based” and “culturally irrelevant” to the communities being served. Instead of identifying, incorporating, and celebrating the individualized coping skills and community-based adaptations developed by African American communities, many of these approaches were over-focused on prevention and intervention. As a result, I found refuge in reviewing and utilizing the practice-based curriculum about the African-centered rites of passage from experts, e.g. Paul Hill, Dr. Nsenga Warfield-Coppock and a dissertation by Dr. Keith Alford.

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Not Just Black Girl Magic: What it Takes to Inspire and Support All Our Girls

MARCH 30, 2018
BY: CHERYL HOWARD-NEAL, DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS AND PARTNERSHIPS, MENTOR ILLINOIS

Not Just Black Girl MagicA couple of years ago, when I first heard the term “Black Girl Magic,” I was like…yep, that’s me! I didn’t really know what the term meant, or its origins, but I was confident it included me. The more I learned about the concept, saw the t-shirts and memes on social media, I began to wonder, “What do all the other non-black girls think? Aren’t they magical, too?” The answer is simple: YES, they are magical as well, and I hope they know it.

For me, the journey began when I was just five or six years old, when I told my grandmother that I was going to be a secretary when I grew up. She looked at me and said, “Why wouldn’t you be the boss? And then you could have a secretary.” And so, it began.

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Progress for Women is Rooted in Local Initiatives Tied to National and Global Movements

MARCH 29, 2018
BY: ASHLEY SZOFER, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS & PARTNERSHIPS, STEMCONNECTOR

MWMThis month, while we celebrate women’s history and reflect on the progress of equality over the course of centuries, one through-line deserves particular attention. From the women’s suffrage movement to building opportunities for career growth, to demanding a sexual harassment-free work environment, progress has come from local efforts on the ground tied to larger national and global movements. While it takes only a few progressively-minded individuals to begin working for change, it is with the momentum of a movement that large-scale cultural shifts begin. But how do you start or join a movement?

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Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2017 Native Summit: Integrating Culture into Club Programming Workshop

MARCH 14, 2018
BY: SIERRA FRANCIS, PROJECT COORDINATOR, YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS, FIRSTPIC, INC.

NMRC Represented at Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 2017 Native SummitThis past November, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) 2017 Native Summit held in Fort Myers, Florida was host to a variety of informational sessions, workshops, exhibitors, and cultural exchanges aimed towards Club professionals working with Native youth. After 25 years in Native Lands, BGCA is the nation’s largest youth service provider for Native youth, with a network of nearly 200 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve over 86,000 youth from 100 different American Indian, Alaska Native, American Samoan and Hawaiian Tribal communities.

Due to the unique conditions of working in Native communities, topics for workshops were carefully considered for their relevancy and impact. Topics offered ranged from lifestyle trends with Native youth, best practices for Club programming, and ideas for integrating culture into the Club. Of these, integrating culture generated some of the highest levels of interest from Club staff members, who are especially cognizant of the role culture and identity play in the lives of their youth. Facilitated by BGCA Native Services Director of Organizational Development Anna Bear, the session had a panel of three Boys & Girls Club executive directors present to speak on this very important topic. Executive Directors included Ron Corn of the Woodland Boys & Girls Club in Neopit, Wisconsin, Tamara Little Salt of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Nathan Hale of the Boys & Girls Club of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation in Mayetta, Kansas.

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NMRC Represented at Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 2017 Native Summit

FEBRUARY 14, 2018
BY: SIERRA FRANCIS, PROJECT COORDINATOR, YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS, FIRSTPIC, INC.

NMRC Represented at Boys & Girls Clubs of America's 2017 Native SummitThis past November, I had the privilege of attending Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2017 Native Summit held in Fort Myers, Florida. Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) is celebrating an incredible 25 years of Native Clubs! This event marked the anniversary of a journey that started in 1992 with the establishment of the first Native Boys & Girls Club.

Today, 25 years later, BGCA is the nation’s largest youth service provider for Native youth. The campaign that began with one Club has since grown into a national network of nearly 200 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve over 86,000 Native youth, from 100 different American Indian, Alaska Native, American Samoan and Hawaiian Tribal communities.

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