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11 September, 2018

REMEMBERING 9/11






The United States International Men's Day Team remembers the souls lost on Tuesday, 11 September 2001.  We can all remember where we were and what we were doing on that day.  A calm and beautiful sunlit morning -- transformed into an unfathomable nightmare by the news of two planes crashing into the World Trade Center in New York, followed by the report of a plane crashing into the Pentagon which was followed by the report of a plane crashing in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  It is a day that forever changed everything for everyone.



10 September, 2018

USA INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY TEAM JOINS INSTITUTIONS, ORGANIZATIONS, AND INDIVIDUALS THROUGHOUT GLOBAL VILLAGE IN OBSERVING WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY -- 10 SEPTEMBER 2018


The United States International Men's Day Team joins institutions, organizations, and individuals throughout our global village in observing World Suicide Prevention Day  -- today -- 10 September 2018.   We are losing far too many Men and Boys to suicide.




Are we missing the signs that something terribly wrong is going on with the Men and Boys in our lives?   Men and Boys are socialized not to complain . . . not to express the natural and spontaneous reaction to pain — be it physical, spiritual, emotional, or psychological. We cannot expect the Men and Boys in our lives to come running to us and unburden themselves with the spiritual, emotional, or psychological distress that plagues their souls. They will not come to us and say: “I need help. Help me, I’m drowning.” They are socialized to be strong and being strong and being a man means you do not ask for help. They have been socialized to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness — that it is “unmanly.” But more importantly, if the Men and Boys in our lives do come to us seeking help, will we be able — willing — to help? Will we know what to do . . . what to say? Will we hit the “pause” button, “step out of ourselves,” and embrace their souls?



We should be engaging the Men and Boys in our lives in conversations — real conversations — every day. We should be asking questions. Questions like “What happened today? Did you have a good day? Did you have a bad day? How do you feel? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you depressed? What is going on in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed or depressed or misunderstood? What do you need and want me to do to help you get through this difficult time?”



We should not accept "Everything's okay" as an answer.



We need to step out of ourselves and embrace the souls of others -- the souls of the Men and Boys in our lives.   We step out of ourselves and embrace the souls of others by asking the questions I have suggested.



By stepping out of ourselves and embracing the souls of others -- the souls of the Men and Boys in our lives -- we are providing them with a life line.



Stepping out of ourselves and embracing the souls of others is very easy.  Just ask yourself:  "What would I want?"   

30 August, 2018

A CALL TO ACTION: IMPARTIAL AND FAIR TREATMENT IN PAROLE INITIATIVE


           On 29 August 2018, the International Men’s Day Team launched the global inaugural observance of the “Impartial And Fair Treatment In Parole” Initiative.  The “Impartial And Fair Treatment In Parole” Initiative is not an “one day affair:”  It is a “Call To Action” which, over the course of the next 12 months, will generate solutions-based dialogues addressing the barriers to “Impartial And Fair Treatment In Parole” and the development of holistic strategies to effectively address and eradicate these barriers  It will serve to move the issue of “Impartial And Fair Treatment And Parole” into national and global dialogues on Criminal Justice Reform and Restorative Justice. Inaugurated by Jerome Teelucksingh, Ph.D., a humanitarian, Gender Issues Thought Leader, Founder of International Men’s Day, educator, prolific author and poet, the “Impartial And Fair Treatment In Parole” Initiative is a “Call To Action” to educate citizens about the parole process – particularly, the family members and loved ones of incarcerated souls; support institutions, organizations, and individuals that assist eligible candidates successfully navigate the parole process; and help ensure that model prisoners are not arbitrarily denied parole in initial and, if necessary,  subsequent parole hearings. 

            Why has the parole process become a concern of the International Men’s Day Team?  

           In 2017, a brilliant soul and model prisoner with whom Dr. Teelucksingh and I have worked with for many years on numerous projects was arbitrarily denied parole for a very frivolous reason – despite having a low risk assessment score, a written offer of employment, a permanent address in the community to which he would return upon his release, and multiple Letters of Support advocating his release.  Throughout his period of incarceration, the gentleman in question positively enhanced his institutional environment and the lives of other incarcerated souls.   Without any assistance, the model prisoner prepared a 160-page parole packet which he presented to the Parole Board.  He was one of eight eligible candidates from the same correctional institution who appeared before the Parole Board on the same day – 29 August 2017.  Out of the eight eligible candidates who appeared before the Parole Board on 29 August 2017, only one was granted parole and it was his third parole hearing.

            The scenario I just described is not an anomaly.  Countless incarcerated souls have atoned for the transgressions they committed, mentored other incarcerated souls, and created initiatives that not only enhanced their institutional environment but also served to effectively address and resolve key challenges that negatively impact the communities they left and will return to – key challenges such as Fatherlessness, intergenerational incarceration, violence, and lack of positive male role models and access to legitimate real-life options.  These souls have clearly demonstrated that they are more valuable “on the outside” and that upon their release, they will implement their solutions-based initiatives in the communities they return to. Yet, many of these souls continue to languish in correctional facilities after being repeatedly denied parole – the majority of whom navigated the parole process alone – without the benefit of a legal team or assistance from family members, loved ones, or key stakeholders from their community.   Parole impacts everyone.  Why?  Because incarcerated souls who are granted parole will and do return to our communities.  In view of the fact that there are – at any given point in time – approximately 4.7 million Americans who are either on parole or probation, the likelihood that one of your neighbors is on parole is great.  Institutions, organizations, and individuals in communities have a vested interest in the parole process --- particularly, if disparities exist.   If parole is capriciously denied to model prisoners who have positively enhanced their institutional environment and designed and implemented mentoring and parenting programs for their incarcerated colleagues and/or positive life-transforming initiatives which help and resolve crime and violence issues that inundate the community to which they plan to return, everyone loses.   Many model prisoners who will return to their communities are on a mission to reduce crime, Fatherlessness, intergenerational incarceration; mentor at-risk children and youths; and help create legitimate real-life options.   Institutions, organizations, and individuals will be the beneficiaries of this mission – a mission that will, among other things, reduce the burden of taxpayers, help to create a nurturing and safe environment for the most vulnerable members of communities – its children and its Elders; attract new businesses and jobs to the neighborhood commercial corridors; and restore order and the rule of law.   Thus, institutions, organizations, and individuals in communities – everywhere –- must find a way to become proactive in the parole process.  A holistic approach to the parole process is needed.  

         Having said that, I think we need to be clear about what parole is.  Parole is not a privilege.  Parole is earned.    It is defined as “the early release from prison, before the prisoner has served the entire sentence”.  And when an incarcerated soul is granted parole, he or she is still under supervision for a period of time – usually, for the balance of his or her sentence.  Incarcerated souls released on parole must comply with a set of rules or what is known as “conditions of parole”.  Violation of these rules could lead to their being returned to prison.  So, what are some of the “conditions of parole”?  In addition to meeting regularly with his or parole officer, an incarcerated soul who has been granted parole must, as an example:

·         Obey all laws. 
·         Inform his or her parole officer at all times of his or her location.  This could involve being required to call a parole officer on designated dates and at designated times or the wearing of an electronic or GPS tracking device.
·         Request permission to travel.  Souls granted parole may be restricted from engaging in international travel and/or traveling to another state.
·         Refrain from the use of alcohol and drugs.
·         Allow his or her parole officer to conduct random searches of their residence – searches which do not need to be supported by probable cause.
·         Pay court-ordered fines and restitution – restitution is defined as money to be paid to victims of the crime committed by the soul who has been granted parole for losses incurred.
·         Attend court-ordered counseling or treatment programs -- e.g., anger management courses.

As you can see, incarcerated souls who have been granted parole must walk along a very narrow and straight line. 

        During the weeks and months ahead, the International Men’s Day Team – which consists of 84 nations – will work to move “Impartial And Fair Treatment In Parole” to the forefront of the ongoing Dialogue on Criminal Justice Reform and Restorative Justice.  You can look for updates on the International Men’s Day site at: https://www.usainternationalmensday.blogspot.com; IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®’s blog at: http://globalfatherhooddialogue.blogspot.com or on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com).

26 August, 2018

HOUSE OF THE AFRICAN APPOINTED GHANA'S INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY COORDINATOR - GHANA JOINS INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY UNION

The UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY TEAM warmly welcomes HOUSE OF THE AFRICAN as GHANA'S INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY COORDINATOR.   We applaud HOUSE OF THE AFRICAN'S humanitarianism which is exemplified through its empowering and healing Initiative - THE WORTHY MEN INITIATIVE.  

Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY UNION!

21 August, 2018

BOYS MENTORING ADVOCACY NETWORK AND NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY TEAM LAUNCH PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING CAMPAIGN IN OBSERVANCE OF 2018 PROSTATE CANCER MONTH



Nigeria's Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network and the Nigeria International Men's Day Team will join institutions, organizations, and individuals throughout our global village in observing 2018 Prostate Cancer Month with the launch of its Prostate Cancer Screening Campaign.  To learn more about or become a sponsor for the Prostate Cancer Screening Campaign, send an e-mail to: bmanadvocacy@gmail.com or call +234 802 301 0608.  You can also visit the website for Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network at: www.bmanadvocacy.org.


15 August, 2018

NIGERIA AND UNITED STATES EMBARK ON PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING CAMPAIGN COLLABORATION UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY BANNER


CONTACT:

NIGERIA         

Ola Akinwe
Founder, Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network (www.bmanadvocacy.org)
Nigeria Coordinator – International Men’s Day
Nigeria Coordinator – World Day Of The Boy Child
Telephone:  +234 8023010608
E-Mail:  bmanadvocacy@gmail.com


UNITED STATES
Diane A. Sears
USA Coordinator – International Men’s Day (www.usainternationalmensday.blogspot.com)
USA Coordinator – World Day Of The Boy Child
Telephone: 267-581-3963
E-Mail:  insearchoffatherhood@gmail.com



LAGOS, NIGERIA 15 August 2018 – It is estimated that each day approximately 26 men in Nigeria succumb to prostate cancer which robs families and communities of Men who are Fathers and/or positive male role models who play a critical role in helping boys – Our Sons – successfully navigate the arduous journey from childhood to manhood.   This set of circumstances has moved Mr. Ola Akinwe, Founder of the Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network (www.bmanadvocacy.org) and Nigeria’s Coordinator for both International Men’s Day observed on November 19th of each year and World Day Of The Boy Child which is observed on May 16th of each year to launch a Prostate Cancer Screening Campaign and to work to establish Prostate Cancer Screening Centers in Lagos and the south west states of Nigeria with the anticipated support of the Prostate Cancer Foundation located in California in the United States   The United States International Men’s Day Team is collaborating with BMAN and the Nigeria International Men’s Day Team on the two-pronged Prostate Cancer Initiative planned by its Nigerian counterpart and BMAN in connection with the observance of 2018 International Men’s Day on 19 November 2018.    Acting as the American point of contact for Nigeria’s International Men’s Day Team, the United States International Men’s Day Team will assist its Nigerian counterpart with identifying partnership opportunities with key stakeholders, raising awareness for prostate cancer in Nigeria, and enhancing the visual identity of the proposed two-pronged Prostate Cancer Initiative utilizing social media.



           “The deaths of Men in our families and communities caused by prostate cancer creates Fatherlessness and a leadership vacuum in our great nation.  We decided to launch the Prostate Cancer Screening Campaign and the proposed establishment of Prostate Cancer Screening Centers in Lagos and southwest states in Nigeria observance of International Men’s Day which will be observed on 19 November 2018 in over 84 nations – including Nigeria.  The Nigerian International Men’s Day Team and the Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network will help to provide preventative health care; create adequate and equal access to critical medical resources and support; and reduce the prostate cancer mortality rate.    Our Prostate Cancer Initiative will benefit everyone.  We are looking forward to forming strategic alliances and partnerships with key stakeholders from the private and public sectors.  The two-pronged Prostate Cancer Initiative we have conceptualized will provide members of the private and public sectors with an excellent opportunity to help save the lives of Men, positively shape the minds and souls of boys – Our Sons – and empower communities and families.   Men who live healthy and long lives strengthen families. Strong families empower communities.  And empowered communities strengthen a nation,” explained Mr. Akinwe.



            To learn more about the Prostate Cancer Screening Campaign and the proposed establishment of Prostate Cancer Screening Centers in Lagos and southwest states in Nigeria and how you can support the two-pronged Prostate Cancer Initiative conceived by the Boys Mentoring Advocacy Network and Nigeria’s International Men’s Day Team, contact Mr. Ola Akinwe by sending an e-mail to: bmanadvocacy@gmail.com or by calling:  +234 802 301 0608.


REMEMBERING 9/11

The United States International Men's Day Team remembers the souls lost on Tuesday, 11 September 2001.  We can all remember whe...