Real Black Men Make a Difference
By Dr. David Caruth
Real Black men make a difference in the lives of our children, and in the lives of women and children other men leave behind. Oftentimes, we can be found behind the scenes, laboring tirelessly to save our youth from each other, and all to often, from the sure grip of mean-spirited adults. Several months ago, I got a call from a friend of mine, Dr. Daanen Strachan, and he asked if I would support his effort to win a contract from Washington, DC’s Mayor, Vincent C. Gray, to help the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services administer the Mayor’s 2013 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP).
The DC SYEP is a locally funded initiative that provides District youth ages 14-21 years old with constructive summer work opportunities through job placement in both the private and government sectors. In addition to the work experiences, DC youth are also provided with exposure to a career fair, financial literacy, careers in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) industries, healthy relationships, and other workshops.
Dr. Strachan was aware of my lifelong journey to help parents and youth break free from the debilitating affects of poverty. After seeing the results of my work in the community, and learning about my new book: God’s Perfect Timing: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Education and Faith, Dr. Strachan held a pretty firm belief that I would support his effort. He won the contract and we have 153 DC youth enrolled in one of the most innovative youth employment programs anywhere in the country.
Helping underprivileged youth is not new to me. For the past 30 years, I have served my community as a father, coach, teacher and mentor. One program that is dear to my heart is the “Fighting Back” drug elimination program for youth who lived in and around Section 8 public housing projects that my brother Richard and I developed. We recognized that children in our community were expressing a need to be heard, feel included, have some control over how they expressed their inner selves, and they desired a sense of affection. Their efforts to draw attention to their needs often got them shot or murdered; and if they were able to escape certain death, many ended up dropping out of school, joining gangs, getting arrested, having babies, and walking headfirst into lives of poverty and crime.
How many times has the Black community raised untold numbers of positive males, who end up burying too many of our children before they reached the age of maturity, let alone their prime? How many times have our children felt trapped by worldviews that were so filled with hopelessness and despair that they were not able see beyond the boundaries of their own neighborhoods? All too often, our children join gangs and kill each other so that they can feel protected going to and from school. Other times, our youth fall victim to overzealous police, or like in the Travon Martin killing, to misguided gun-toting vigilantes like George Zimmerman.
Personally, I know hundreds of Black men and women who, like me, value providing a strong work ethic, transformative education, and Christian values for our youth. I know sometimes we are hard to find. Many of us do not seek to draw attention to ourselves, and other times, certain elements in the media do not value our ideas, or cannot find a way to profit by reporting on the work that we do.
Regardless of the challenges we face, I encourage you to look for my weekly column on the Black Men In America.com web site and blog. My goal is to keep you informed of positive happenings from forward thinking people like me, and my colleagues from across the country, and around the world. Our mission is to help individuals break the cycle of poverty through an understanding of spiritual growth, educational transformation, and God’s Perfect Timing Ministries. Simply put, we envision a world without poverty and have dedicated ourselves to helping millions of families that feel trapped by conditions of life break the cycles of poverty.
Dr. David Caruth, founder and President of God’s Perfect Timing Ministries is man of God and author of the book, God’s Perfect Timing: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty with Education and Faith. Dr. Caruth is a career educator, with more than twenty years of higher education experience. Prior to moving to Washington DC to help provide education to the poor and under privileged residents of the District of Columbia, Dr. Caruth served as the Executive Director and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the National Center for Professional Development Solutions, in Denver Colorado, where he oversaw Center operations, hired and supervised faculty and staff, developed and gained approval for all academic courses. He also taught graduate level courses in Instructional Technology, Diversity & Motivation, Grant Writing, Transformative Learning Theory, Portfolio Development and Personalized Learning Plans.
Dr. Caruth is an experienced inspirational speaker, motivator, coach, mentor and father. He is also has expertise as a college professor having taught Research Methods for Non-profit Organizations at Regis University and Action Research at Lesley University, both at the graduate level, as well as undergraduate courses at the University of Wyoming, and The Metropolitan State College of Denver where he served as a full-time faculty in the African American Studies department.