STOCKTON, CA – Fathers and Families of San Joaquin hosted, “The Boys and Men of Color Summit” at the University of the Pacific on Friday, April 20th.
“We need the elders in the community to speak up again about the true traditions, the true values and aspects of what it means to be a man,” said award-winning author and noted speaker, Jerry Tello. “Many of these young boys today think that being a man means drinking, having women, fighting, being violent; they have no idea what the true sense of being an honorable man means.”
The summit continued with a panel presentation from George Galvis from Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice and Michael Tubbs from the Phoenix Scholars, who is also a candidate for Stockton City Council District 6. The presentations focused on how communities can partner to improve the future of our youth.
“Each one of us needs to organize in the community and with our friends; no one has a connection to your neighborhood like you do,” said Tubbs. “There is a war out in the streets—58 homicides in Stockton last year; boys and men of color are dying and if we don’t change it, no one is going to.”
Galvis encouraged the youth in the audience to live with joy, humor, and love and to forget about the old saying that a man is not supposed to cry, because crying can be used as a healing method and an emotion release.
“If you keep all the pain inside you, pain becomes anger, anger becomes rage, and rage becomes violence,” says Galvis.
The summit concluded with the presentation “One Drum, One Nation; the drum as a tool towards healing” by Tello and Dr. Sal Nunez.
“Every culture has their drums, the drum is symbolic of your mother’s heartbeat, is part of our healing, drums bring resonance, it can calm your spirit and [keep] your anxiety down, “said Tello.