BLACK MEN AND BOYS ARE ASSETS TO THEIR COMMUNITIES AND OUR COUNTRY. As a nation we cannot truly prosper when any group of people is left behind and forced to exist on the fringes of society. We know that the well-being of Black Men and boys has a direct influence on the strength of their families, communities and our nation as a whole. Our communities will only prosper if all of us, including Black men and boys, can succeed and reach our full potential.. (Excerpts from the CBMA Rumble Report).
Sigma Community Enrichment Initiative (SCEI) is a New Jersey 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization that provides youth and young adults with strong enduring professional services that will change their lives for the better. We believe that in order to reverse the negative stereotypes associated with Black boys we have to teach them academically, socially, and emotionally. Because of our belief we spend countless hours nurturing the potential of every young man in our program. The Young Men’s Empowerment Conference has become the preeminent gathering of middle school and high school young men across the state of New Jersey. The goal of the conference is to improve the outcome of Young Men of Color in the areas of education, understanding the criminal justice system, and capacity building so they can manifest their destiny and become successful contributing members of society.
The conference also combats the countless negative stereotypes associated with Young Men of Color by providing concrete resources related to real barriers that interfere with building successful futures. Today we have over 100 men from the community who have volunteered to support our young men and serve as Mentors for the day. In an effort to bring this initiative to scale SCEI has partnered with the following organizations to broaden our collective impact on the community:
- The Newark Mentoring Movement (NMM). NMM is a Newark based 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization that coordinates a network of mentoring programs that serve youth in Newark. NMM’s goal is to increase both the number of youth served through mentoring in Newark and the quality of those services. The organization launches and supports programs, shares resources and learning, pilots innovating models, recruit’s mentors, builds community, and tracks progress in the Newark mentoring field.
2. The Rutgers New Jersey Medical School’s Office for Diversity and Community Engagement is an extension of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Their goal is to develop underrepresented individuals in medicine and other health professions. They also develop cultural competencies in youth through workshops, community service, and humanism in all aspects of medical education.
3. Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. – Chi Sigma Alumni Chapter – this chapter was chartered in 1923 in Newark, NJ by the late Dr. Thomas Wright who was then the leading African American physician in the city of Newark. The fraternities Motto is, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity”. Since its inception Chi Sigma chapter has met the needs of the community by providing hot meals, clothing, toys, and over $75,000 in scholarships to deserving college-bound high school seniors. Chi Sigma chapter has the largest Mentoring program (known as the “Sigma Beta Club”) in the entire fraternity, including active Male Mentoring programs in the city of Newark located at Rutgers NJ Medical School and West Side High School, in Irvington at Irvington High School, in Roselle at Abraham Clark High School, and in Plainfield at Stillman Elementary School and Plainfield High School.
This is the third year of collaboration for this event, but the work goes far beyond this annual conference. This event rests on and supports long-term mentoring relationships between young men and successful men of color from the community. We would like to thank the following professionals for volunteering their time for this event:
The Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity – Chi Sigma Alumni Chapter, Brothers Will Worley, Nigel Coelho Hamilton, Bernard Hamilton, John Brewington Ron Rivera of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Chike “Entrepreneur Coach” Uzoka, Dr. Tyree Winters, Nicholas Ramjattan, Jayked Acosta and Saul Bautista from the Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School.
SCEI partners with the Chi Sigma Alumni Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.and underwrites the activities of their Sigma Beta Clubs (SBCs) across Northern New Jersey. SCEI currently runs a club at South 17th St. and West Side High School in the West Ward of Newark, connecting boys with members of our fraternity to build relationships that last through middle school, high school, and beyond. Our mentoring program focuses on develop positive values, leadership skills, and cultural awareness in Young Men of Color during the formative years of their growth and development. For more information on SCEI or any of the partnering organizations, please see below:
Jenabu C. Williams, MPA
Executive Director, Sigma Community Enrichment Initiative
Executive Director, Newark Mentoring Movement
Mentor Recruitment link: www.newarkmentoring.org/submit-your-profile
Mercedes Padilla-Register, M.A.
SMART and SYSP Program Administrator
Office for Diversity and Community Engagement
New Jersey Medical School
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
President, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.
Chi Sigma Alumni Chapter
P.O. Box 158 Orange, NJ 07501
“HE WHO IS NOT COURAGEOUS ENOUGH TO TAKE RISK WILL ACCOMPLISH NOTHING IN LIFE…” MUHAMMAD ALI