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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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DUBUQUE BLACK MEN COALITION

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Photo courtesy: Black Men Coalition

DUBUQUE BLACK MEN COALITION. In 2015 the Black Men Coalition was an ad hoc group that began meeting to promote networking among new professional black arrivals in Dubuque. The members soon recognized a lack of connection between Dubuque's black professionals and the young black men of the community. This was referred to by Andre Lessears, the city of Dubuque's Training and Workforce Development coordinator and member of the Coalition as Dubuque having "a black population, but not a black community." Because they did not connect, black youth continued to identify with the larger urban areas which they had left and where they possibly had family. (1)

Members of the coalition formed teams to meet regularly with black students at both high schools. Teams of three men met with approximately twenty students. (2)

The goal of the Manhood Project, supported by the Coalition and the March of Dimes, offered role models and advice to teen boys in the Tri-States. The program aimed to teach teens how to create a sense of empowerment, self-esteem, and combat ignorance while providing motivation to change behavior in a healthy way. Some of the students involved might or might not have been exposed to adults, positive adults, male role models in their lives. The groups aimed to have them hear from those voices is a very positive manner. (3)

In 2014 the Coalition received a 365 Award in the field of Youth Advocacy. (4)

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Source:

1. Nevans-Pederson, Mary. "Building a Black 'Community.'" Telegraph Herald, March 29, 2012.

2. Ibid.

3. 365 Awards. Online. http://www.dubuque365.com/ArticleDetailsPage/tabid/65/ArticleID/665/365-Impact-Awards.aspx

4. Ibid.