As April brings a sense of renewal, rebirth and hope into our hearts and minds, we are excited to share with you glimpses into some of our own courses on renewal and transformation. From 15 years of Annual Gatherings, to a deep dive into our Rites of Passage courses, COSEBOC’s mission of enhancing the social, emotional and academic lives of boys and young men of color grows in deep and sustaining ways.
Voices from our own internal thought leaders
In our recent Conversation with Thought Leaders, our colleague, Dr. Deidre Farmbry, engaged several of our own internal thought leaders – Ron Walker, Kamau Ptah, and Timothy Jones – in a nourishing conversation about two of our innovative professional learning programs: D.R.U.M. and Footprints and Footsteps. The event was well attended, engaging, and, true to COSEBOC’s spirit, uplifting of the hopes and spirits of participants. Enjoy these video highlights! 
Ron Walker on what is the same and what is new at COSEBOC
Ron Walker, Founder and Executive Director, speaks about the evolution of COSEBOC from its signature Annual Gatherings (prior to the pandemic) to the development of Rites of Passage courses for educators and facilitators working with boys and young men of color. Ron shares why these courses address the needs, trauma and pain residing in young men of color.
Imagine there was a Cypher with an MC named “yourself!”
Timothy Jones, designer/developer/facilitator of Footprints and Footsteps, shares how the course takes us on a journey to the great words of our luminaries as footprints. And as we step into those footprints, we learn the power of our voice, and we in turn leave footsteps for our young men to then see as footprints.
Discovering Rituals, Understanding Manhood (D.R.U.M.)
Kamau Ptah is co-designer/developer/facilitator of the D.R.U.M. course. Here he speaks about how this course, which is designed for adult men of color, is a Rite of Passage for facilitators to learn the skills to conceptualize and design their own Rites of Passage programs for the boys and young men they serve within their own community.
In the News
Persistence, Preservation and Preparation: Why COSEBOC Prioritizes the Social–Emotional Learning of Young Black Men
In this insightful interview, Ron Walker shares why COSEBOC prioritizes the social–emotional learning of young Black men. There are a number of recent initiatives focused on the health and well-being of students, especially students from racially and linguistically diverse communities. Ron reminds us that the social–emotional needs of students must be addressed while also focusing on academics.
COSEBOC Partners & Supporters
The annual HipHopEd Conference is a unique event that brings together educators, school leaders, students, and community members to explore the intersection between hip-hop and education. 
In Celebration of National Poetry Month

As we end this month’s eNews, we would like to also honor April as National Poetry Month, and acknowledge the integral role of poets and poetry (past and present) in our culture. For COSEBOC, the Langston Hughes poem “Mother to Son” represents legacy, persistence, and preparation, which are fundamental values of our mission to advance the social, emotional and academic development of boys and young men of color. It also has personal significance for our Founder, Ron, because his childhood was filled with these words, spoken to him by his mother. Informed by his mother’s spirit of giving and endless encouragement, Ron is currently completing his next book, Delores’s Dream: Delayed but Not Denied.

Mother to Son
By Langston Hughes

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Also read on Poetry Foundation
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