Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

April 23, 2014

Program works to make men

VALDOSTA — The idea is to change patterns. The idea is to create a community of adults. A community of men.

So, this weekend, the Let Us Make Man program opens in Valdosta.

“As black men who work every day in various capacities to serve the community for the greater good of humanity, we’ve come to the conclusion that our efforts are best served by uniting and working to provide an opportunity to educate the community on those areas that are critical to the black family, and ultimately, to our survival,” note state Rep. Dexter Sharper and Derrick Boazman, LUMM convener.

Sharper said in a recent interview, “Young, black boys need mentors. They need guidance.”

The idea behind LUMM is to open young minds to positive possibilities for their lives and futures, to give young men a foundation upon which to build. Sharper shares the example that if a young person is interested in becoming a doctor, introduce him to a doctor; if interested in being an attorney, introduce him to an attorney; if interested in being a member of the House of Representatives, Sharper is ready to meet that young person. Or offer the idea of several possibilities.

The Let Us Make Man gathering will include numerous workshops designed to demonstrate to adults how they can participate and use their skills to the best advantage of helping others. For young people, the gathering offers the introduction of a better life.

Scheduled workshops include Law and Black Society; Conflict Resolution; Making the Modern Family Work; Recognizing the Genius in Black Youth; What’s Next?: College, Career or Trade; Let’s Talk: Understanding Mental Health Issues; Mentoring; Gangs, Cliques and Crews; The Art of Community Organizing; Social Media & Beyond: Tech Knowledge for Youth.

The LUMM Gathering is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, Valdosta State University campus. More information or to register for the Let Us Make Man gathering, visit; or call (877) 538-1626.

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