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Health Equity Forum: Community Spotlight – May 2016

Failing System: Empowering and Transforming Men and Boys of Color Through Life Coaching 

By Gaylon Logan, CEO, Village-Connect Inc.

By the time a boy of color enters the 3rd grade, the criminal justice system has determined the number of beds needed to remove him from society. One can argue that actually two institutions fail this child before they come in contact with this highly effective and efficient system: the institutions of family and education.

The family unit is and should be the first place of education for all children. This is where a cultural foundation is developed that instills a sense of “Who am I? Who do I belong to?” “What is my purpose? What are my core values?” and “What principles guide my behavior?” This sets the stage for success in an educational system that has historically failed to address the unique cultural and socio-economic needs of this group of young boys. 

Village-Connect’s (VC) mission is to build the capacity of people to become more self-aware and self-directed resulting in sustainable positive transformation. VC employs an innovative life-coaching model, Culture Based Transformative Coaching (CBTC), a model that employs motivational interviewing and aggressive outreach/engagement to expose a support system which may not be recognized by the client. CBTC is rooted in developing cultural and communal awareness as a means of making personal transformation more sustainable, relevant, and promising, and integrates the success of coaching with an understanding of the importance of culture, identity, and community peer networking.

Life coaching is slowly becoming recognized as an effective tool in reaching hard-to-groups such as low-income communities of color. Statistics show that no group is as hard to reach as boys and men of color. CBTC guides clients through a process that identifies an individual/group’s purpose, guiding principles, core values, and natural talents that serves as the journey towards a transformative change that is initiated from within and not just another external process that tells you what to do.

VC has become a popular community-based go-to partner in manhood/fatherhood development, workforce development, and school-based cultural change. Our partnerships include San Francisco Bay Area schools, social services, probation departments, and community organizations. Since its inception in 2009, VC has provided customized, cultural, and gender-specific individual, group, and family life coaching, workshops, and training services for more than 800 boys, men, families, educators, and service providers.

Additionally, each month, the community is invited to attend and participate in Human Sustainability Groups, a self-reliant fellowship of men, women, and youth coming together for healing and self-development through interactive processes, networking, and education. The group provides leadership and excellence that ignites and transforms the community. To date, VC has conducted over 300 Human Sustainability Groups in the greater Bay Area for more than 1,500 attendees.

We strongly believe that real and sustainable change happens from within and life coaching is one of the most effective ways to “animate” innate greatness. However, for change to last, an association with others is paramount to the optimal development of the self, family, and community.

For more information, call (510) 564-4240 or visit www.village-connect.org