Charismatic African-American boxer Jay “The Sport” Jackson has a burning desire to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But it’s 1905, and in the racially segregated world of boxing, his chances are as good as being knocked out. When a crooked boxing promoter hatches a plan for “the fight of the century,” “The Sport” just might land a place in the ring with the reigning white heavyweight champion. This stylized and stunning play about the life of an outsider in American culture explores one man’s struggle while reflecting a much broader one.
“…(a) breakthrough saga for a new generation.” –Los Angeles Times
“….captures both the beautiful frenzy of boxing and the volatile state of race relations in America.” – The Telegraph
Recently 13 teens in the Men in the Making program took a four-day trip to Tallahassee for a tour that included visits to Florida A& M University, Florida State University, State Capital Building and other historic sites. The young men were also introduced to culinary options, budgeting, and nature during the bus ride through historic “Old Florida” along Highway 27.
Men in the Making is a progressive initiative for students ages 8 to 18 promoting success in school and life. The primary purpose of MIM is to provide lifelong learning and enrichment for minority teens throughout Pinellas County with emphasis on critical thinking, public speaking, problem-solving, and community service.
Men in the Making was established with the support of volunteer law enforcement officers, clergy, coaches, businessmen, and students who serve as strong peer models. The St. Petersburg Police department offers strong leadership and support to this program. More than half of the group’s 20 active role models are from local law enforcement.
An amazing day Saturday at the Men In The Making 2017 Rite Of Passage. Congratulations to all of the mentees and our graduating seniors. Young Men In The Making have a wonderful summer and continue making the “Right Choices”. Thank you to all of our mentors and sponsors. Stay tuned for our short film highlight which embodies the soul and goal of our program.
Our Keynote Speaker – Kevin Merida
Kevin Merida joined ESPN in November 2015 as senior vice president and editor-in-chief of “The Undefeated,” ESPN’s media platform that explores the intersections of race, sports, and culture. He is responsible for the site’s editorial direction, tone and policies, and provides oversight and strategy leadership for key initiatives of “The Undefeated.”
Prior to ESPN, Merida served as The Washington Post’s managing editor for news, features and The Post’s Universal News Desk since 2013. In that role, he helped lead The Post’s digital transformation that has resulted in one of the largest increases in audience growth of any media outlet in the country over the last two years. Merida is the first African American to hold a managing editor position at The Post. During his tenure, The Post won three Pulitzer Prizes.
The Washington Post hired Merida in 1993 as a Congressional correspondent and national political writer. His responsibilities then grew and became more varied: feature writer, magazine columnist, associate editor, and national editor.
Merida has co-authored two books: “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas” with Michael Fletcher; and “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs” with Deborah Willis.
In 2006, Merida served as coordinating editor for the award-winning series “Being a Black Man,” which explored the lives of black men in America through in-depth reporting of their unique but shared experiences. The yearlong series by The Post was anthologized in a 2007 book Merida edited – “Being a Black Man: At the Corner of Progress and Peril.”
Merida graduated from Boston University with a journalism degree in 1979. He attended the University of California at Berkeley before starting his career at The Milwaukee Journal. From 1983-1993, he worked for The Dallas Morning News.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Merida was raised in the Washington, D.C. metro area. His 10th grade class in 1973 was the first to go through busing in Maryland’s Prince George’s County school district – an experience he captured 25 years later in a personal essay, “Where That Bus Ride Took Me.”
Merida, who resides in Washington, D.C. area, is married to author Donna Britt.• https://theundefeated.com/
History helps us understand change and how our society came to be. The past causes the present, and therefore it also colors the future. Only through history can we begin to comprehend the factors that cause change; and only through history can we understand what elements of an institution or a society persist despite change.
This Saturday MIM reflected on why History matters: “A Civil Rights Story.” We also looked forward to the future by taking a scientific sampling of our young men’s interests. Using this data to usher them in a direction of possible career and life paths.
It’s that time again. After having a delicious breakfast at the Allstate Center we gathered to be fitted for our graduation tuxedos. Mr. Ron Sacino himself arrived dressed to perfection. Like a true tailor, Mr. Sacino took each young man’s measurements and counseled them in all matters of style. Following the fitting, the group traveled to Gratzzi Italian Grille and enjoyed a delicious lunch as they conversed amongst their peers. It was a good day to be a Man In The Making.
The highlight of the February Men In The Making Session appeared when the mentors took the time to show the young men the simple act of tying a tie. This simple gesture served as a symbolic rite of passage that many sons experience with their fathers. There are several pieces of literature that point out the symbolism in every aspect of one’s tie. Passing on this tradition and skill to the younger members of the group was an important totem in the thread of trust being sewn in the program.
Congratulations Tramar!!! Thank you Gill, Matt, Luke, John, Klev, and Rob for taking the time to show this amazing young man support. We have all watched Tramar grow into an inspiring young man with a bright future ahead of him. We are all proud of you and seeing a member of MIM sign with Indiana University, fulfilling a dream of playing college football, confirms not only our but your dedication to the Men In The Making mission.
No matter where you are, we will all be here to promote your continued success.
Earlier this month several of the Men In The Making family starred on stage at the Sounds of the Civil Rights Movement at the Palladium, St Petersburg. Thank you to several of St. Petersburg’s finest for coming out and supporting this production.
The Power of Song shares the stories of the music that drove the movement and how music can be used as a tool of nonviolence. The production is the official kick-off event of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Diamonds Are Forever, Life Is Irreplaceable! Julie Weintraub of the Gold & Diamond Source came in and gave an interesting summation on women and choices. Our very own, Boyzell Hosey, provided a visually stimulating address on capturing moments in time, “the world we view”. Starting off 2017 strong with a full room of young men ready to learn and grow under the watchful eyes of their mentors.