As men of color living in America, we are faced with so many struggles like systematic racism and police brutality and living up to societal norms just to name a few. We are all aware of these issues but how do we navigate through a system that wasn’t built for us and rise to the top? To try and answer that question, The Creative Collective NYC, an organization dedicated to facilitating brave spaces for multicultural creatives, held an event entitled Lives of Men at the Gentlemen’s Factory in Brooklyn.
Hosted by Yahoo’s Jason Rosario, a room full of black and brown men gathered to have an open and honest discussion that was free of judgment and discrimination with the intent to better learn each other and to find what ways we can grow as a group. Jason moderated the discussion guiding myself, The Creative Collective NYC’s Community Manager Michael Oloyede and Scotch Porter’s Calvin Quallis through a discussion of toxic masculinity, gender norms, the progression of men of color and more. During the event, everyone had the opportunity to share their opinions, their stances and most importantly their experiences.
The Gentlemen’s Factory, the epicenter for today’s forward-thinking multicultural man, was the perfect place to have the event as it created a safe space for this important fishbowl conversation. Women of color are the prototype. They have learned that there is power in numbers and that they can go so much further together than apart. Everywhere you turn there are various conferences, platforms and networking opportunities geared to supporting these women. For some reason, men of color don’t have many of those same opportunities for them to come together and build. Egos and pride have to be left at the door and unfiltered and unbias conversations like these have to continue to happen in order for men of color to figure out how we can better support one another.
Check out the video and photos from the event below and make sure to follow The Creative Collective NYC to stay up to date on more events like these!