Attendees of all ages, including middle school, high school and young adults, were on hand this past Saturday to attend the 4th Annual “Smart’n Up” Black Male Summit. For the past four years, Brother Deric Muhammad has partnered with Lone Star College North Harris to put on the summit. Several hundred young Black males, professionals and other Black males of all ages and backgrounds were on hand to take part in this powerful summit that continues to make a difference in the lives of every attendee that has partaken of it.
“Last year, this young brother came to the summit looking to be inspired by a word and ended up finding a job,” said Muhammad. “One of the adult Black males who also came to the conference met this young brother and not only did he hire him, this young brother learned a new trade in the process. His life was changed by this experience and that’s what this summit is all about.”
Women, especially single moms were encouraged to bring their sons and the entire summit was free of charge to the entire Greater Houston community. Muhammad named the summit “Smart’n Up” because he believed that Black males had to be taught to make more intelligent decisions in life to fulfill their destiny and purpose in life.
The summit was held from 10 am to 2 pm and was full of powerful workshops and interactive empowerment sessions. This year, the summit opened up by discussing redirecting “The Spirit of Competition” within Black Males. The various workshops, which were labeled “FireWorkShops,” and they dealt with real-life, relatable issues that are not taught in traditional school settings, but affect the Black community daily. Powerful messages from speakers like Reginald Gordon of Operation Outreach OG1, addressed the challenges of being a Black male in society, while providing insight and tools to overcome those challenges.
“Young people need to see more positive Black male images,” said Muhammad. “Everybody wants to make a difference in their community and attending this year’s Black male summit gave them that opportunity.”
Every attendee was challenged to help support various organizations that encourage young Black male mentorship and help address the violence in the community. Muhammad is excited about the progress of the summit and is already looking forward to next year and hearing stories like the ones he received at this year’s summit.