"Taking Off the Mask": Working with School-Age Boys

Start Date/Time:
10/17/17 9:00am
End Date/Time:
10/17/17 12:30pm
The California Endowment - Oakland Conference Center 2000 Franklin Street Oakland, CA 94612
Statewide Event


Participants will experience The Ever Forward Club’s signature workshop, Taking off the Mask, which provides a space for educators to get real about the challenges that they are facing as educators in this work. We believe that there needs to be a shift in our educators and youth workers that will help them deepen their connection to themselves, their teams and the youth they work with.

Moreover, school rarely provides a safe space in which young men can talk about the trials and tribulations of growing up.

SPEAKER: Ashanti Branch is Founder and Executive Director of The Ever Forward Club. Ashanti works to change how young men of color interact with their education and how their schools interact with them. Raised in Oakland by a single mother on welfare, Ashanti left the inner city to study civil engineering at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo. A construction project manager in his first career, his life changed after he tutored struggling students and realized his passion for teaching. In 2004, during Ashanti’s first year teaching high school math, he started The Ever Forward Club to provide support for African American and Latino males who were not achieving to their potential. Since then, Ever Forward has helped all of its more than 150 members graduate from high school, and 93% of them have gone on to attend two- or four-year colleges, military or trade school.

The Ever Forward Club was featured last year in the documentary, “The Mask You Live In,” which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. After completing a fellowship at the Stanford in 2016, Ashanti, stepped away from working for a school district and began working as the Founding Executive Director for Ever Forward-Siempre Adelante, in an effort to grow the organization to serve thousands of Bay Area students. In April 2017, Ashanti was awarded a fellowship from the national organization CBMA - Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: The workshop is primarily for those working directly with youth and will be heartfelt in nature rather than an intellectual note-taking session. The workshop will be open to adults who are already working with young men, want to try to contribute to the community through leadership, or are raising a boy and want to learn how to build a lasting emotional connection.

TRANSPORTATION AND PARKING: The California Endowment is accessible by BART (19th Street, Oakland - use the 20th Street exit). Street and bike parking is available. To view nearby parking lots and for directions, click here.

BREAKFAST: Coffee/tea and pastries will be available in the morning only.

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