STOKED x Boys of Color

About a year ago, I got accepted into the PASE – Boys of Color Protective Practice program. The mission was to train employees to make them more intentional about protecting the Boys of Color in their programs. Valete, College and Career Coach at STOKED, attended the sessions as well and became instrumental in implementing and passing along the information we learned. We discussed the differences between being “color blind” and “color brave”, as well as the issues that may arise by being “color blind”. Color brave is confronting race and acknowledging the differences that exist instead of trying to overlook them. Throughout the 9 months, we read numerous of articles, shared information on our group forum, reviewed TED talks and met with people from other organizations to exchange ideas.

The trainings have been a valuable piece in our planning because 70% of our male students, are boys of color. It allowed me to reflect on all of the opportunities we provide and feel confident that we are providing life altering engagement. This reflection also helped me brainstorm different ways to make sure that we are making sure our boys are being put in the best position to succeed. The instructor, Eddie Fergus, made everyone feel comfortable and he created a safe space for us to vocalize our opinions. He also didn’t condemn the ideas that everyone shared.

In conclusion, PASE has made me a better manager, employee and overall better person. It inspired me to be intentional and more outspoken when it comes to what our students need. Valete’s attendance in the program provided insight that is needed amongst our coaches and the impact is reflected by the way he runs his current cohort. I’m grateful to have been apart of this and we will continue to make sure our programs are creating an environment that protects who we are serving.


You can watch the PASE Boys of Color Practitioner Panel: Translating Research to Practice here.

To learn more about PASE click here.

Words by: Romney Lewis

Kelsey Kreiling