Tag Archives: Black Men

01Jan/19
That Suits You

That Suits You has Suited 8000 Black Men For Success

That Suits YouFirst impressions can be vital in this life and have a major influence on our journey in the career world. We live during a time when individuals are judged on the basis of their outward appearance, especially young Black men, which is why it is important that we are given tools to break any stereotypes and show our talents. That Suits You does just that — provides information, training, and clothing to Black boys and men to increase their odds of success.

That Suits You is a Black-owned organization based in Brooklyn, NY that focuses on not only providing suits for Black men from high school students to the elderly but gives them the training and tools required to compete in the fields of their choosing. I had the opportunity to speak with Brooklyn native and brainchild of the That Suits You organization, PK Kearsy, to receive more insight about the program.

Dapper Dr. Feel: How did That Suits You originate?

PK Kearsy:  That Suits You formed while I worked as a manager for the Department of Motor Vehicles. It was there that I noticed that some of the young men that I interviewed were not dressed properly and they didn’t have the tools needed to give an impressionable job interview. After doing these interviews for so long and seeing so many men not get hired, I wanted to do something about it. I started working with my brother, Jamel Thompson.

With his 12 years of experience in banking and my experience working with the government, we decided to put our resources to good use. We started to get our old suits and prepared young men for their job interviews. As a result, they started getting hired and developing more self-confidence and positive changes started to occur.

DDF: What do young men have to look forward to when entering the program?

PKK: We have a workshop called Choices where we focus on change, habits, options, image, communication, and effort which all equal success. We talk about networking, relationships, interviewing, social media, building solid relationships and not just using people on their resources. We talk about anger issues and how to manage them because some of these young men have anger issues that hinder their overall growth so we help with that.

That Suits You

DDF: What impact has the organization had and how long has it been helping the community?

PKK: We started in 2013 and so far we have helped over 8,000 men. We have seen them get jobs, develop important/professional relationships. We have made many connections and relationships as we continue to meet our goals. We have great working relationships with HBO, New York City government, Verizon, Red Bull, Via Comm, Banana Republic and many more organizations that have community outreach.

We teach a lot about self-building in these classes that many of the young men thank us for. We teach about the 7/11 rule where within the first seven seconds of meeting a person, we develop 11 judgments about what we see and those judgments don’t even have to be true.

DDF: Have the men you’ve helped come back to be apart of the program or volunteer?

PKK: A good number of them come back to help out providing mentorship or to volunteer. We had a special event, Fundraising February, where a few guys came out and spoke about their progress. It’s really been a blessing to see the cycle, to see what men do after they receive help, to see them take the lessons and blessings they have received and to pass them on to someone else.  We love to work with the guys that have been through our program because they understand the process.

DDF: What are the goals for That Suits You?

PKK:  The short-term goal for That Suits You is to continue to get our book out, Suited For Success. The book has about 25 Black authors and what it took for them to succeed in whatever field they are in (Television, Doctor, Fireman, etc.). Some of these men have had terrible beginnings but have had much success. We want to get the book out and continue to have it within our program for the men in the program to read.

Our long-term goal is to continue to build and form relationships with other organizations. We just formed a relationship with an organization, Dress for Success: Worldwide. We want to learn from them and model them since they are doing so well for women. We want to do the same on the men side. Our goal is to grow and expand, taking our organization from New York to all over the country.

That Suits You

DDF: What is the age range of the men that you help?

PKK: Originally we started with men coming home from prison, that age range is 18 and up. Then we gained a partnership with AARP so we started working with men that were at least 60 years old. Then we wanted to be more proactive with youth so then we went on to help juniors and seniors in high school. Next, we decided to go even younger and help middle school boys. Teaching them to tie ties and providing them with information, even though we don’t have suits for them yet. Sometimes we participate in Career Day in grade schools.

We are also helping men in homeless shelters and provide our services there. They may be living in a homeless shelter but have job interviews coming up. We noticed there are a lot of men living in these homeless shelters. Some of these men may have children that may be around or even in the shelter with them, so it’s important that we help them. When you can empower a man and teach him, not just tell him, suit him up and give him something, it does wonders to his self-confidence. These are the things that can help push him to success.

That Suits You is continuing to grow but looking to connect and form partnerships with other organizations. If you are looking help or become part of the That Suits You movement, email [email protected] or they be contacted here. For more information, visit their website, ThatSuitsYou.org.

That Suits You

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15May/17
Black man Chance

Because You Need Black Men on Your Timeline

If our #MustLoveBeards series taught the internet anything, it’s that we love Black men. Blue collar Black men, creative Black men, Black men climbing the corporate ladder, Black men taking care of their families, activist Black men, and poetic Black men all have a place in our hearts.

This week, for #MCM we decided to bless your timeline with 3 Black men doing great things.

RASHID CAMPBELL – OAKLBlack menAND, CA

This 25 year old Oakland activist and father leads a youth program dedicated to supporting youth of color in the Bay area. He teaches students about how to incorporate history from the African Diaspora into their everyday lives. Rashid completed his studies at Oklahoma State University on a debate scholarship and he won top speaker at the National College Debate Tournament. His peers admire the way he talks about the importance of Black love in our community. His students are grateful to have a coach who is so dedicated to helping them be successful. Long hours and frequent trips across the country take up a lot of his time, but it seems to be worth it when you look at his track record and the passion he has for young Black students and their success.

CHANCE THE RAPPER – CHICAGO, IL

Who doesn’t know Chance the Rapper at this point? This Black man is gifted, philanthropically inBlack man Chanceclined, and charming. The Chicago native often speaks of his commitment to family and Christianity in a way most rappers don’t.  His powerful verse on Kanye West’s ‘Ultralight Beam’ shows just how talented he really is. Chance the Rapper has an uncanny ability to walk the line being humble and confident. We love the way he navigates his fame.

Chance is also beautifully flawed. On multiple occasions, he discusses mental health, addiction, and self love. While most people, no matter their level of fame, tend to shy away from personal flaws or mistakes they’ve made, he puts his history on display for the world to see. He made hip hop history at the last Grammy Awards show and will surely continue to impress. Beyond his professional accolades, he continues to offer his music to fans for free and has devoted over $1 million of his own money to youth development programs that benefit children in Chicago. All we want to know now is who he is referring to when he says that his “ex looking back like a pillar of salt”.

JUDGE OLU STEVENS – LOUISVILLE, KY

Becoming a judge is no easy task. First, you have to earn a college degree. Next, you need to get a decent LSAT score. Next, you have to actually get into law school and become a good attorney. Only then can a person attain a spot on the bench. Judge Olu Stevens graduated from the prestigious Morehouse College, then went on the complete his juris doctoraBlack man judgete at George Washington University Law School. He was a circuit court judge for the 30th Judicial Circuit in Jefferson County (Louisville, Kentucky).

Judge Olu Stevens did something that most professionals wouldn’t dare do–he put his career on the line to stand up against white supremacy. Specifically, Judge Olu Stevens denied all-white juries from taking over his courtroom. It was a bold move and we appreciate him for the stance he took against racism. Of course, no one is perfect. Though mainstream media outlets have accused him of being a reverse-racist, his act was meaningful. Judge Olu Stevens, we applaud your efforts!

Much love to all the Black men out there walking in their purpose. We appreciate you all and we are happy to see you shine!