SESSION 4: Ashanti Branch M.Ed. |What’s Behind Your Child’s Mask?: Creating a Safe Space for Boys
In his talk, Ashanti Branch drills to the heart of the human experience that we can all relate with - not feeling seen, valued, or understood. He understands the challenges kids of color, often young boys, as well as many of our bright and quirky kids face when they are viewed from a deficit lens. He shares tools, strategies, exercises, and community involvement ideas that all aim to:
- Get even your most shut down or reluctant kids to open up
- Increase self-awareness and self-acceptance
- Get them more involved in things they are interested in
- Elevate strengths and naturally raise self-confidence
- Find their path and become alive!
Ashanti Branch 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.
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