The BeMore Campaign knows that Black M.E.N. C.A.N be the solution. BeMore has become the front runners in increasing healthy, nonviolent relationships, decreasing teen dating violence, and engaging men and young men to end violence against women and girls inside of homes and in communities around the world.
The pledge goes hand in hand with three principles of change adopted by BeMore that entail skills development, leadership development and community solutions. This internationally known campaign was developed by Sam Simmons, SAFE families manager at Family Partnership, as a culturally competent model to facilitate African American men speaking with African American young men.
Simmons also noted that “The pledge is meant to put a positive public face on men dealing with domestic violence and help them consciously engage in the solution, consciously think about it.” The pledge is memorized by every employee and all members within the BeMore Campaign. The purpose is that each staff member and every person involved with BeMore can consistently be reminded to display those qualities that show M.E.N. C.A.N.
Therefore, the pledge begins, “I pledge to… Model the role Black men can take to break the cycle of violence against women and children. Engage other Black men and boys to develop violence-free lives. Nurture Black young men and boys to create communities free of gender violence. Challenge violent and abusive behaviors in whatever forms they take. Advance behaviors and beliefs that promote healthy and safe relationships. Never engage in dating violence.”
You can feel and see the change in our members, their homes and their communities when they have committed to say the pledge every day. This pledge drives BeMore to not stop this campaign until every Black man has the knowledge of these six values and it is being passed down from generation to generation.
Come to our office and pick up a form, or go to our website and print off our form, and make the pledge. Show everyone in the world that Black M.E.N. C.A.N. be the solution.
Along with the BeMore Pledge, the BeMore Campaign utilizes a film called I Am the Face of Domestic Violence. This short film shows how abuse commonly comes at the hand of someone, perhaps in broad daylight, letting a small thing such as jealously get so out of hand that the individual assaults his partner during what should’ve been no more than a minor misunderstanding.
As viewers have noted, “The DVD is a helpful tool in the groups because it provides a scenario that the young people can relate to. It also gives us examples to refer to instead of just speaking at the groups. Many of us are visual learners nowadays, so we are generally able to spark a conversation about what a healthy relationship looks like based on viewing the DVD.”
Also referring to how the BeMore Campaign can impact the youth of our community, BeMore has started to increase its involvement on social media. Willie Roller III, mentor and media coordinator of BeMore Campaign, states, “Social media came a long way from just a website that was only accessible on a desktop or a laptop computer. Now it has become accessible within an individual’s hands at any given time of the day to where an individual is able to receive notifications about any topic on a 24/7 basis.
“Someone might think that is a downfall of the next generation, but BeMore sees it as an opportunity to build a platform to start the conversation of domestic violence within the community, within a realm that makes the youth feel more comfortable talking about domestic violence. Therefore, BeMore is in the process of creating a social media marketing strategy plan that gets our youth more involved in the conversation of building a domestic violence-free community.”
Simmons adds, “It’s a great conversation starter, because we have an idea where young men’s heads are at with regard to relationships. It works well. It’s short. And it has folks that look like them. Folks they can relate to. It works great in the community, especially when you’re working with young people and let them talk.”
So if you have time in your busy day, go to your Facebook or Twitter and like or follow our pages. You can even just search #BeMore, #BlackMenCan, and #BeTheSolution and check out the work BeMore does to make our community a 100 percent domestic violence-free zone.
Also, don’t forget to print and sign the pledge and drop it off or email it to Willie Roller III, whose contact information is provided below. Thank you very much for reading this article, and watch for the next one where we will be talking about the importance of Modeling and the role that Black men can take to break the cycle of violence against women and children.
For more information about the Pledge Campaign or BeMore, contact Willie Roller III, BeMore mentor project coordinator, at 612-728 2056 or WRoller@thefamilypartnership.org.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-CY-AX-K023 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.