Black Men Smile™ shares Vision with Young Kings in Atlanta

Witnessing young leaders dedicate themselves to positive civic engagement and the social-emotional development of our youth is something that gives us much joy. Feven Laine and Davion Colbert are two great examples of educators who have committed their efforts to the cause. A few weeks ago, we had the honor of assisting the two of them during a mini workshop at King Middle. In the spirit of a communal approach, we engaged the members of the YOUNG KINGS male empowerment program with various activities, among the most revealing were the creation of vision boards and an affirmation exercise. The love, respect and acknowledge of self as well as thy brother was evident within the room. We’re grateful to have joined in such a precious and intimate moment amongst our boys. Feven and Davion, on behalf of Black Men Smile and the larger community, we want to say thank you for challenging these YOUNG KINGS to celebrate and further evolve the way they see themselves. Because of you, they will be the change that we all seek!

With sincerity,

Black Men Smile


Young Kings is a rites of passage course designed to nurture middle school boys’ voices and invest in their visions. Over the course of the semester, students will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; during each meeting they will engage in discussions, activities and reflections that focus on an array of themes including self-exploration & discovery, community building, nonviolent communication, creative expression, collaborative leadership, community service and self-love. Students will be encouraged to express themselves through a variety of mediums, ultimately developing vision boards and action plans for their life paths. Additionally, a mentorship component allows students to develop bonds with other young men interested in exploring and discussing the topics covered in this program. The Young Kings will emerge from the course with greater understandings of themselves, community, service and conflict resolution.

Fall 2016, Feven Laine and Davion Ziere developed the rites of passage to engage a group of sixteen 6th grade boys at King Middle School during the Spring 2017 semester.