By Matt Cosper
February 18, 2018
The Males Place, a mentoring program based in Charlotte’s west side, has been changing lives for over 25 years. Under the leadership of Baba Reggie Singleton, the program has evolved from a run of the mill reproductive health clinic into “A Guided Journey Into Manhood.” Over 3,000 young “warriors” have been impacted by the program through participation in service projects, learning history and philosophy lessons, and planting and harvesting a community garden.
The program’s community based work is complemented by a global perspective. In 2010 The Males Place sent nine people to Ghana. The trip was a transformative experience and, ever since he got back, Singleton has been dreaming of doing it again.
To make this dream a reality, the program has an ambitious fundraising goal. A return trip with 20 members planned for April with an estimated cost of a little over $50,000. Since the fall of 2017, the warriors have been pounding the pavement and raising money through a variety of small-scale initiatives. But it’s clear that a big event is necessary to raise the kind of money that will make this adventure possible. So, on February 24th, The Males Place is throwing the All Black Tie Dinner and Gala at the Deltas of Charlotte on Beatties Ford Road.
Anyone who has ever traveled abroad will attest that the perspective gained is life changing, and the perspective promises to be revolutionary. A boy’s unique point of view is honored, with the understanding that the destinies of a community of individuals are intertwined. This is in fact the meaning of community.
“Every participant will have their own unique experience, but everyone who participates will have one thing in common,” Singleton said, “they will be changed forever with a deeper understanding of the human experience, understanding they will draw from forever as they move toward adulthood and potential.”
The gala will feature a four-course meal and a conversation with chef Njathi Wa Kabui. Kabui is a renowned food activist, urban farmer and organic chef. Born and raised in Kenya, Chef Kabui is the child of a farmer and restaurateur heavily involved in the Kenyan independence movement. Since moving to the U.S. for college Chef Kabui has been a dedicated and original mind contributing to the discourse around food and social justice. He is now based in the Triangle area and offers regular programs around organic farming, culinary history and social justice. “Food will remain an integral part of who we have been, as well as who we are. That we can’t change. The Males Place is a timeless educational institution that is grounded both in our history and future,” said Kabui.
This event promises delicious and nutritious treats for the mind and body, and the pleasure of meeting the young warriors themselves. These are inspired and thoughtful young people, and you’ll be better for having met them. The festivities are on Saturday February 24 from 6-11 p.m. at The Deltas of Charlotte (5408 Beatties Ford Road) and music will be provided by DJ Shogun.