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Origins of BUILD

How we started to BUILD.

Origins of BUILD

In the winter of 2013, the City of Seattle was swept up in Seahawks fever as the Hawks 

were marching towards the City’s first championship in Football. Six African American 

Men took time away from the euphoria to discuss something very wrong. What was 

discussed at this meeting was the rash of deaths of African American Teenage Boys and 

the seemingly refusal to do anything about culturally and institutionally. All 6 in the 

room had been personally been touched by these incidents as people who worked with 

the youth and in some instances as family of the youth. The frustration of watching our 

Young Brothers have the promise of their futures taken away was the impetus for the 

formation of BUILD (Brothers United In Leadership Development) Now 7 members strong, BUILD’s purpose embodies former President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative in spirit and principle.

BUILD’s goals are:

1) Increase Social, Civic and Political Engagement 

2) Increase leadership opportunities 

3) Navigate systems 

4) Provide support and mentoring 

5) Developing a prideful self 

6) Developing self-efficacy and a sense of power 

7) Developing accountable community partnerships 

8) Leverage resources and secure sources of funds

BUILD creates workshops and activities that center around self-esteem, decision 

making/critical thinking and goal setting/career building. These workshops are targeting 

young Black Men. The workshops are a combination of structured activity, personal 

testimony or reflection and debrief. These workshops have been presented at the 

following schools and symposiums:

*BUILD Breaking Ground Community Forum (2014)

*Expect More Become More (Seattle University, 2014)

*Youth Police Relations Forum (Garfield Teen Life Center, 2014)

*Dunlap Elementary Black History Month (Seattle Public Schools, 2014, 2015, 2016)

*BUILD Barber Shop Series (2014, 2016)

*Legion Of BUILD Young Men’s Mentoring Group (2015-Ongoing)

*BUILD Annual Father Day Event (2015-Ongoing)

* BUILD Community Walk and Talks (2016-Ongoing)

* Highland Middle School (Bellevue School District, 2016)

*The BOOM! Experience (Bellevue College, 2015, 2016)

*Martin Luther King Jr. Day Workshops (Garfield High School, 2014, 2017)

*BUILD the Hood Softball, Basketball and Kickball games (2014-Ongoing)

*BUILD Film Series: Public viewing of “13th” & discussion (2016)

*My Brothers Keeper Young Men’s Group (Denny Middle School, 2017)

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