$0 – $45

The State of Black Manhood/All Black Men Matter Conference

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Housatonic Community College

900 Lafayette Boulevard

Bridgeport, CT 06604

View Map

Friends Who Are Going
Event description


Working Title: The State of Black Manhood/All Black Men Matter Conference

Date: Saturday, February 25, 2017 (*New Date*)

Location: Housatonic Community College, 900 Lafayette Boulevard. Bridgeport, CT 06604

Time: 9:00 am to 5:15 pm

About the Conference:

Hidden Acres Farms, Inc., Dream Life Works and and Mudd Muck, LLC proudly presents The State of Black Manhood/All Black Men Matter Conference, a full-day series of workshops and vendor engagement opportunities focused on the personal and societal issues facing Black men and boys statewide and regionally. Topics for this year's conference include: domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental well being and body/self image.

This event is an open and affirming gathering of peers. All are welcomed to this table!

Please note (Updated as of 10/05/2016): There are no CEUs currently offered for this conference at this time. If you are interested in up to 9 CEUs through NASW CT, please contact Michelle L. Bicking at ourhiddenacresfarm@gmail.com. An additional cost, due by 9/30/2016, of $40 per certificate will apply.

This page will be updated regularly with additional conference details as the weeks progress. Please check back for more info!

Conference Agenda (Updated 10/04/2016)

7:30 am to 8:45 am: Vendor check-in and set-up

9:00 am to 9:45 am: Continental breakfast/vendor visits

10 am to 10:15 am: Welcome and introductions

10:15 am to 11:00 am:

Plenary Speaker: Louis L Reed, Founder - Louis L. Reed Empowerment Group

11:00 am to 11:30 am:

Break /Performance: Kelvin Young, Asst. Executive Director -Toivo

11:30 am to 12:30 pm:

The State of Black America: Valarie Shultz-Wilson, CEO - Urban League of SOCT

12:30 pm to 1:15 pm: Lunch

1:15 to 2:30 pm: First Afternoon Sessions, A through C

Session A: "Radical Self Acceptance for Black Boys and Youth" - Kevin Muhammad, Director, Mudd Muck, LLC

Session B: "How Parental Incarceration Can Effect the Children Left Behind" - Aileen Keays Yeager, Project Manager, Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy (IMRP)

Session C: "Introduction to Rape Culture for Men and Boys" - Olusanya Bey

2:30 am to 2:45 pm: Break/Performance - Tracey Caldwell/Mind Evolution
2:45 pm to 4:15 pm: Second Afternoon Sessions, D through F

Session D: "Living with an Open Heart" - Enroue Halfkenny, LCSW, Healing and Liberation Counseling

Session E: "The Loss of Content in Mainstream Hip-Hop has Desensitized Our Society" - Rashawn "Pain United with Passion" Asbury, ForUnity Corp

Session F: (Information forthcoming) - Ken Harris, Director of New Haven Healthy Start

4:15 pm to 4:30 pm: Break/Performance - Jasmin Agosto
4:30 pm to 5:15 pm: Closing speaker with final remarks: Wali Muhammad, Executive Director of Happy Family Clinical Services, LLC
5:15 pm to 6:00 pm: Vendor table break down and departure

Workshop Details:

SESSION A: Radical Self Acceptance for Boys and Youth

Facilitator: Kevin Muhammad

Summary: Pending

About the Facilitator: Pending

SESSION B: How Parental Incarceration Can Effect the Children Left Behind and What You Can Do to Support Them

Facilitator: Aileen Keays Yeager


As of June 2016, there were 18,034 dependents with at least one caregiver incarcerated in a Connecticut correctional facility. This is particularly concerning when, through a growing body of research, we know that children with incarcerated parents (CIP) are at greater risk for lifelong difficulties resulting from trauma associated with the arrest and/or incarceration of a caregiver, and attachment disruption during parent-child separation. Experiencing parental incarceration as a child has been identified as an Adverse Childhood Experience, meaning it increases the likelihood of long-term poor health outcomes. However, research also suggests that interventions which preserve and strengthen positive family connections between the incarcerated parent and their children can have positive societal benefits. These benefits can include a reduction in recidivism, less intergenerational criminal justice involvement and the promotion of healthy child development. Yet, oftentimes, there is a lack of appreciation and respect for the role that an incarcerated parent can play to mitigate the harm their arrest and incarceration may have on their children.

It is widely understood, in a general sense, that a child separated from their parent or primary caregiver will struggle. However, this awareness does not translate when incarceration is the cause of that separation. Everyone, even the most well-intentioned person, has biases. These biases that we carry, both explicit and implicit, influence our perceptions of CIPs and their families and, subsequently, our interactions with them, as well as the policies and procedures we create that affect them. This training will provide an understanding of parental incarceration’s effect on children as well as an exploration of one’s own biases and how those biases may impact his/her efforts to support CIP. In addition, information gathered directly from CIP about what they want and need from people in positions to support them will be shared.


  • Attendees will have an improved ability to recognize their own implicit and explicit biases about families with an incarcerated parent and learn how these biases may impact their care giving of children with incarcerated parents
  • Attendees will better understand how parental incarceration effects children
  • Attendees will feel more confident in knowing how to support children with incarcerated parents
  • Attendees will know what online resources are available to assist them as they seek to support children with incarcerated parents

About The Facilitator:


SESSION C: A Mindful Introduction to Rape Culture for Men and Boys

Facilitator: Olusanya Bey


The purpose of this workshop is to introduce Men of Color to the concept of Rape Culture, from a “Mindful Perspective”, so that they will have a better understanding of what it is, their role in it and how it impacts their daily lives as men of color in living in America.

Understand exactly what rape culture is; it’s origins, how it developed (how it is intrinsically woven throughout the “myth of white male supremacy” and so-called Western civilization)-- ie. Manifest Destiny, Papal Doctrines, the supremacy of the “white man”, etcetera

Understand that our “image” of what it means to be a man is largely a result of “conditioning” and “habitual thinking” that is founded/based upon a “false reality” (white male supremacy), that prevents us from responding appropriately to “OUR REALITY” (as men of color living in America, especially our relationships with women… ANY WOMAN).

All phobias engendered by the refusal to appreciate anything outside or different a cisgender perspective or world view is also a result of a “twisted” sense of masculinity… the violent, hate crimes that result are, in fact, indicative of a “rape culture” or the idea that you can impose your will upon another HUman BEng simply because you are stronger or more powerful.

A clear understanding of why the practice of “mindfulness” is vital for communities of color [and humanity in general] to develop the capacity to counter the conditioning of white male supremacist thinking that is distorting an entire world’s perceptions and learn how to relate to each other and LOVE each other sans the “habit-energy” we have developed as a result of this “training/conditioning/programming”!

About The Facilitator:


SESSION D: Living With An Open Heart

Facilitator: Enroue Halfkenny


Through sharing the stories of the men in his family and their choices, Enroue will weave together his personal journey, that of his ancestors and of his living relatives to illustrate the value and necessity of living with an open heart to not only survive in this culture but to be fully human. This is particularly important for Black and Brown men who continue to be dehumanized within the culture of the United States and have sought success by mistakenly clinging to notions of manhood that only perpetuate their own and others suffering. He will then share examples and practices from his life that have led to his own success, healing and liberation.


  • Participants will be exposed to an understanding of the impact of systematic oppression on their health and relationships.
  • Participants will learn spiritual practices that can reduce feelings of isolation.
  • Participants will see the value to their heritage and their own lives in the context of a system that devalues black and brown lives.

About The Facilitator:

Enroue Halfkenny is a 48 year old, Boston born, multi-racial cisgendered black male and has been committed to facilitating healing and liberation in himself and others for most of his life. He is experienced in working with individuals, couples, families, communities and organizations. While he internalized notions of liberation from his parents, who were social justice activists and organizers, Enroue also personally engaged in working to overcome the various systemic and societal forces of oppression that he encountered.

Enroue's organization, Healing and Liberation Counseling has worked in partnership with/at: the Smith College School for Social Work, the Healing the Generations Conference, the Montessori School of Northampton, the Friends Center for Children, the West Haven VA Hospital, the Clifford Beers Clinic, You Inc., the Critical Issues in School Health Conference, Co-creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations(CEIO), the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale University, the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation, the William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund, Common Ground High School, ConnCAT, the Perrin Family Foundation, the New Haven Ecology Project, Two Streams Zen Temple, and at various locations in New Haven.

SESSION E: The Loss of Content in Mainstream Hip-Hop has Desensitized Our Society

Facilitators: Rashawn "Pain United with Passion" Asberry, Timothy Fraylon


Music is a universal language. It is a powerful vehicle of expression which has the ability to impact you in many ways, such as your thoughts, perception and environment. Therefore, the messages perpetuated in music is pivotal. Now in day, the unfortunate reality is that the loss of content in mainstream Hip-Hip music has desensitized our society. Long gone are the days of love, dancing and life lessons. What is known as Hip-Hop today glorifies sex, money, and drugs which translates into the degradation of women, others and yourself. I would present this conditioning of our society by dissecting three key points. First and foremost, the evolution of Hip-Hop. I provide a progressive look at where Hip-Hop began, and the changes in has endured over the decades, which is important background information to understand the position Hip-Hop is in today. Next, is an analysis of positive and negative song lyrics. From RUN-DMC, J. Cole and Logic to DRAM, Young M.A. and Young Thug. Lyrics are decoded, clearly identifying themes in each. For example, 1st generation Hip-Hop pioneers RUN DMC are an example of positivity. Their hit “Its like that” is what I call reality rap, bringing awareness and inspiration to the people through their combination of explosive beats and thought provoking lyrics. In conducting the same analysis to the current radio sensation “Ooouu” by Young M.A.; it is easy to identify the differences. The artist is a female, promoting a homosexual and hypersexual agenda. A young woman is rapping masculine lyrics, sexually objectifying women, which has been acceptable for men for over two decades, while promoting same sex relations as the new norm. Last, but not least, I will demonstrate how the loss of content in Hip-Hop music has desensitized society. Evidence of hyper sexuality, increased violence and drug use which embody the unrealistic ideal lifestyle portrayed in music everywhere. The barely dressed video vixens step into the real world with women admiring their appearance and appeal to men, changing themselves to mirror them, damaging their self-esteem, and self-respect by allowing themselves to be treated like the lyrics in these songs. Violence and drugs; the street life, is also glorified, reflected in the increasing crime rate, particularly in inner city areas known for famous rap artist. A prime example is Chi-rac, a.k.a. Chicago. What effect does this have on the minds of society? It is Desensitizing, numbing, and insensitive. It programs people to subconsciously devalue themselves, creating a selfish mindset, which has and will continue to prevent the unification of our people because we are submerged into being blinded by the wrong messages.

About The Facilitator:


Please note: Information on F is forthcoming by the schedule presenters.

Interested in participating in the planning comittee for this event? Other questions/concerns? Please contact Michelle L. Bicking at ourhiddenacresfarm@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for registering!

Share with friends

Date and Time


Housatonic Community College

900 Lafayette Boulevard

Bridgeport, CT 06604

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved