Committed as I was to being a space for full self expression, unreasonable truth telling and sharing, there was no way for me to be prepared for what transpired last night. After spending two and a half hours with twelve men from all walks of life, varying ages, with various life experiences, I am floored, humbled and openly expectant for things to come. The men were open, willing and responsive to questions posed to delve deeper than the surface of experiences. We discussed various topics ranging from racial profiling (both by law enforcement and in the workplace) to absent fathers to the imbalance in the education system. The topic garnering the most attention, response and expression was around the topic of fathers and their absence, presence or ambiguous nature in their lives.
There were moments when it was necessary to draw the focus back to personal experience. There is a natural tendency to take on the role of problem solver or observer even in our own experience and I took it upon myself to hold the line with the purpose of the event... which was to delve into PERSONAL experience, PERSONAL places where life experience has cracked, marred or scarred you. It was an empowering conversation, an empowering Round Table of men that I will forever see as courageous, powerful, valuable human beings.