How can you get Black Men Speak, Inc to present at your Event (s)?
Black Men Speaks at 510-832-7337 and ask for Ext 229 and leave us a message.
Contact Brian Hill (Cell) -510-415-2098 Email: BrianHill@Blackmenspeak.net
What are our mission and goals?
The mission of Black Men Speaks (BMS) is to inform and enlighten the mental health community and the general public about issues concerning African American males with mental health and substance abuse challenges through a speaker bureau.
Our goal is to work towards healing the African American community from the stigma, discrimination, and trauma by sharing our stories, thereby promoting and increasing wellness, recovery, and freedom.
Our presentation begins with reading our Mission Statement. Next, we sing our anthem. We share about our lived experiences in our presentations and cover a few of the following topics: Post Traumatic Stress, Family Issues, Wellness and Recovery ideas, Community Violence Experiences, Low Self Esteem, Building Character with Confidence, Spirituality, Mental Health, and information on our African American History. After our presentation we hold an interactive question and answers period with the audience. Lastly we pass out evaluation forms to get a written evaluation from the audience.
Black Men Speaks began as a project of the African American Male Issues Committee, within the Pool of Consumer Champions (POCC). At our last count he POCC has grown to over 800 consumers in Alameda County. Today, the POCC operates under the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services’ Consumer Relations Manager Khatera Aslami and Program Manager, Mary Hogden.
Black Men Speaks are members of the POCC. Recently in 2013 BMS a consumer run organization in Alameda County became a full fledged 501 c 3 Non- Profit Community Based Organization! Our volunteer Executive Director is a 2015 Tools For Change Fellow (CAMHPRO / MHASF) - Brian Hill, CEO / Founder of Brian’s Oline Success Services, LLC, Our corporate office is 333 Hegenberger Road Suite, 250 Oakland, Ca. 94621Telephone: 510- 832-7337 Ext 229 Email: - Brianhill@blackmenspeak.net.
Who are some agencies you are working with in the Community?
Alameda County Network of Mental Health Clients, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services – Stakeholders Group, Bay Area Christian Church (BACC), Bay Area Black United Fund (BAYFUD), (Oakland) California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHCS), Camphro, Center for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment, Each Mind Matters Speakers Bureau, Family Bible Church (Newark), FERC, Grant And Smith LLP, HHREC, California Pan Ethinic Health Network (CPHEN), California Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity (OHE), Mental Health Association in California, Mental Health America, (Oregon), MHASF, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Peer Recovery Art Project, The P.E.E.R. Center (Ohio), Peers (California), Pendergrass and Smith, Telecare, The Star Center, The Special Messages Project, T25CL Entertainment
What are we giving back to the Community?
Time, effort, heart and energy. We tell our stories through spoken word, music, and song(s), of what it is like to be African America men with substance abuse and mental health issues facing multiple issues stigma, race, class, our individual road(s) to wellness and recovery. We are a wellness recovery specialist with lived experience (L.E.), Interwoven in our stories are challenges of trauma, family issues, community violence, and the importance of faith.
When did BMS get started and what happen after we started presenting?
Under the direction of Consumer relations Manager Jay Mahler, (2006). Black Men Speaks began as project of the Africa American Males Issues Committee of the Pool of Consumer Champions, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services in 2007 – 2008. The African American Male Issue Committee began meeting in March of 2009. The men enlisted facilitators to help develop their mission and goals. The supportive staff of Jaleah Winn and Steven Buckhotlz ACBHC staff our name evolved into Black Men Speaks. Black Men Speaks has consistently brought together 6-12 men over the last 6 years, who come and practice telling their stories in different ways. Men who share their talents with singing, multimedia innovaton, a creation of an Online Social Media tool through Smash Solutions which helps to provide our communcation and online marketing presence.
Here are the milestones that have inspired BMS to keep going. Presentations and awards began September 2009, Community Based Organizations, Mental Health Agencies, County Programs: BOSS, BACC, and Recovery Innovations. Universities: CSUEB, Holy Names College, and UC Berkeley. Faith Based communities: Family Bible Church, Bay Aea Christian Church Alameda County Region: Christmas feed the poor day Dec (2013).
Black Men Speaks were the keynote speakers and workshop presenters at Alternative Conferences in (2010) Anaheim, Sept, CASARA (2011), October 2012 (Bay Area), 2013 (Tulare) we have presented locally, regionally and Nationally. We have presented Nationally on topics such as …”How to Build A Black Men Speak Organization in your Community”… Exe Director, Brian Hill Lead the African American Causcus Session at Alternatives in Texas (2013), Harry Caldwell (sang) and Joe Anderson told their personal stories in a seperate workshop.
BMS has improved and evolved in their ability to provide workshops at conferences. Jan- Feb (2014) GiGI Crowder, Harry Caldwell and Joe Anderson helped write the grant proposal. March, 2014 BMS presented at the MHAOSF Tools for Change Conference. This was the conference we learned we were the recipients of a grant for $20,000 from CAMHPRO! June, 2014 a retreat was held for BMS by Marsha Pendergrass. October, 2014 Keynote Speakers at the Ohio P.E.E.R Empowerment Center.(Oct, 2014) Orlando, Florida (Alternatives conference), two BMS Members were among a group of eight consumers representing the POCC. Lastly, April, 2015 we were trained to be more effective speakers and presenters. Senior Pastor Horatio Jones Family Bible Church, Newark Ca.
Why will you continue trying and help reduced stigma in the African American Commun(s)ity?
Black Men Speaks, Inc “DOES NOT” speak on behalf of all black men. We speak as Black men. Sharing our personal stories. However, each time a personal story is shared, that story is one way help reduce the stigma and discrimination that surrounds Black men. We have experienced the stigma and discrimination as black men. People with substance abuse and mental health issues have found, people in the audience WANT to HEAR from Black Men who have lived experiences.
How are you Funded?
Foundations, State, County, Fundraisers, Grants, MHSA Funds and private donations.
How can new people become a part of BMS?
Is it just for Men of Color?
What about women and the LGBTQ2 Spirit communities, can they particiapate?
Yes you can become a part of BMS. All are welcome. However, our core program currently is the Speakers Burea. We are creating new programs in our company and you may be just the person (s) we are looking for to help us grow and create what we need. Come and speak with us. Women can participate. call us to find out how and in what ways you and BMS would like to support each other.
African American men, we welcome you to come visit and spend the time getting to know us. We have one recommendation when you come to visit us. For your first three meetings we would like for you to just observe, listen, learn who we are, and what we are about as a BMS speaker Bureau.
Wait three meetings before you add your thoughts, feelings, and opinions. During your first three meetings we found that if men can start off by listening to the other volunteer speakers, One would have a better feel for whom you are listening to. Your willingness to be an active listener at the beginning of your participation we help us also get to know you.
After your fourth visit we want to hear you talk about what you experience. We are very interested in your thoughts, feelings and perspective. Share with us about what occurred for you during your three initial visits. Once you reveal your intentions to participate. We vote as a group for you to become a part of BMS. It is not a perfect plan but it provides an opportunity to enter into a new peer experience among new men you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to get to know.
Brian Hill: – Executive Director
I am 56 years old, married for 38 years, I am trying to be a disciple of Jesus, for 30 years Baptized Oct 1986. I have a BS Education: Recreation (85) & Masters of Science Degrees in Educational Psychology (00). My role as a member of Black men Speak is Lead Black Men Speak, Inc into the 21st Century.
I handle all forms of Communication with Organizations, Governance, Administration, and management for BMS. Social media, Internet marketing, website design and Smash Solution technology for the BMS. I support and communicate what is happenning with BMS to the African American community and the general public voluntarily. I provide our Online presence and Social Media Content, pages, FB, Linked, and twitter, updating our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and website development.
My experience with mental heath is as a consumer. I have Bi-Polar disorder. I spend all my time focused as a Wellness Recovery Specialist . I do this by facilitating groups, leading discussions, Key note presentations I hope to teach and facilitate for others how they to acan dvocate for themselves and become Wellness Warriors. Wellness Warriors are individuals who are focused on the eight Dimensions of wellness.
John Black: – President of the Volunteer Speakers Buerau
One of the founders of African American Issues Committee and Black Men Speaks. I helped start the organization in 2009. I wanted Black Men Speak to inform and enlighten the mental health community and the general public about issues concerning African American males with mental health and substance abuse challenges through a speaker bureau. I have been through so much with the passing of my wife and the difficulties in my life that being with Black Men Speaks helps me recover. I hope to see our mission statement fulfill in the African American community.
Roscoe Moseby: Photographer / Videographer and Seargent at Arms
Is a lecturer among Narcotics Anonymous groups? A veteran, he became a drug addict in civilian life and has been drug free for 8 years.
Harry Caldwell: Leade singer of Gospel Group “Purchased By The Blood”
Harry Caldwell works as an essential link in building and maintaining important community relationships. In his role, as a professional singer/songwriter and the leader of an inspirational vocal group called “Purchased,” Harry called music and songwriting his passion.
With an undiagnosed history of mental health and substance abuse challenges, Harry has used his life experiences to work with and mentor homeless shelters and populations about mental health issues. Harry is also a member of the Pool of Consumer Champions focusing on mental health and issues specific to the African American male community.
Joe Anderson: President, Board Member, BMS
Joined BMS in 2010. My role is the Chair and Master of Ceremony when we speak at different organizations. I am 65 years old and the father of three adult children. I joined Black Men Speak because I want to be of help to other people like myself who has suffered from substance abuse, alcohol challenges and homelessness. What helps me in my recovery is helping younger Black Men & Women avoid substance abuse, alcohol challenges and homelessness. I hope to achieve a goal of reaching 100,000 African American Men & Women.
Kenneth Davis: – Secretary, Board Member, BMS
Is a Recovery Specialist who helps consumers to wellness and recovery? Kenneth is 6 years into his sobriety, and serves as a recorder for various Pool of Consumer Champions’ Committees
Horacio Finely: Volunteer, BMS Member of Purchased By The Blood
An inspirational vocal group called “Purchased,”loves to sing and tell his story with vision and compassion.
Lindsay Hart: Student, Memrrit College
Joined Black Men Speak in 2011 because I felt I could be another voice for the young African Americans to become productive members of society with my experience and help. My role as a proudly committed member of Black Men Speak is to use my knowledge of supporting African Americans. What helps me in my recovery is remembering in order for me to keep what I have I have to give it away. What I hope to achieve in my time with black men Speak is to give African Americans some love until they learn to love themselves.
Tommy Bell: Volunteer, BMS
Joined BMS in July 2012. My role is to bring in African American Men, new ideas and to perform my speech as a participant of the BMS Speakers Bureau. I joined to work with others and make it possible to help work with Blackmen that need to help with their families.
I have had a lifetime dealing with mental health consumers. I find that believing in God helps me in my recovery. I hope to be an example through my actions of positive encouragement in the African American Community.
Ernest Hardmon III, Secretary of Volunteer Speakers Bureau, BMS
Eugene Jimmerson Volunteer, BMS
Wil Garrette – Volunteer, BMS
Third from the left
Friends & Partners of Black Men Speak: