Friendship Council receives PCCF grant

Published 12:47 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How should we respond to this critical situation? One response would be to shake our heads and place the blame upon our institutions and systems. Another would be to take positive steps by giving of our time and talents to demonstrate there are alternatives to the path too many black men take. Indeed, it is up to us to carry the shield to overcome obstacles to a brighter side of life.  We can offer our younger generation food to think, act, and prepare for a better future than those who choose a collision course with doom. SAAB has accepted the demanding challenge by involving enrolled Black males at more than 200 colleges and universities, as well as middle and high schools in 39 states in the U.S. In addition, SAAB provides a diverse and culturally-sensitive environment for all ethnic minorities through our option for institutions/schools to call their respective chapter “Brother to Brother” (B2B) or SAAB, which allows institutions/schools to be intentional about inviting a more diverse group of young men to the SAAB Experience.

SAAB focuses on increasing the number of African American and Latino men that graduate from college by creating a positive peer community based on a spirit of caring. SAAB operates through student run chapters with professional advising and mentorship to assist young men to excel academically, socially, culturally, spiritually and in the community.

The goal is for all males of color at affiliated institutions to take full advantage of their academic years and to better understand and practice their full responsibilities, rights, and privileges as citizens of this country. Additionally, SAAB plans to work in the community with other younger males in need of guidance and direction along with adopting Habitat for Humanity as its official service project. Our objective is that all males will be role models for each other as well as for other males of color in their community. Additionally, it is our hope that SAAB members will be well prepared to enter the work force of professionals and compete as positive contributors with the best for a meaningful place in our society.

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The Friendship Council is a nonprofit organization created to foster unity throughout the many diverse communities in the Thermal Belt region, including North and South Carolina. There are no membership dues collected by the organization, just a strong desire to foster equality and diversity.  The organization does not view diversity only in light of race, but also age, physical and mental challenges, national origin, and ethnicity. All residents of the Thermal Belt region are encouraged to participate.  The Thermal Belt Friendship Council meets monthly at Roseland Community Center (Intersection of Peake & Howard Streets, Tryon) every second Tuesday,

at 6 p.m., and membership is open to any community member wishing to further the dialog between the races. For more information, visit the organization’s website at:

– article submitted by Dr. Joseph Fox