How the Obama Foundation Used Braindate to Unlock Peer Learning at MBK Rising

Common Hope, Uncommon Stories, and Collaborative Learning

Braindate created new opportunities for peer learning with the Obama Foundation at the Obama Foundation Summit 2018 and in February at MBK Rising!

Harold Pearson has been involved in the field of sports and education for over 20 years: several weeks ago in Oakland at MBK Rising!, he was inspired to share his knowledge on a group braindate. His topic, Engaging Black Boys Through the Intersection of Sports and Education, instantly sparked interest among participants across generations.

“I was with the community staff from the San Francisco 49ers, and a senior student-athlete at the University of Georgia,” he reflected. “We were all able to discuss what is currently working for Black male student-athletes, and what we all can do now to make real change for Black males across the country.”

Meanwhile, Antiwan Tate also set out to leverage braindates at MBK Rising! to engage others in a discussion about something that was close to his own heart.

“My passion for economic inclusion for Black young men of color is what inspired me,” he shared.

Entitled Mastering Entrepreneurship: teaching BYMOC (boys and young men of color) the art of ownership & self-reliance, his braindate goal was to share ideas about how “to ensure BYMOC have a voice, and empowerment economically.”

“We were able to establish a partnership with attendees from New Orleans doing similar work,” he added. “My topic provided a great opportunity for myself and those involved to share and build invaluable frameworks and ideas that we all were able to bring back to our respective communities.”

The Obama Foundation Braindate
© The Obama Foundation

There are some collaborations that strike a deep chord in us here at Braindate.

It’s those through which we have the opportunity to engage leaders who truly embody our vision and mission.

Last November, we had the privilege of bringing braindates to the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. Our goal was to help activate the Summit’s theme, Common Hope, Uncommon Stories, through the knowledge-sharing opportunity of braindates.

This February, we brought braindates to another Foundation initiative, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, for their MBK Rising! event.

braindating obama foundation
© The Obama Foundation

MBK Alliance’s mission is to “lead a national call to action to build safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear paths to opportunity…all with the goal of encouraging mentorship, reducing youth violence, and improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color.”(via MBK Alliance)

The intention of the inaugural MBK Rising! was to convene “MBK Communities, cross-sector leaders, young men of color, and the organizations working hard to help them achieve their dreams.”

Braindates helped serve this mission by creating a space for collaborative learning, deep discussion, and knowledge-sharing among the participants. And based on the stories we’ve captured, we’ve seen just that.

Damon’s post-braindate testimony reflects this better than we can:

This has been an affirmation of my own gifts. Working with such high talents and seeing their lives light up in the enlightenment of knowledge and energy is more than an inspiration. In Affirmation, Encouragement and Love, I give thanks.

braindates obama foundation summit chicago 2018
© The Obama Foundation

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