Black Lives Matter protests across the world are sparking racial justice conversations in the Eau Claire community. One local man is helping spread awareness to young students.
“We need to change the perception on how blacks are viewed and in order for us to change that, we have to start with our youth,” said Power of Perception Mentor Willi Mccalebb.
Dennis Beal who founded the Black Male Empowerment organization at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has recently created Power of Perception. Power of Perception, which is now virtual, is a mentorship program that provides resources for 6th to 12th grade African American and biracial students in the Eau Claire Area School District.
“This mission of the program is, is of creating a life into a box of resources to equip these young kings and queens to become contributing citizens in today’s society,” said Power of Perception Founder Dennis Beale.
Beale says the program is aimed to give back to those young students by helping them feel safe. He says he wants them to have a voice in Eau Claire, especially now, with what is going on around the world surrounding the death of George Floyd.
McCalebb, who is a teacher in ECASD and mentor with Power of Perception says the program is a safe space for youth in the community.
“The kids that are searching and seeking for direction, I think, you know that is powerful to have that type of group in place for them to come to and ask specific questions that they may not be able to ask somebody else,” said Mccalebb.
Beale has a variety of speakers from all over attend the meetings to inspire and motivate the kids to be whoever they want to be in life.
“People perceived me when I first started off like man, I had people that doubted me, I had people that really didn’t believe in me, but once I gained a mentor and he changed my perspective and my perception about life,” said Beale. “That was something that really impacted me.”
Beale says he hopes to expand the program outside of Eau Claire in the future.
You can contact Dennis Beale with Power of Perception at email@example.com.