As a community, we must change the narrative of young black males. Well four childhood friends from a small town in Louisville, Mississippi has risen to that challenge. Kylan Harris, Isaiah Woods, Jarrius Carter, and Malik Mitchell started a nonprofit organization that helps mold young men into men. Check out how these men are changing the status quo to better their community.
How did the idea of Urban Wisdom Club come about?
One day in the spring, Kylan was thinking of a way to help the community such as relating to the younger guys that are lacking a male role model. We want to teach them the “basics of being a man like showing respect, manners, and decision-making.” After confirming with Isiah Woods and Jarrius Carter that they will be a part of this great idea, Urban Wisdom Club started to formulate.
Urban Wisdom Club official meeting began in June with the founders Kylan Harris, Jarrius Carter, and Malik Mitchell. To reach the community, they posted a status on Facebook about the overall goal, support, and the mission of the organization, which resulted in great feedback from the community.
The first meeting including the young men occurred in July that resulted in only two guys showing up. It was a slow start, but imagine coming into the second meeting and watch 15 young men show up “eager to learn.”
After the second meeting, advertisement increased by making flyers, appearances in the local morning news and newspaper. Now they are working on placing the organization on a college campus, Mississippi State, so that male college students can volunteer mentoring the young men. This will allow the non-profit organization to keep expanding into the surrounding cities in Mississippi then to other states with “the top goal of expanding into the Southeastern region.”
Urban Wisdom Club motto is “Change your mind and change your results.” They have already proven that their motto works and contests with the overall goal of this non-profit organization. . Harris states, “we do not sugar code anything, we are not perfect. We are just trying to help you all because you are able to relate more to us than an older male.” One of the young men after attending a meeting thanked the Urban Wisdom Club for their service and reach out about changing his life after being a convicted felon at only 18-year old. Now that young man has a job and “has already made a change”, says Harris.
What is the best piece of advice that you would tell a young black male?
- “Stay the course, find something you love to do, and attack it!”
- “Keep climbing those stairs until you reach to stop”
- “You are who you surround yourself with”
Do you agree with the statement that the older generation looks upon the younger generations?
Yes, because it is mainly due to social media. [The younger generation] really does not have a filter or monitor what they post which makes “the generation as a whole looks bad.” Harris continues, “if the older generation actually took the time to listen and see their point of view. Or asking the younger generation why are you doing this without harsh words.”
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a nonprofit? Were there any struggles?
“Advertise! Advertise! Advertise! Also, have fundraisers and gain sponsors. We started a Go Fund Me, but it is hard to get your own community to support you, but you have to keep pushing at it. Take a step back and reevaluate. “
“Just do it, honestly. We easily could have given up after the first meeting with only two guys showing up, but we are still staying the course.”
What is your favorite quote?
“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”
When is the next meeting?
If you are in the Mississippi area, the next Urban Wisdom Club meeting is September 24th at 4:00pm the Chamber of Commerce in Louisville, Mississippi. The topic of meeting will be on decision making with a special guest speaker from the community that plays football at Mississippi State.
If you would like to donate to the Urban Wisdom Club, check out their Go Fund Me page. They need help raising $1,000 to provide necessities for this upcoming school year. It will cover travel expenses, clothing items, food, and water for the young men.
Check out the Urban Wisdom Club on WCBI’s Sunrise
Ways to contact the Urban Wisdom Club:
Facebook: Urban Wisdom Club – UWC
Founders Contact Info:
662-736-2803 – Jarrius Carter
662-803-5384 – Kylan Harris
662-803-8725 – Isaiah Woods
662-803-1806 – Malik Mitchell