Embracing, Educating, and Empowering Our Sons
A "Village" Education Program for People Who Parent, Work With, or Provide Care for Black Boys, Ages 12-17
Della Marie Levi has over 20 years' experience in the child welfare sector. She has served as a Foster Care Case Manager, Foster Home Licensor, and Recipient Rights Advisor for emotionally impaired and disadvantaged teens, and Drug and Alcohol Prevention Education Facilitator for middle and high school students in urban areas. Della Marie is currently employed as a Community School Coordinator at an inner city school in Grand Rapids, MI. Additionally, Della Marie holds a Master of Arts Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and certification as a Family Life Educator. A great deal of Della Marie's work and research has focused on Black boys. During her graduate program, Della Marie created a Family Life Education Program about the subject matter and has spent time educating peers and professionals in this area by providing practical, research based tools and information to help Black boys not only survive, but thrive in society. Della Marie teaches a special topics graduate level course based on her Family Life Education Program, Embracing, Educating, and Empowering Our Sons, as well as serves as a part time instructor in the Family and Consumer Sciences Department at Western Michigan University.
Della Marie created the Embracing, Educating, and Empowering Our Sons program because she had to do something to save her sons. Della Marie is a single mother of a 22 year old son; however, when she looks into the eyes of every Black male child she sees her son: his hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities, and “cool pose,” or stance used to hide his true persona. It is painful for her to watch society condemn Black boys and even if this continues, Della Marie believes that it is her duty and responsibility to foster change. Many people discuss problems; however, never become a part of the solution. Della Marie's program is solution focused and creates change through action. The Embracing, Educating, and Empowering Our Sons program provides parents, guardians, caregivers, and people who work with Black boys valuable information and tools to help build resilience.
Della Marie Levi, MA, CFLE-P
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