I Too Am America: On Loving and Leading Black Men & Boys

When: Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 6:30pm
Price: Free! Registration required.
I Too Am America: On Loving and Leading Black Men & Boys book cover
Courtesy of Shawn Doves and Nick Chiles

Join authors Shawn Dove and Nick Chiles for a celebration of stories of loving, learning and leading for and by Black men and boys, including a special reading and conversation around their acclaimed book, I Too Am America: On Loving and Leading Black Men & Boys

Featuring opening remarks from New York City Schools Chancellor (and former Eagle Academy Foundation President and CEO) David C. Banks, this program is being hosted as a precursor to the Museum's first-ever Freedom Week: A Journey into Art & Activism. Additional special guests include:

  • Reverend Dr. Emma Jordan-SimpsonI Too Am America Contributor, and President of Auburn Seminary
  • Reverend Dr. Alfonso WyattI Too Am America Contributor, and Founder of Strategic Destiny LLC
  • Harry A. Johnson, Jr., Co-Founder and Executive Director, Brothers@
  • Dariel Vasquez, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Brothers@
  • Nikai Santiago, Rising Junior at St. Bonaventure University, Brothers@ Ambassador
  • Elijah Grace, Rising High School Senior, Brothers@ The Fellowship Initiative Participant

This program will take place indoors in Ronay Menschel Hall (Ground Floor). Books will be available for sale.

Released on January 6, 2022, I Too Am America: On Loving and Leading Black Men & Boys is equal parts memoir and historical telling of the Black Male Achievement movement, and explores the paradox of promise and peril facing today’s Black men and boys. Combining powerful personal narrative with short essays by renowned Black leaders in philanthropy, racial justice, education, policy and more, I Too Am America delivers timely insights and inspiration that humanizes the stories of Black men and boys, while offering strategic recommendations on how, together, we can overcome current rumblings with America’s racial reckoning to loving, learning and leading with and on behalf of Black men and boys. I Too Am America: On Loving and Leading Black Men & Boys is now on sale at all major book retailers - including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Good Reads, and Bookshop.

About the Speakers:
David C. Banks is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation. Appointed on January 1, 2022, he is the former President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation, and the founding principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City and Newark, N.J.

Nick Chiles has distinguished himself as both a bestselling author and an award-winning journalist. His latest books are a spiritually empowering self-help guide with pastor to the stars Rev. Tim Storey, called The Miracle Mentality: How to Tap into the Source of Magical Transformation in Your Life; and an inspiring tale of a young white boy’s life-long relationship with former Negro Leaguers, called Comeback Season: My Unlikely Story of Friendship with the Greatest Living Negro League Baseball Players (with foreword by Hank Aaron).

Shawn Dove is founder of the Corporation for Black Male Achievement, and serves as Managing Partner for New Profit, a venture philanthropy firm that invests in breakthrough social entrepreneurs advancing strategies that address systemic injustice nationwide. Previously Dove served as CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), Program Director of the Harlem Children's Zone's Countee Cullen Community Center, and Vice President of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership.

Harry A. Johnson Jr. is a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Co. He served previously as Co-Executive Director of Brothers@. As the program’s co-founder, Harry was instrumental in scaling the program's impact and increasing sustainability during its transition from a student-led initiative to an institutional commitment at Bard College. He was also a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow. Harry is a graduate of Bard College with a BA in Sociology. He serves on the board of advisors of Brothers@.

Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan Simpson, is the President of Auburn Theological Seminary, a leadership development and research institute that “equips leaders with the organizational skills and spiritual resilience required to create lasting, positive impact in local communities, on the national stage, and around the world.” Prior to Auburn, she was the Executive Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and has provided leadership for the Children’s Defense Fund-New York, Girls Inc. of NYC, Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families, and the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.

Dariel Vasquez is a first-generation college graduate from Harlem, NY. Dariel graduated from Bard College in 2017 with a joint degree in History and Sociology, and a concentration in Africana-Studies. Dariel created the Brothers At Bard (BAB) support group with the help of his peers—laying the foundation for the work the organization does today. As one of the Brothers@ co-founders, Dariel helped raise over a million dollars over the last three years to expand the organization across NY State.

Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt retired as vice president of the Fund for the City of New York after serving over two decades. He is founder of Strategic Destiny: Designing Futures Through Faith and Facts, an organization that seeks to find common language and opportunities for collaboration between socially engaged practitioners motivated by faith and secular practitioners motivated by evidence-based learning.

Event Logistics (subject to changed based on NYC regulations):

  • Proof of vaccination is required for entry to the event (everyone over the age of 5). Excelsior Pass is accepted for those who were vaccinated in NYS. 
  • Masks will be required.
  • Please contact programs@mcny.org with any questions or ticketing issues.


Free! Registration required.

Accessibility: Assistive listening devices are available and our auditorium wheelchair lift can accommodate manual and motorized wheelchairs (max. capacity 500 lbs). Please contact the Museum at 917.492.3333 or info@mcny.org with any questions.

Join MCNY!

Want free or discounted tickets, special event invites, and more?