On Wednesday (Oct. 11), Joey Bada$$ announced a free mentorship program for Black men.
“I’m excited to announce that I’ve been silently working on a free mentorship program for men of color in the U.S. [and] Puerto Rico called ImpactMENtorship,” the rapper wrote on Instagram. “Inspired by my friend Sophia Chang [and] Unlock Her Potential, I recruited an impressive network of incredible mentors in the areas of ART, CULINARY, FASHION, FILM/TV, MEDIA, MUSIC, and SPORTS.”
He continued, “I will be announcing new mentors everyday until applications open on the 15th. Applications open at noon on Sunday (Oct. 15) and close noon [on] Sunday, Oct. 29. You can see more about the program at impactMENtorship.org. Due to the high profile of our mentors, we anticipate significant demand for the program. To increase your chances of matching with your chosen mentor, we strongly encourage all applicants to carefully research the program and mentors, prepare your application in advance and submit early. Good luck!”
19Keys, Tremaine Emory, Jaylen Brown, and Joey Bada$$ himself were introduced as some of the few advisors who are part of this initiative. According to a study by Brookings Institute that was mentioned on ImpactMENtorship’s official website, “Black men have the highest unemployment rates of any race/gender group, and the lowest labor force participation and employment rates among men.”
“I have been a mentor for Unlock Her Potential, a program founded by my friend Sophia Chang, that provides free mentorship for women of color,” the Two Distant Strangers star said in a statement to AFROTECH. “When I saw the impact we had on our mentees, I knew I wanted to create something similar for men of color who could benefit from the knowledge and experience of industry experts. When I lectured at Harvard and NYU years ago, I was moved by the curiosity and enthusiasm I saw in the students. ImpactMENtorship is proud to offer one-on-one guidance to anyone who qualifies, regardless of education level.”