‘Beards in Business’ introduces Black role models to Black youth

Posted at 11:16 PM, Nov 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-07 23:22:29-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Beards in Business and the Young Investors Group are changing the narrative and taking action to provide positive role models to young Black males. The organization held a fashion show to raise money for the Young Investors Group, a group that teaches young men about finance, life skills and overcoming violence.

"They need to see an example. They need to see a reflection so when they look in the mirror, they need to look in the mirror and see someone they could look up to and hopefully inspire to become," Raheem Durant said, the founder of iDesignMyself Clothing.

Michael Magee, a 10th grade student at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, says representation matters when it comes to young Black men seeing positive images.

"If we bring in young Black men who may be exposed or already exposed to it, it can lower gun crimes," MaGee said.

MaGee has been working with the Young Investors Group for more than a year.

Last year, the group raised more than $5,000 to help youth in Hampton Roads. This year, the organization's founder plans to beat last year’s goal.

"Oftentimes Black males are usually raised in a single parent home. Sometimes the fathers are not there. In order for young Black men to be able to succeed, they need role models. They need someone to be able to look up to. They need to see representation. I’m so proud of the beards and businesses that are here," Kezia Hendricks said, the founder of the Young Investors Group and Beards in Business.

Community members all coming together to empower the youth.

"Today we’re raising money for anti-gun and gang violence," Hendricks said.

Several business owners and local fashion designers donate their proceeds to curb youth gun violence.

"The proceeds that we raise from today and then also any sales that I have will go towards the young investors group just to help out as much as we can," Kendall Lawson said, the founder of Three Scoops Clothing.

All shedding light to decrease juvenile delinquency.

"It's important because we don’t see it in today's society. I didn’t see it a lot when I grew up. We have to get out here in our communities at these events and show these kids and seeing males in a positive light, Black males in a positive light. So you can say hey if they can do it, I can do it too," Nicolas John said, the founder of Love, Lie & Youth.