The words "I am proud of you" can do wonders for young children and teenagers. Hartford pastor Trevor Beauford wants to use that to showcase young black men and their accomplishments.
The reverend created the "I Am Proud of You" campaign during a time when so many teenagers are experiencing virtual graduations instead of traditional graduation.
"It's a unique thing for any young men particularly young black men when an older brother says 'look bruh, I see you,'" said Beauford. "We believe that you are called and capable and ready to be a leader."
Recognition and celebrating success is the mission behind Beauford's initiative.
"We have young people who are leading the movement and are showcasing great leadership, we have young people who are starting businesses," said Beauford. "I think it's important to remind young black boys that they have the potential to accomplish anything they put their mind to."
The pastor wanted to extend his campaign beyond Connecticut by reaching out to Windsor-native and New York Educator Bradon Frame.
"We create positive stories about what black men and boys can do and when Pastor Beauford reached out, it was a no brainer," said Frame.
Frame is the founder of The Black Man Can, Incorporation. It's a non-profit with a specific focus on amplifying stories that showcase black men and boys. The Black Man Can also use its Instagram account to promote positive images of black professionals with more than 420,000 followers.
Photos: Celebrating Young Men Accomplishments Through ‘I Am Proud Of You' Campaign
"It's important to have an organization like The Black Man Can and the work that we are attempting to do to showcase the positive narratives," said Frame. "We have seen a lot of negative images within the past couple of weeks and it can create this idea of black trama, so we pride ourselves on showing black men and boys accomplishing their dreams."
Beauford says he's hopeful that this will continue to change the perspective around African American men.
"Let's flood the airways and let's flood social media with all of these images of positive young brothers who are doing tremendous things in the community," said Beauford.