MBK Blog Header1

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?


I’ve been mentoring youth since 2003 through the Yunion, a non profit organization that serves youth and families in Metro Detroit. In 2008 I created the Cave of Adullam male character strengthening system to help black boys and young men overcome unresolved anger, ADHD symptoms, the father wound and fear.  I was very encouraged when President Obama announced the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative to help boys and young men of color, and that the Skillman Foundation and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement was to lead it here in Detroit. Shortly after the announcement, the LORD told me to study in context, the biblical phrase “My Brothers Keeper”. Within minutes, He not only gave me insight into why we are still in dire need of such an initiative and why we must purge the spirit of Cain amongst us, but more importantly, how we who serve and empower black boys and young men can truly one day become our brother’s keeper.

When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground (farmer). – Genesis 4:2

Sheperd-Farmer-Inslot

Cain and Abel had two different skill sets but both worked in the same “field”. Sounds familiar? How often do we, the shepherds and the farmers in the “field” of black male achievement, discount the value of each other’s skill-set because our methodology is different? Are we all not working towards the same goal? For the work in the field to achieve the results that both the shepherd and the farmer desire, it’s imperative that they work together. For without the crops, the shepherd’s flock starves to death and without the flock, the farmer’s crops are wasted. For this relationship to be productive and not be a coerced collaboration, both the shepherd and the farmer must equally sacrifice their best.

“Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord, but Abel presented the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The LORD accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.– Genesis 4:3-5

Sounds familiar? The LORD’s Philanthropic Hand accepted Abel’s Black Boys Mentoring (ABBM) proposal, but denied Cain’s Black Boys Development proposal. This made Cain and his staff burn with  indignation because they believed their proposal and work was just as good as ABBM. Cain’s Black Boys Development eventually resented the work of ABBM, and as a result, the two organizations could never collaborate in the “field” of black male achievement.

“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected?” – Genesis 4:6

We should always ask ourselves these two questions whenever we feel dejected when our work and effort gets rejected. None of us are void of pride, and if not subdued, pride will eventually lead us and our organizations into destruction. The LORD’s Philanthropic Hand gave Cain’s Black Boys Development (CBBD) constructive feedback to why their proposal was denied, and offered CBBD another opportunity to submit another proposal. But Cain refused to comply. As a result, Cain had to layoff his staff, and because the LORD’s Philanthropic Hand was the only grantor in the region, he relocated CBBD to another country. Due to Cain’s absence, all the crops in the field died, and Abel’s flock eventually went astray searching for food but were devoured by the wolves.

The LORD said to Cain, “You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at your door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master. – Genesis 4:7

An intelligible definition for sin is knowing the right thing to do, but not doing it (James 4:17 NASB). Again, none of us are void of pride, however sin arises when we allow pride to fester, instead of purging our prideful ways. I will never forget the words of Alfonso Wyatt regarding the existence of pride and egos in the field of black male achievement. He said, “The new drug and it’s legal, is called fame. And sadly too many of our brothers and sisters have overdosed.” It’s without question that we are in dire need of farmers in the field of black male achievement, however we do not need “famers”. Famers are people who appear to have good intentions but they labor in the field for their own benefit, sacrificing the blood, sweat and tears of others.

One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. Afterward the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?” “I don’t know,” Cain responded. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” – Genesis 4:8-9

Although Cain’s response was cynical, anyone that has studied God’s precepts know that He not only expects us to be our brother’s keeper, but also exude brotherly love when doing so. The word “keeper” in this verse means “to guard”, a person who watches and protects someone or something. Here lies what I believe is the main reason why after millions have been spent cultivating the field, we still are in need of initiatives like MBK. We the shepherds and the farmers are not each other’s keeper. When the wolf (the prison industrial complex) comes to snatch a lamb (black boy) from the flock (the community), and a storm (lead water) comes to damage the crops, the shepherd and the farmer cannot proactively guard each other’s work in the field, because they are too busy fighting against each other for props and position in the field.

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall… Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. – Proverbs 4:23

Before we, the leaders in the field of black male achievement can teach boys and young men of color how to be their brother’s keeper, we must become keepers of each other. First we must begin the process of purging the pride and the negative emotions within our hearts that hinders our work in the field. This process begins with humility, for humility is the “Kryptonite” to pride. Then when humility has purged the pride, we will be able to repent and turn from our ways the hinders the LORD’s Philanthropic Hand from healing our land. During this perpetual process, we must vigilantly guard our hearts with all diligence to keep pride and the emotions associated with it subdued, so that our work will advance. Lastly, this process of internal healing must be done as a cohort, so that the shepherd and farmer will see that although their roles are different in the field, they deeply desire the same result.

We, the shepherds and the farmers (i.e. the gifted brothers and sisters who sacrificially serve in the field of black male achievement), have another great opportunity to empower the boys and young men of color in our nation. I will continue to pray that all who will be engaged in the My Brother’s Keeper initiative will not only seriously contemplate the context of Cain’s cynical response “Am I my brothers keeper”, but also take the necessary introspective steps to avoid making the mistakes that he did.

Shalom Aleichem,
Jason Wilson
Founder/CEO
The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy

 

 

 

 

Monitoring

December 3, 2022

𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐧𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐚𝐜𝐲? 🤔⁣ ⁣ Though we don’t agree with this teen’s approach to getting more privacy, studies show that teens need more privacy and personal space as they get older – and it’s an actual good thing!…

Read More

5 Books Every Parent Should Be Reading!

December 2, 2022

Parents! If you’re looking for some new books to read, or even ideas for gifts to give this holiday season – 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐌𝐫. 𝐑𝐨𝐧’𝐬 𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬!👇⁣ ⁣ 1️⃣. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘍𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 – 𝘈 𝘗𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘎𝘶𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘙𝘢𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘚𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘊𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳 by Jon…

Read More

Giving Tuesday Results

December 2, 2022

Thank you to everyone who gave to The Yunion on Giving Tuesday!

Read More

Wellness Wednesdays – Mental Health Awareness Training | Facilitated by Caleb’s Kids

December 1, 2022

Wellness Wednesdays – Mental Health Awareness Training | Facilitated by Caleb’s Kids https://fb.watch/h8rrd-iARu/

Read More

Sacrificial Love of 85 People

November 30, 2022

Wow, this is so encouraging! It only took the sacrificial love of 85 people to get us over halfway to our goal — THANK YOU! To those of you who would like to give any amount, we still have until midnight to reach our goal.…

Read More

A Global Day Of Giving

November 30, 2022

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving. Please consider donating to the Yunion and help us, help more boys like Elijah! Thank you in advance and link is in bio to give!

Read More

Annual Staff Retreat!

November 29, 2022

Sharing a peek at one of our guest speakers from our annual staff retreat!👇⁣ ⁣ This speaker is Dr. Carmen Bell-Ross! 👏 She covered several topics beneficial to our mission and what the Yunion means to us all! These topics included:⁣ ⁣ 🔹 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯-𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥…

Read More

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2022

Happy early Thanksgiving from the Yunion family to you and yours! 🙌 We are wishing you a happy holiday a day early this year as we will be unplugged and spending quality time with friends and family tomorrow. Our prayers go out to everyone who…

Read More

Quick Parenting Tip Tuesday!

November 23, 2022

𝐈𝐭’𝐬 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐓𝐢𝐩 𝐓𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲! 💡 ⁣ ⁣ Parents, when complimenting your child… get your “but” out of the way!⁣ ⁣ You probably think we’re crazy 🤪 but just let us explain:⁣ ⁣ 𝗪𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐨𝐫…

Read More

Tips To Help You Communicate More Effectively With Your Child!

November 22, 2022

Parents…it’s time to communicate effectively! Making sure your children are feeling heard is a huge part of them feeling appreciated and valued by us. ⁣ Effective communication is when the person sending a message makes it clear and easy to understand, and the person receiving…

Read More

Wellness Wednesdays – Trauma-Informed Parent Training | Facilitated by Dinah Beasley

November 17, 2022

Live

Read More

A Testimonial Resolution

November 17, 2022

Our CEO and Founder Jason Wilson was honored to be presented with a Testimonial Resolution from the Office of Council President Pro-Tem James Tate and the Detroit City Council for The Cave of Adullam. “As Council President Pro-Tem James Tate read the Testimonial Resolution, I…

Read More

Parents, Just Because You’re Strong, Doesn’t Mean The Weight Isn’t Heavy!

November 16, 2022

𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬, 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠, 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬𝐧’𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐢𝐬𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐲!⁣ ⁣ This video is a highlight of one of the Cave of Adullam recruits and his father. In this session, the student was shown how the things he does in school, at home, and…

Read More

Tips To Help Your Child Open Up And Feel A Little Less Isolated

November 15, 2022

Parents, we know that raising a family can be hard. Raising an introverted child in this extroverted world can be even more difficult! Know that nothing is wrong with your child, they just view and interact with the world differently. ⁣ ⁣ 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦…

Read More

Cave of Adullam Documentary Premiere

November 11, 2022

A little highlight reel of our Cave of Adullam documentary premiere from a couple weeks ago! 🍿 This was so fun, we are so grateful to everyone who was able to attend and celebrate these young men! We also want to give a very special…

Read More

The Film Highlights The Impactful Work

November 10, 2022

“𝘐𝘵’𝘴 𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘣𝘰𝘺𝘴 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵… 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘢𝘱 𝘰𝘶𝘵” – Sharath Jason Wilson⁣ ⁣ Watch The Cave of Adullam documentary on ESPN+! The film highlights the impactful work our CEO and Founder Mr. Jason is doing…

Read More

Blog Categories

SEARCH THIS BLOG: