In The Huddle: Empowerment for men

Mike McGee | 9/6/2018, 10:45 a.m.
Chris Howell said he believes that to become a fully developed Black man in today’s society, it requires a multifaceted ...
Chris Howell speaks with author and former Green Bay Packer Jay Barnett about the importance of men’s mental health during the In The Huddle male empowerment event at The Renaissance Dallas Hotel, Aug. 25. Photo by Mike McGee

The Dallas Examiner

Chris Howell said he believes that to become a fully developed Black man in today’s society, it requires a multifaceted approach requiring work that reaches further than that which is skin-deep.

Howell – news personality, author, and president and CEO of the Chris Howell foundation – feels so strongly about his mission to prepare young Black males for responsible adulthood that he hosted In The Huddle as a way to provide guidance to youth as well as sage advice to older men who themselves may be role models. The men’s empowerment event was held Aug. 25 at The Renaissance Dallas Hotel.

Described in a promotional statement as “a half-day event created to inform and inspire men of all backgrounds to become the team captain of their lives,” Howell designed the gathering around what he considered the four compass points of manhood: health, money, coach, goals.

“I believe that men need this type of coming together now more than ever; as it appears that they have become discouraged and mentally fatigued,” the founder acknowledged in a written statement.

“As I look across the landscape at the men in my circles, I no longer see the fire in their eyes and when asked about it, no one can quite say what has caused it to go dim. It is my hope that this event will bring men of all backgrounds together to have open and honest conversations.”

Sessions held within the hotel ballroom included a #MeToo discussion, A Man and His Money, A Man and His Coach and A Man and His Health. The aspects of each topic – navigating the changing sexual customs in work and social situations, financial responsibility and independence, the art of compromise and self-improvement while keeping focused on ones’ values and goals, and living a healthier lifestyle – intersect the others to build stronger, more balanced and educated men.

During a break from the Benny Franklin life coaching session, Howell considered some of the difficulties males, especially young Black men, often have to deal with.

“One thing is a sense of direction,” he said. “As we talk to most guys, we did some man on the street interviews and actually talked to some of our friends. Right now, a lot of men are uncertain in terms of where they are going to go in the future. That whole five, 10-year plan that we used to be able to lie out so easily? Men are struggling with how to lay that out today.” Loneliness, a safe place to be vulnerable, communication, and mental health were also a few of the issues the event explored. The CEO admitted that the trials of the modern world might not even be that new for men just now coming up.

“I don’t believe that men are faced with any more challenges today than we had in the past, but I do believe that we have fewer resources available to us to help us navigate this thing called life.”

Howell described how there were men from various walks of life attending the Huddle, and he hoped to reach out to them so they could further mentor to those around them, like ripples in a pond.