||As young men in college, we were humbled by the realization that we could take very little credit for our own success. We owed our present position, and the possibility of obtaining our future goals, to the privileges we had been given. Even as we worked through college, peers fell to the wayside while we persevered, because we were blessed with a certain opportunity or chance or relationship. We recognized our own privileges, and decided to commit ourselves to giving privileges to others.
We serve all races and ethnicities. Most inhabitants in our target neighborhoods are Black or Latino, only because certain historical foundations and economic propensities cause these minorities to be vastly overrepresented in the inner-cities. Because they compose the majority of this demographic, many organizations focus only on blacks or Latinos. This is good, because ethnocentrism can be a strong component in effecting social change. Also, tailoring services towards a more specific target demographic allows the services to be more efficient.
We see these merits, but we believe that privilege should have no color. We also know that having ethnic boundaries will only limit one's opportunities. We work to strengthen communication and collaboration across cultural lines. This requires a thorough understanding of, as well as respect for, cultures different than one’s own, so Rising Sons strongly promotes diversity in our programs and learning about various cultures.
focus on the "sons"
As was stated in in the previous paragraph, having a more focused target demographic allows for more specialized programs. By focusing our mission on young males, we eliminate the single most significant source of variation in the issues involved in serving our target group. Our methods of making connections and building potential can be more effective since we tailor our methodology specifically for males, and focus on issues and activities that males have a tendency towards. This also allows us to use our resources to administer more effective programs.
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of Rising Sons that sets us apart is the youthfulness of the Rising Sons administration. The age difference between those in charge and those being served is a challenge for many organizations. Our executives spawned from the same communities we are now serving, and each has a personal inspiration to eradicate the problems that Rising Sons addresses. Rising Sons leaders naturally relate to the children in our programs, and can comprehend and connect with the children in ways that other organizations cannot.