CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) — In response to social unrest and nationwide protests, Clemson University’s, ‘Call Me MISTER Program’, is pushing leadership, relationship, and education like never before.
Organizers hope a transformed year-long series will spark change. MISTER stands for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models.
“Around May, it was really a tough time for me and a lot of my friends in dealing with George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and just having a lot of that stuff resonate in our hearts. And so in some ways in COVID, the world just stopped, and all those moments just came to light,” said Evan Livingston, rising senior at Clemson University.
Livingston is the President of Clemson’s cohort. Usually the leadership institute would have summer experiences to mentor minority men education majors in partnership with 33 institutions in 10 different states. Now, they have something bigger in the works.
“So what we’ve decided to do is create what we call the ‘Call Me MISTER Leadership Series’. Where we will again, bring in a variety of practitioners throughout our country, throughout our program,” said Mark Joseph, Program Coordinator of Call Me Mister Program at Clemson University.
The goal of the leadership series is to create educators who are change-agents, through critical-thinking, literacy, education and community.
At least once a month, all year-long, speakers will hold online sessions to encourage and teach students how to become better men for their communities and their future classrooms.
“How do we develop, how do we grow, how do we expand as leaders, as educators, to take our rightful place and to understand our place and our role and our identity, to really use our leadership and influence to impact our schools,” Joseph said.
“The designs of these Zoom sessions again, is to create a platform where our young scholars are in a position to where they can exercise their voice,” Joseph said. “We’re trying to establish ourselves to teach all children in the state of SC and beyond and to give them the necessary love, support, and education that they deserve.
Organizers said it not only starts with their leadership program, they’re desperately calling on you to help build a nation of people teaching the value of respect, equality, and love.
“We’re not able to move forward to solve any of the issues that we are facing in our society without the value of relationship,” Joseph said.
“I just want to encourage everyone to keep having those conversations. Keep fighting for justice,” Livingston added.
Anyone who is an educator or a community leader can partner with the program. Students are also welcomed to participate in their area.