Sacred Manhood: An Intergenerational Conversation on Trauma and Healing for Boys and Men of Color (“BMOC”)

Many boys and men of color have to grapple with very potent intergenerational traumas deeply linked to the racism, oppression and systemic inequities their communities have had to endure for so long. The Covid Pandemic has unfortunately exacerbated many of these underlying dynamics, resulting in increased levels of domestic and community violence in many neighborhoods. This session, facilitated by internationally-recognized author, community leader and healing practitioner Jerry Tello, offers an intergenerational conversation among young men, elders, and middle-aged men of color. They explore the deep traumas they and their communities suffer from, and how to develop strategies of responsibility and accountability that face the truth, but also create conditions for deep healing and prevent these wounds from undermining our families, communities and selves.

With: Jason Seals, professor of African American Studies at Merritt College, with a long career in youth development; David Bouttavong, a Fresno, CA-based first generation queer Lao American activist with extensive experience working on issues affecting young men and boys of color.

This discussion took place at the 2021 Bioneers Conference.


Jerry Tello

Jerry Tello, of Mexican, Texan and Coahuiltecan ancestry, raised in South Central Los Angeles, has worked for 40+ years as a leading, award-winning expert in transformational healing for men and boys of color; racial justice; peaceful community mobilization; and providing domestic violence awareness, healing and support services to war veterans and their spouses. He co-founded the Healing Generations Institute and the National Compadres Network, where he is currently Director of Training and Capacity Building. He has authored numerous articles, videos, curricula, and a series of children’s books, and is a member of the Sacred Circles performance group.

Jason Seals

Jason Seals, a professor of African American Studies and Chair of Ethnic Studies at Merritt College in Oakland, California, also has a long career in youth development, serving in multiple roles across the nonprofit, mental health and juvenile justice sectors, and he continues to facilitate community workshops and professional development trainings on a wide range of topics, including radical healing, anti-racism, parenting/fatherhood, and systems change. Professor Seals is also often called upon to provide his expertise as a consultant, curriculum designer and speaker, and he provides a platform for a wide range of African-American authors, leaders, activists and artists in his podcast, A Moment of Truth.

David Bouttavong

David Bouttavong, a Fresno, CA-based first generation queer Lao American, is on the outreach team of Poverello House, working with individuals experiencing homelessness in his town, and also serves on the board of the Laotian American Community of Fresno. He has had extensive experience as a health educator working with young men experiencing trauma and incarcerated youth with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and doing advocacy on issues affecting young men and boys of color, including with Fresno Barrios Unidos and the Fresno Unified School District. 

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