Ashanti Branch is a good brother. We met twice. Once, as I was seeking support to begin a podcast. So you all have him to thank for it.
And during that time, I learned that he was an alum of the teacher preparation program of the school I was running. As an educator, he wanted to understand what was happening with the boys in his school. The boys who were super smart, but distant and did not allow his lessons to permeate their bravado. Those boys in working-class and poor communities of the East Bay (Oakland, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo) who attended the schools he taught in.
Ashanti understood that the absorption of constrained (not toxic) masculinity plagued his students. This is what inspired his work with them. Well, to understand a problematic thing, one must also learn its antidote. Tragic masculinity has a kryptonite. It is the divine feminine. And it is from this space that Ashanti and I engage in this conversation.
Follow the Ashanti's work with Everforward and get involved in the global #MillionMaskMovement; a movement to help our young people, adults, and community gain a deeper understanding of how much we have in common by inviting people from around the world to participate in an activity of self-reflection and deep connection. Learn more from Ashanti from his TedXMarin Talk, The Mask We All Wear,and the conversations he hosts on his podcast, Taking off the Mask. Follow Ashanti on Instagram @branchspeaks.