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QC African American Male Summit Opens Saturday

A System Within A System, Inc.

The first African-American Male Summit in the Quad Cities will be held on Saturday, at the Rogalski Center at St. Ambrose University.

It will offer a chance for African American men to hear from speakers on building a productive, healthy life, and for men of all generations to ask questions and share knowledge.

Sherwin Robinson, Sr. is a Davenport-based barber and the founder of A System Within a System, the group that's organizing the event. He says it will focus on economics, education, and healthcare--three areas where he believes Black men don't receive enough support and guidance.

"In our culture, we have suffered in education and economics, so I just want to get us incorporated in finding the right resources, getting educated in becoming leaders in our communities, in our households, and in our families."

After facing addiction and homelessness in the late 1990s, Robinson says he took stock and began working toward a better life for himself and his family. And now he wants to share that with other men in the community.

"As time elapsed, I started figuring--okay, hey, if I can do these things and I'm still working on some of these things, I can try to help others, to let people know 'hey, you can have troubles in your life. You can have dysfunctions and disorders but yet, you still can bounce back from it.'"

Speakers at the summit will include Alfred “Coach” Powell, Dr. De Lacy Davis, and Dr. Chike Akua, as well as Pastor Larry Westbrook of East Moline.

Robinson hopes future summits will tackle housing, justice, and financial literacy, and plans to provide monthly resources via social media and partnering with community organizations.

More information can be found on the ASWAS website, or at 4Sher Barbershop in Davenport, IA.

Aaryan Balu first set foot in audio journalism at WTJU Charlottesville and WRIR Richmond, and now works as WVIK Quad Cities NPR's Fellowship Host.