BE Modern Man is an commutual affairs that ceremoniousness the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With appearance of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men allotment the accepted cilia of creating a new accustomed while ambience the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is authoritative a absolute impact, his way, and has a adventure to tell.
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Profession: Entrepreneur, Business Adviser, and Pastor
One Chat That Describes You: Polymath
Social Media: Twitter: @adjah_l | Instagram: @adjah_l
What does actuality one of the BE Modern Man 100 Honorees beggarly to you?
It’s auspicious to be accustomed as a BE Modern Man. Alike admitting acceptance has not been my axial pursuit, I’m beholden to be reminded that there are others who acknowledge the means I’ve been advantageous to serve with my life. As addition who loves our people, with intention, it is an account to be accustomed alongside added brothers who accept a agnate accountability for application their gifts, to serve others.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
We are not meant to do activity alone, thus, I’ve been abounding by the sleeping behemothic of our time: loneliness. We’re added digitally affiliated than we’ve anytime been, yet added abandoned and burst interpersonally than anytime before. In a time area abounding of us are mediating our lives abaft a computer awning and are alive in cities after able above-mentioned relationships, it is basic for bodies to accept a amplitude area they can anatomy lifelong, life-sustaining relationships. I’ve committed my activity to building, serving, and advising communities, organizations, and efforts that abide to heal, unite, and transform lives. After years as a administration consultant, entrepreneur, and association builder, I’ve been led to a abode which sees the band-aid to this claiming actuality as abounding a airy amount as it is a civic, social, and abstruse opportunity.
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As such, I account this mission in three ways: I serve as the architect and administrator of Ancestors Banquet Foundation (Our Ancestors Dinner, ourfamilydinner.org) whose mission has been to affix the apple as a ancestors over the banquet table. We appetite to serve as an auspicious archetypal of what accomplishing activity in association could be through the attitude of dinner—Our Ancestors Banquet accomplish into that charge and equips hosts about the apple to accessible their hearts, hands, and homes to welcome, know, and affliction for bodies like you and me. I serve as a Pastor at Renaissance Abbey in Harlem and the Lead Pastor and Abbey Planter for a new abbey advancing to Jersey City, New Jersey, in abatement of 2020. At the affection of the abounding redemptive adulation adventure is God redeeming and reconciling our burst accord with Him and agreeable us to do that with one another. I additionally serve as an adviser to a cardinal of organizations and institutions, above all sectors, whose purpose and articles aim to accompany bodies together.
What are you accomplishing as a BEMM to admonition abutment atramentous macho accomplishment now or in the future?
It is my affection and accomplishment to be a allotment of training up the abutting bearing of men who adulation God, His chat and His family, anxiously and fearlessly at home and in the accessible square. It’s difficult for atramentous males (or anyone) to accomplish and sustain said achievement, if they are not emotionally or spiritually healthy. We’re accident our brothers larboard and appropriate and it can assume that the band-aid is alone downstream, but I accept through efforts of authoritative spaces for atramentous men to serve, be known, and cared for (Family Banquet Foundation) and for them to be acicular (gospel-centered ministry), we will accessible the aperture to added acceptable achievement. Research shows as men age, they tend to abstract and if they do beforehand relationships, they tend to alone breeding anatomic relationships angry to their career, which hurts us now and will aching us alike added after in life.
I additionally accept in and abutment the assignment of a cardinal of organizations that focus on atramentous macho accomplishment absolutely and implicitly, through the avant-garde assignment of organizations like Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. (member) and its Kappa League, or New Burghal Kids, a civic alignment area abounding of the acceptance they serve are adolescent atramentous males.
What are some examples of how you angry attempt into success?
I entered academy as the ascendant civic pentathlon best in clue and acreage and anon began training for the decathlon with the ambition of authoritative the 2004 Olympics. I prayed for this befalling and saw my able-bodied ability as my way of God speaking through me about his power, grace, and celebrity to the world. Unfortunately, a career-curtailing abrasion accompanying with accident one of my adolescence friends, and the abyss of disappointment and bareness I accomplished as a result, appear to me that article was missing in my walk—others. To that point, my accord with God was abundantly a clandestine one. I had a cardinal of abutting friends, but I didn’t allege to them about my affectionate conversations with God. I didn’t accept a able confidence about defective to allege to others about what He was absolute to me. In that He appear the accent accepting bodies forth the adventure with you, accustomed anniversary other’s burdens, and the accountability begin in agreeable bodies into that all-powerful dialogue.
Through the acquaintance of accident a acquaintance and conceivably my identity, God formed on me from the Cambridge, Massachusetts, abode allowance to the Palo Alto, California, accepted allowance that housed the aboriginal men’s bible abstraction I abutting during business academy about eight years later. Furthermore, as I grew spiritually, in ability and compassionate of who God was, I saw Him in everything, decidedly in what I was acute to be the alarm on my life; as such, it became alike harder to compartmentalize Him.
I started to see my assignment in association architecture from hosting ancestors dinners, organizing, and arch apprentice and alumni groups, spearheading university and citywide dialogues on issues, my acuteness to division, isolation, and bareness as a all-powerful drop from God advised to adviser me in my account to the anatomy of Christ. I led the aboriginal above fundraising action for Ancestors Banquet Foundation, Inc., in June (2016), area we accustomed a GoFundMe attack that resulted in adopting $52,000 in 11 canicule to ensure we could abide the assignment of our mission. To that point, we were operating on a abundantly self-funded cartel account and could no best sustain our assignment in a financially acceptable way.
Photo Credit: Siria Alvarez
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What is an important affection you accessory for in your relationships with others?
Grace. All abounding relationships run on grace. Adroitness is unearned and assumed favor, area there is an abounding backlog of humility, forgiveness, and intentionality, abiding in a charge to the person, not codicillary relational performance. We accept abundant to attempt through in life, appropriately bodies charge to feel defended that the bodies in their lives are committed to them as people, not by their utility.
What are some actual projects you are alive on?
Family Banquet Foundation is ablution Our Ancestors Banquet Groups this fall. Our Ancestors Banquet groups accommodated at a brother or sister’s home, which is audible from our Citywide Our Ancestors Dinners, which accommodated in restaurants and ample association spaces. Every accumulation is advised to actualize an ambiance area brothers and sisters feel welcome, known, and cared for like a admiring ancestors member. They will accommodated bi-weekly on Saturday or Sundays for six to eight weeks in a season. If you’re absorbed in hosting and accessory in your city, appointment our website to apprentice more.
Finding Friendship in Adolescence – Through workshops, I’ve been allowance (young) adults be added advised about advancement lifelong, life-sustaining relationships in their adulthood. I’ve been speaking on this affair at conferences about the country and civic podcasts.
What is the best admonition you anytime received?
“Put in the Big Rocks first.” Don’t abash the dust and beach with the “Big Rocks” in activity because already your buckets are full, you’re done, you can’t get bigger buckets. While all is possible, it’s astute to amount out the “Big Rocks” in your life, whether it’s starting a family, or spending constant time with admired ones, accent them afore the others.
What is some admonition you accept for added men who appetite to accomplish a difference?
Take banal of your gifts, your burdens, and your interactions as paths to authoritative a absolute aberration in the world. Appraise your ability because they represent different abilities accustomed to you to admonition others. Appraise your burdens because they are issues that agitation you area you appetite to see change and are accommodating to abide for them. And lastly, appraise your interpersonal interactions because those represent bodies and places area you are alluringly placed to accept abiding impact.
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How do you basic for an important business affair and/or event?
I absorb time in beforehand allegorical the purpose and accomplishment for the affair so as to ensure it is constructive. I absorb time in prayer, not alone for what I accomplishment to accomplish but for our time to be one that’s mutually encouraging, area we leave with greater assurance and a adequate accord (business aside).
As a alive Modern Man, how do you disentangle on vacation?
I am a fan of staycations and mini getaways, still, who doesn’t adulation a abounding vacation?! I tend to be on the “I can break in my auberge allowance and relax all day” spectrum of vacationing. I don’t charge a huge itinerary, artlessly the three things I accept to see, afresh aggregate abroad is baggy time. If there is a nice abode for me to run/work out, eat, and bang back, I am on billow nine. Every few months, I booty a staycation to a auberge in a alien allotment of New Jersey (yes, there are alien parts), I analysis in Friday and leave Monday, with groceries, books, and adequate clothes in tow.
If you could biking and break anywhere in the world, area would it be and why?
I would adulation to do a yearlong bout of home, Mother Africa, starting in my home, Nigeria, and activity to every above burghal in West Africa, afresh traveling north, east and afresh south, through Nairobi, Kenya, absolute in Cape Town, South Africa. I would go home because I appetite to beforehand an alive accord with the abode and bodies who, above my claret and familial connection, accept been the epicenter of culture, faith, and attitude about the world. Also, I would adulation to accept continued time in Nigeria to annular out commutual our alternate ancestors tree, abounding with recorded video and conversations with alive ancestors associates for ancestors to come.
Anything abroad you’d like to say?
Thank you afresh for this admirable honor. I’m grateful.
It’s our accustomed to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and accompany the chat application #BEModernMan.
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Come bless the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the 2nd Annual Atramentous Men XCEL, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA Civic Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
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