Chad Bryan, Youthlink Writer
Caribbean men, whether in the family, at school or in some other facet of society, have long been viewed as marginalised or at risk of being so. In fact, it was Errol Miller, a professor at the University of the West Indies, Mona, who had introduced the notion of 'male marginalisation' or 'male at risk' in the 1980s and early '90s.
He was drawing attention to the marginal positions that males were at risk of occupying in their families and their diminishing earning capacity in relation to women in white-collar jobs, among other complexities.
In an effort to 'reposition' men in the society and combat this 'risk', Liberty Preparatory School, located on Hope Road in Kingston, staged its first Boys' Day in keeping with the goals set by Swallowfield Chapel, which has responsibility for the school. The day of activities under the theme 'Boys on a mission, Mission Impossible, Discipline Determines Destiny' targeted boys between ages four and 13.
The Rotaract Club of Kingston, in an effort to 'Embrace Humanity, Inspire Hearts [and] Change Lives' (its theme for 2012), collaborated with the school and President Nicole Goodin noted that having male Rotarians and other men sharing with the students and leaving indelible impressions on their lives was important so that they may go on to become future leaders. During the day, male teachers, male Rotarians and a few fathers gave motivational talks, showcased art demonstrations, led spiritually enriching sessions, engaged in activities to promote discipline and how to resolve conflicts and also participated in othe meaningful activities to stimulate the young male minds.
Principal Suzanne Williams explained that a Boys' Day was necessary at the school.
"In a co-ed school there aren't many activities specific to the sexes, [but] there are times when the needs of the sexes need to be planned for in order for them to develop their self-image and own identity," she explained. Prior to Boys' Day, the school had previously hosted a Girls' Day.