Educate (Teach them) • Empower (Inspire them) • Expose (Influence them) • Employ (Sustain them)
“Servitude is the shadow of love.
There is no greater gift to humanity.”
The Purple Boot Initiative, “Boys who wear purple” is the brain child of Bro. Etu Evans based upon his triumph of overcoming his learning disability, low income housing stigma, and low self-esteem, to graduating with a 4.0 GPA from Columbia University with a Masters degree in Applied Behavioral Science, to becoming an internationally acclaimed footwear designer, motivational speaker, and philanthropist. The PBI was later adopted by the Epsilon, Zeta Psi, and Tau Lambda Lambda chapters of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. as a scholarship imperative, fatherhood initiative, and social platform to initiate change in the village of Harlem, Brooklyn, and Southern Maryland. The Cardinal Principles of the fraternity: Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift are exemplified to influence the imaging of diasporas next generation of leaders. It is the vision of the PBI’s founder to provide mentors to redirect the mind set of today’s young men by building sound character, business acumen, exposure, etiquette, and literacy through mentorship. Etu Evans states, “When we raise the level of expectation, resources, and exposure of our boys, suddenly the impossible becomes the expected. I was one of these boys! Education is a passport to success, and perceptions are combustible. Images have power and are measurable influences that precipitate social behavior.” The PBI is dedicated to fellow Columbia University alumni, Bro. Eddie Taylor, an exemplary Omega man and advocate for scholastic merit. Additionally, Ennis Cosby, Evans’ former classmate, who also surmounted his learning challenges and dedicated his life to using education as a tool to instill hopes and empower the lives of at risk children.
The Purple Boot Initiative is a unique research project utilizing the scientific Comprehensive Analysis of Applied Behavioral System (CABAS) principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis and visual graphic display to shape the behavior and academic performance of young boys ages 7 to 11 at the Harlem Day Charter School, which is located in the heart of New York City’s most underperforming school district, and the Indian Head Elementary school located in Indian Head, Maryland. We look to replicate our program nationally to live up to our motto to educate, empower, and employ black and brown boys to take ownership of their destiny, property, businesses, families and neighborhoods at large. To that end the Man-I-Fest Fatherhood Initiative of the PBI charges black and brown men to manifest greatness by serving as biological and surrogate fathers, leaders, mentors, and everyday heroes in their communities through interactive activities such as Que-nic (Fathers and Sons in Purple Cookout) and leadership workshops. Our case study will measure the scholastic aptitude, attitude and behavior of boys in urban environments. The findings will be eventually used to create a specialized curriculum for boys of color, and the later development of an all boy’s charter school entitled The Etu Evans Academy, “Home of the Purple Boot Initiative.” All students will be required to wear uniforms with purple ties. Lastly, our case study addresses the reduction of drug related activity, gang affiliation, and working strategically with the leaders of the Bloods and Crips to create neutral free zones for our boys to fulfill their promise where applicable, as we track them from middle schools to the universities and trade schools of their choice. All participants will be videotaped in their initial Purple Perspective interview to conduct a base line of responses to develop appropriate interventions and activities. Etu Evans states, “Mentoring is another word for magician! The Purple Boot Initiative has already increased the academic and behavioral performance of its mentees by over 50% in just 11 months of its inception in Harlem.
The PBI will expand its services to New Jersey, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia this fall. Our partners include The Harlem Day Charter School, Indian Head Elementary School, Columbia University, several chapters of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. as well as inspirational men from the Harlem, Brooklyn, Westchester, and Maryland communities. For more information contact Etu Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PURPLE BOOT MISSION
The Purple Boot Initiative is designed as an early intervention scholarship imperative and mentoring program to initiate leadership in the lives of boys of color ages 7 to 11 residing in at risk communities. The PBI incorporates the 4 Cardinal Principles and history of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. as a platform for life transformation. The principles include: Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift. It is our mission to redirect the mindset of our leaders of tomorrow in spite of economic stipulations, poor commercial imagery, and environmental adversities. To that end, we use positive reinforcement techniques employed in the CABAS principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis and visual graphic display to shape their behaviors and scholastic performance. Lastly, we aspire to replicate our program nationally to live up to our mission to educate, empower, and employ young men of color from vulnerable communities to take ownership of their destiny, property, businesses, families and neighborhoods at large. We aim to unite the boys we serve with their biological and surrogate fathers with mentors through our Man-I-Fest Fatherhood Initiative. Ultimately, our goal is to break the cycle of poverty, reduce the prison and high school drop out rates to create future productive citizens and eventually distinguished sons of Omega through the integration of a customized curriculum, as well as the development of the Etu Evans Prep Academy for boys.