Community Service is work done by a person or group that benefits others. Some of these services are catered to the less fortunate in the area. It is often done near the area where you live, so your own community can reap the benefits of your work. FAU organizations usually participate in community service in or near Palm Beach County since our campus and majority of students reside here. Organizations or individuals do not get paid to perform community service, but volunteer their time.
We would like to highlight Progressive Black Men Inc. for their consistent efforts in helping our community thrive. Progressive Black Men Inc., also known as PBM, has been exceptional in their service. During Unity Day on October 31st, we were able to steal some time from Joshua Forde, a member of Progressive Black Men Inc. who first agreed to do the interview with Paradigm Press. “PBM is an organization geared to eradicate negative stereotypes placed on people of African descent within our collegiate communities through brotherhood, community service, and humanitarian aid” said Joshua Forde, the Event Planner for PBM.
They have been the paradigm in community service, volunteering in seven community service projects (as seen on Instagram) since the start of the Fall semester. That’s impressive and the most consistent service I’ve seen done from an organization in one semester! “Right now, people have the time to do things now that classes are online.” When asked why community service is so important to PBM, Forde responded “Family and Community Development is one of our five pillars that we stand strongly for. When we engage with the community or help other people, we don’t do it for recognition.”
PBM participated in three community service projects during the month of September. On September 4th, the progressive black men of FAU teamed up with Hands on Broward in Oakland Park to distribute school supplies to various middle school organizations. On September 10th, they protested on campus and volunteered their manpower in setting up, distribution, and breaking down the event. They came together with various student organizations to let their voices be heard! On September 12th, they helped Connected Life Christian Church with housekeeping duties and preparation for Sunday service in the House of the Lord. God will definitely take note of the countless lives you all have had an impact on.
I asked Joshua Forde during our interview if he feels any pressure being such an effective leader at FAU and he stated “There’s no pressure. We want to do it. We want to create opportunities and we want to continue keeping up that energy [of] love and the [desire] to do service.”
On October 2nd, these men also partnered with Women Empowerment Club and Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students for a beach clean up on a bright and early Saturday morning. On October 15th and 16th, Progressive Black Men Inc. partnered with the National Council of Negro Women and Florida Helping Hands to assist in stacking crates with food items that were sent out to less fortunate children. They also helped organize fruits and vegetables, and pack frozen meat for people in need to make meals. On October 28th, PBM partnered up with Community Greening to better the environment in the east retention area of Delray Beach, Florida. On October 31st, these men participated in Unity Day at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Pearl City of Boca Raton, FL. They served food and entertained the audience with a special poem read by Joshua Forde.
As you can see, these men do multiple services a week! It is amazing the way these PBM men have been dedicating their time and energy to others in need. Moves like this breaks the stereotype that black men sometimes see or hear way too often. So shout out to Class 10 for their hard work, diligence and leadership in community service. “I’d like to shout out Jean-Max Meradieu because he’s our Community Service Chair. So none of this would be possible without him. His co-chairs are Wilner Fresin and Christopher Witherspoon. They’re the ones who organize all the community service. They do a great and amazing job!” exclaimed Forde.
“Keep your eyes and ears out for all the events coming in the spring, especially Blazers & The Arts. Look forward to it; it’s going to be different.” he finishes.
We’d like to thank these gentlemen for all their hard work in making people’s lives just a little bit easier by giving up their own time and efforts to make a difference.