New Lens on Life

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“Silence is powerful.” Gayle Smaller takes off his glasses and with one sweeping gesture, invokes the grandeur of the North Shore. “Out there, the guys can hear it.”

“The guys” are the promising young black men who are New Lens Urban Mentoring Society, and Gayle Smaller, New Lens founder, is a big man, with big ideas. One of his big ideas was New Lens Urban Mentoring Society. “We want to make sure urban African American males have access to resources and experiences other Minnesotans take for granted.” Today the Society serves African American boys and men through a collaboration of experience and age.

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Kids are paired with caring male mentors from the community. Youth mentors are in turn partnered with elder mentors. All mentors are New Lens collaborators and innovators and their in-house community is built on trust. “Every idea I have,” says Smaller, “I know they can make it better. I trust them to make it better.” The New Lens community also includes a handful of strong partners who support the work with a diversity of deep impact, life changing experiences. Thanks to one partner, Voyageur Outward Bound School, silence is one of those life-changing experiences......

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