Real Talks have been held in Boulder, Cleveland, Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, Baton Rouge, Rochester, and are scheduled in several schools in Chicago.

Here is the power of Real Talk: Pennsylvania State Representative Jerry Johnson held a Real Talk program on April 17th, 2015 at Perry High School.

The male panelists, ranging in experience from judges to formerly incarcerated men, spoke to 30-40 at risk young men.

Here is a summary of the event in Jerry’s words, “At the beginning, all I heard was the disrespectful chatter of a teenage audience forced to be present. By the end, I heard loud applause, laughter, and I felt that the energy in the room was totally different from the beginning. What happened in between the beginning and the end was the hard work that each of you put into the small room discussions. Grappling with heavy issues that affect at-risk youth directly. I visited all of the rooms and I witnessed the start of the transformation. Accomplished strong African American men standing proud and making a valiant effort to redirect the destiny of wayward youth. It was a monumental task that required a monumental effort and every single one of you delivered.“

This is the spirit, the soul and the purpose of Real Talk!

South Florida NBPA members Leonard Thompson, Jr., Kristina Mills, Tierrel Mathis, La’Tiara Calloway, and Yaneth Baez speaking to students from Miami Jackson Senior High at a Real Talk event. We discussed how to interact with the police, sexting, bullying, being mindful of the content that they post to social media, choices and consequences, preparing for college and the workforce, and other important topics.

Baton Rouge NBPA Chapter

Created in 2014, the Real Talk program was developed in response to concerns regarding African American youth.  Our objective is to work with our young boys to foster mentoring relationships, and show them alternatives to violence.  Through this program, the NBPA actively addresses the “school to prison pipeline” trend, as well as combats the misinformation that is often prevalent about how the criminal justice system works.

The panels focus on the topics of: Crime and Choices, which feature police officers educating students about the realities of crime and interacting with law enforcement; Consequences, addressing what happens in the judicial system; and Options where panelists discuss how to deal with situations in a non-violent manner, and how to make positive choices for the future.

The NBPA, with a number of community partners, hosted the panels in 5 schools in Miami, Florida and 6 schools in Atlanta, Georgia during the spring of 2014. In 2015, the program will be expanded nationwide.  For further information or to volunteer, please contact

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