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Meet Our Team

Building Up Black Boys

Felicia Butler

Founder

Felicia L. Butler is a woman of unwavering courage, deep compassion, and an indomitable spirit. Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, she was instilled with strong family values and a deep sense of community that she carries with her to this day. From a very young age, Felicia knew that her life's calling was to make a difference in the lives of others, and she pursued a career in healthcare to fulfill that calling.

Despite her busy career, Felicia never lost sight of her childhood dream of writing a book that could change the lives of others. In 2020, she published her first book, "A Survival Guide for My Black Son: Love Always, Mom." This book offers practical advice and heartfelt encouragement from successful Black men to young Black boys being raised with inconsistent/absentee fathers.

Felicia's story is one of triumph over adversity, of hope in the face of despair, and of unconditional love in the face of being a single mother. As a mother of three beautiful children, Felicia's love for her children is the driving force behind everything she does. She is a fierce advocate for single Black parents and the struggles they face in society. As a single mother, she understands the difficulties that Black parents face and has been relentless in her efforts to create a better world for all Black children. Her book is a testament to her passion and her purposeful commitment to making a difference in the world.

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Meet Phil Watters aka "Mr. Phil"

Partner and Facilitator

Phil Watters received his bachelor's degree in education from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, where he took courses focused on education and youth leadership. While pursuing his education, he voluntarily led youth groups, assisted teachers in classrooms, tutored, and taught at various schools (public, charter, and private) with struggling youth.

 

This experience taught Phil how to manage larger class sizes, work with kids of various skill levels and backgrounds, and how to build community/ relationships within the school which helped to encourage learning and retention.

 

Phil is a third-generation teacher with 10-plus years of expertise, currently teaching 8th grade at Lighthouse Christian School. 

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Our Vision

At Building Up Black Boys, we envision a world where Black boys have the opportunity to recognize, celebrate, and fully embrace their individual power and potential. We strive to create a safe uplifting space where our boys can feel seen, heard, and valued, fostering an environment of mutual respect, honor, and solidarity amongst each other. We believe in the power of community and collaboration. Our mission is to empower and equip our boys with the skills and self-confidence they need to pursue their dreams in order to create a generation of confident, successful Black boys who will inspire each other to reach their highest potential.

Our Mission

Our mission at Building Up Black Boys is to empower Black boys to recognize their self-worth and cultivate self-love while building a strong community of support among their peers. We strive to create a safe and encouraging environment to nurture and celebrate the strength, resilience, and contributions of Black boys.

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Our Core Values

Integrity

What you choose to do when no one is looking, always do the right thing no matter what.

Honor

Keeping our word by not over-committing. Admitting our faults when we have made a mistake or done something wrong, learning from it, correcting it, and growing.

Empathy

Putting ourselves in other’s shoes and then treating them the way we would want someone to treat us at that moment.

Strength

Getting back up when we are knocked down, dusting ourselves off, and trying again. In other words, never giving up.

Community

We are the community, and the community is us. We are one and the same and will act and serve accordingly. What affects the community affects us and what affects us will affect the community.

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