Saturday, October 19, 2019 || By Shanel Romain || @maywoodnews
Around 30 men gathered in the gymnasium at Lindop Elementary School, 2400 18th Ave. in Broadview, on Oct. 11, for the school’s first-ever Men of Distinction event.
“The idea came about from our superintendent [Janiece Jackson], who did a similar event at another district and wanted to bring it here,” said John Knobbe, Lindop’s assistant principal.
A major theme of the day was how to monitor children, particularly on social media. The morning’s keynote speaker, Dwayne Bryant, said that he had recently graduated from the FBI’s Citizens Academy — a six- to eight-week program that gives “business, religious, civic, and community leaders an inside look at the FBI,” according to the agency’s website. What Bryant learned, he said, shocked him.
Attendees at Lindop’s Men of Distinction event on Oct. 11. | Shanel Romain
“There are pedophiles, dads, who are doing whatever they can do to get to your kid,” Bryant said. “They’re on social media pretending to be their friends. They’re watching them at the park. There are grown men’s clubs [abusing babies]. This world is sick. It is nasty and a lot of us have no clue just how sick and nasty it is.”
In an interview after his address, Bryant said that he wanted to alert the dads about methods and tools “so they can be able to help their children navigate toward success, because there are so many influences in the community.”
Steven Hill, who has two grandchildren at Lindop, said that the event enlightened him enough to tell others about what he learned.
Top: Dwayne Bryant speaks during Lindop’s Men of Distinction event. Below, Charlie Johnson escorts his daughters to their classes at Lindop on Oct. 11. | Shanel Romain
“This was a very informative presentation,” Hill said. “A lot of things are going on in the world that we don’t pay attention to, but our kids are exposed to. I’m thankful, because this gave me an eye into a world that is preying on our kids and we don’t even know it. It also gave me the tools to monitor the activity of my grandchildren, nieces and nephews. I’ll pass the information onto my kids, too.”
“Today was great,” said Larry Love. “More than our kids, legacy is about far more than what we leave behind; it’s a blueprint of how we live and today was a great example of that.”