BE Modern Man: Jared Green
Nonprofit founder, author, speaker; 25; Executive Director, Sunny With A Chance of Love; Special Assistant, Mayor’s Office, City of New Orleans
I’ve been doing community work since the age of five. As I grew older, I continued to have a passion for leading and serving others, so I continued to volunteer via community service in many different capacities. Most recently, I released my children’s book There’s A Creature In My Belly, which teaches young children about the greatness within them. I wanted to create something that young children of color can see and smile at. Representation matters. To have someone that looks like you and comes from where you come from can change a person’s outlook on life. I raised just enough money to print 1,000 copies of my book, which is $15,000 in product. I then donated those copies and more to mostly underprivileged children housed within various schools and organizations throughout the city of New Orleans. I was able to get this done through my nonprofit organization, Sunny With A Chance Of Love, which aims to create innovative social and economic change throughout the city of New Orleans.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN LIFE?
First and foremost I am a proud father of my 4-year-old son, Jayce. He is my biggest inspiration and the force behind my everyday drive. Secondly, I am proud that I am still here and that I still have hope. In the world we call home today, the life of a young black male seems fragile. Every day is lived cautiously, even when trying to do positive work. As a nonprofit founder, I wish to continue to help this to change, and to continue to build a platform that can be used to change lives.
HOW HAVE YOU TURNED STRUGGLE INTO SUCCESS?
I used to measure my success by others’ ruler, but I now know that was a big mistake. Life hit me hard. There are so many stories I could tell, but I’ll sum it up by saying that I was depressed, badly. My depression was built up over the course of years, and I didn’t even realize it. Year after year voids and holes were created within myself that I could not fill. One day those voids caught up to me, life pushed me over the edge, and my suicidal thoughts began. I no longer wanted to be on this earth, and I cried out to God, letting him know I was ready to come home. God spoke back to me and told me that everything I needed was within me. I began to feel encouraged as I wrote the words to my first children’s book There’s A Creature In My Belly! This book has already touched the lives of thousands and has encouraged so many to believe again. This book has caused me to not only receive a proclamation from my city but also be flown out by the Obama Foundation because of my work in my community as a nonprofit founder. I have been on multiple local news and radio stations and I have also been featured in multiple magazine articles.
WHO WAS YOUR GREATEST MALE ROLE MODEL AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM HIM?
My greatest role model is my Dad. The list of things I’ve learned is extensive, as he taught me a lot. What I reflect on the most are the intangibles. My dad never misses a beat, and his family will always eat. When his businesses were up and running, I watched him go above and beyond for not just his clients, but also his employees. He always goes the extra mile, for nothing more but to see the smile on your face, even when he knows you won’t appreciate it. He prays every morning before he walks out the door that God allows him to touch someone’s life if he can that day. His critical thinking skills are legendary, as he always has a solution for any problem. All of these things, and so much more is what I have learned and continue to learn from my Dad.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
You are the only thing that’s stopping you. You are the biggest hurdle you have to face. The sooner you get out of your own way, the sooner you’ll reach your desired destination.
HOW ARE YOU PAYING IT FORWARD TO SUPPORT OTHER BLACK MALES?
As a nonprofit founder, I am creating innovative programs and initiatives that will affect the minds of young black males. I have created a children’s book that is already changing lives, and I donated over 1,000 of my books to underprivileged children around my city. I will continue to create children’s books and products that will inspire and drive young minds for generations to come. I am growing the brand “Jared The Dreamer,” which gives me the platform to speak and influence young men through the journey I’ve been on and my life experiences. I am showing my peers how to create something from nothing.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE MANHOOD?
Manhood is responsibility and maturity. With responsibility and maturity comes independence. Manhood is the ability to stand alone and be confident in yourself and where you are in life.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING A BLACK MAN?
The challenge. The levels. The appreciation for who I am and the work I do from my own people. I love my history, my ancestors, and where I come from. I love my culture and I appreciate the ability to disprove the stigma that comes along with being a black male.
BE Modern Man is an online and social media campaign designed to celebrate black men making valuable contributions in every profession, industry, community, and area of endeavor. Each year, we solicit nominations in order to select men of color for inclusion in the 100 Black Enterprise Modern Men of Distinction. Our goal is to recognize men who epitomize the BEMM credo “Extraordinary is our normal” in their day-to-day lives, presenting authentic examples of the typical black man rarely seen in mainstream media. The BE Modern Men of Distinction are celebrated annually at Black Men XCEL (www.blackenterprise.com/blackmenxcel/). Click this link to submit a nomination for BE Modern Man: https://www.blackenterprise.com/nominate/. Follow BE Modern Man on Twitter: @bemodernman and Instagram: @be_modernman.