Name: Kevin Livingston
Profession: President of 100 Suits for 100 Men Inc.
Kevin Livingston was inspired by the notion that if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. So he opted to be part of the solution by creating 100 Suits for 100 Men, a community-centered organization that is making positive changes in the lives of men and women in the New York City area. The primary focus of the organization is providing solutions to help individuals get to a place of economic freedom and to reduce recidivism rates. Through a variety of programs, 100 Suits for 100 Men has been able to connect to and assist formerly incarcerated individuals, the homeless, gang members, and survivors of domestic violence.
Livingston began a personal campaign to provide quality business attire for young men in Jamaica, Queens. “I was disturbed by people making negative comments about how young men were dressing without offering them guidance, suggestions, or alternatives,” Livingston tells BE Modern Man.
Soon after, he expanded into holding professional development workshops that align directly to his campaign to provide quality business attire. Believing that his passion would guide his work and create a monetary return, Livingston stepped out on faith.
He says, “When you follow your passion, money follows you. I must qualify this statement with an acknowledgment that realistically, it is not that simple. It is imperative to keep site of your vision and hold onto your passion. Staying motivated can become challenging when you encounter obstacles.”
Livingston believes that building a foundation of constantly reaffirming your vision, keeping your passion ignited, staying focused, being willing to make adjustments, and being intentional and goal-oriented will put you in a position to realize your goals.
“The core principles to sustain your venture require a solid business plan, meticulous record-keeping, and self-evaluation of successes for the purpose of developing or adjusting strategies to improve and grow, Livingston tells BE Modern Man.
During workshop presentations, 100 Suits for 100 Men stresses the importance of professionalism, striving for excellence, and identifying key stakeholders who can provide meaningful insight, support, and technical assistance to manage your vision.
“Beyond business principles, it is absolutely necessary to take time for yourself and your family as it is easy to lose sight of the value of relationships and personal wellness.”
A man that took action to solve a problem, Livingston sees the BE Modern Man platform as a crucial element in spotlighting men who stand for a cause as a way to help eradicate stereotypes of black men.
“Children, young men, and men of color need to see people like themselves represented in a positive light by “ordinary” people. Furthermore, it provides a framework for them to understand that dreams coupled with hard work lead to success and empowerment. It speaks to possibility, demonstrates hope, and has the capacity to spur someone else to pursue their dreams despite the lack of initial support.”
Working as a waiter, Livingston purchased an issue of the Black Enterprise magazine for the sole purpose of drawing inspiration from successful black entrepreneurs. He knew that he wanted to be an entrepreneur but wanted to see what it looked like.
“Black Enterprise afforded me that opportunity by showcasing human blueprints for what I aspired to become. I am humbled and grateful to be given an opportunity to be a BE Modern Man and hopefully become a source of encouragement for a future mogul.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.