As part of an overarching mission to build on its legacy for decades to come, Real Men Charities, Inc.’s co-founders, Kofi and Yvette Moyo, have appointed 27-year-old Ayinde Cartman as Executive Director. An organizer and artist with extensive experience in revitalizing communities and schools, Cartman succeeds Ms. Moyo, who will remain as Associate Director. To illustrate its forward vision, the Charities’ board added a carefully-selected group of new trustees. These leaders, like Cartman, are inspired by the Founders’ commitment to Real Men Cook’s goals and its evolving service dynamic. At the same time, they bring their own vision of growth that will enable Real Men Cook to thrive well into posterity.
Under the Moyos’ leadership, Real Men Charities has gained notoriety as one of the nation’s most successful organizations focused on building healthy families and communities. As executive director, Cartman is charged with building on the Moyos’ mission while expanding its youth reach, increasing its mentoring activities, and taking an even more actively-consistent role in the community.
Cartman, a graduate of Morehouse College, brings an impressive and diverse record of activism to his new role. He has almost a decade of experience organizing, mentoring youth and adults for a multitude of organizations and perfecting his talent as a performance artist.
After graduation, Cartman held poetry and theater sessions through After School Matters, and continues to uphold the importance of the arts with his teaching position with Alternatives Youth Services. As an organizer with Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100), he was involved in street-team campaigns to raise the minimum wage for workers across the city, and cultivated strategies to build membership and involvement in community initiatives.
He has also worked with Lawndale AMACHI Mentoring Program, building relationships with Black boys in need of guidance. Cartman’s participation in the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (AAPRP) gave him a cultural and political foundation of the African diaspora. His wide array of experiences and his proven accomplishments have gained him valuable national networks and resources that will help him in his new role.
He continues the dedication to Real Men Charities cultivated by his parents, who were longstanding members of Real Men Charities and supported the organization’s events and endeavors. Cartman gives particular credit to his late father Thabiti Cartman, a noted chiropractor, whose practice was devoted to wellness and healing.
In making the announcement, the Moyos chronicled Real Men Charities’ journey that was incorporated in 2003. It was created to serve as a charitable-organization umbrella for Real Men Cook, which is now entering its 28th year. Driven by the Moyos’ leadership, this signature event has evolved from a one-day celebration that showcases responsible fatherhood, to a year-round movement. It has centered much of its expanded effort on health awareness including childhood obesity, prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV AIDS and other community health challenges. Real Men Charities’ national focus includes work on the White House Fatherhood and Male Responsibility initiatives.
Like the organization he is charged to lead, and inspired by his father’s example, Cartman is committed to promoting a threefold platform centered around revitalizing the state of wellness in Black men. Cartman has committed to using REAL MEN Comprehend, REAL MENding and REAL MENtality to “suffocate Chicago’s gun-violence by providing youth-led opportunities.”
In praising Cartman’s appointment, Ms. Moyo said: “Ayinde Cartman’s experiences make him uniquely qualified to seize the Real Men Cook reins while strengthening the Real Men Cook brand with an array of forward-thinking ideas.”
Rael Jackson, whose team led the Real Men Cook events for nearly a decade and serves as a member of Real Men Charities’ board of directors, also applauded Cartman’s selection.
The new members of the Real Men Charities’ board represent a cross section of leaders who are bound by their commitment to build a strong leadership foundation that will last for many generations. They join an existing board that has charted the organization’s growth. Each board member has a compelling story that underscores a passionate commitment to the community and to Real Men Cook. The complete list of board members and their bios can be accessed at http://www.realmencook.com/Board.html
Ms. Moyo said that the selection of Ayinde Cartman as executive director and the new board “build on a strong tradition of increasing, uplifting and celebrating the roles of Black men in the community. I am confident that the new leaders will steer the futures of countless male youth into brighter directions.”