“Our decision to heap shame and contempt upon those who struggle and fail in a system designed to keep them locked up and locked out says far more about ourselves than it does about them.”
— Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
All Kings is a community of men dedicated to justice and freedom. We facilitate our own growth and healing by providing young returning citizens with the support they need to make the transition to an adulthood full of connection, purpose and meaning.
America is experiencing a crisis of manhood. Almost 9 out of 10 people found guilty for indictable offences are men, including 97% of burglary indictments and 92% violent crimes. Among men under the age of 35, suicide is the second most common cause of death. And yet, despite record investment, the current approach is failing. Our prison system, overflowing and leveraged for profit, only exacerbates the problem and reinforces the trauma. Upon release, men are left to fend for themselves, stigmatized with shame.
The problem of criminal justice and carceral system in America is a community problem. With the decline of manufacturing in the twentieth century, many men lost the jobs that gave them purpose, connection, and structure. At the same time, America saw a decline in community structures, especially for men. Civic associations -- like the Elks and the Masons -- all but disappeared. Isolation and inequality has left young men feeling disempowered. Without proper guidance, support, and inspiration, young men impose their power on others in unproductive ways, or turn to competitive or violent groups -- gangs, the military, militias, fraternities, or sports teams.
This has to change. A neglected young male can easily cost the state over $1,000,000 by the time he reaches the age of 40. By that time he will also have left a trail of both emotional and physical damage that will have harmful consequences for his family, the community and society at large. And the man is lost.
All Kings works to heal these wounds of domination, isolation, and injustice by cultivating an authentic community of men, and spaces where men can bring themselves in all their power and vulnerability. Our model is holistic and relational, based on a combination of contemporary psychological and sociological practices, and centering rites of passage experiences, mentorship, and healing circles. Specifically, our methodology is based on the following five concepts:
Story -- We help men understand their pasts and recreate stories of empowerment, to relate to themselves and others in a more healthy way.
Body -- We believe trauma lives in the body, and in feeling, and that healing happens through physical and emotional work.
Community -- We believe we are interdependent and that we can only heal together. For-profit and professionalized models can not replace authentic human relationships.
Equality -- We seek partnership over power. Every man involved in our project has come to heal, and so every man is a healer.
Acceptance -- We don’t prescribe solutions. We create environments that support individuals in their own growth.
Our belief is the greatest challenge facing all men is a disconnection from self and disconnection from others. We foster experiences that allow men to collectively connect, and to safely process the habits and beliefs that have kept them from living up to their full potential.
We commit to upholding the following values in our work.
Diversity and inclusion -- America is a vastly diverse community. We commit to honoring visible and invisible differences in our work, so that each man may bring his unique gifts. We are committed to fighting against racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and agism.
Honoring the Voices of Women -- We believe in the unique power and force of women and commit to celebrating, empowering, and supporting them.
Being and Becoming -- We accept that we are all flawed and in process.
Evolving Masculinities -- There is no single definition of masculinity, and no best form. Each man is responsible for uncovering and defining the masculinity that serves him best.