Dr. Andre Perry, Founding Dean of Davenport University's College of urban Education, introduced his innovative tie-tying ceremony, featured in the award-winning documentary Close Ties: Tying on a New Tradition, to a group of Grand Rapids urban youth in cooperation with Grand Rapids Public Schools and head-N-Sole Barbershop.  Dr. Perry initiated the ceremony in New Orleans in 2010 and plans to make the ritual an annual event in Grand Rapids.

The tie-tying ceremony encourages students to consider professions that require tie wearing and connects them to potential mentors and proteges.  Twenty boys, many from single-parent homes and estranged from fathers, will be paired with adult mentors including area clothiers, business owners and community leaders who will teach them how to tie distinguishing knots.  The intent of the ceremony is to introduce young urban males to social networks that will increase their likelihood of attending and completing college.

Dr. Perry was on my radio show Monday morning and explained the program.

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