Diversity

The “Break the Mold” Panel (L-R): Dos Equis of F3 Princeton, Pipeline of F3 Metro (Charlotte, NC), Square of F3 Greensboro, and Nomex of F3 Greensboro.

I was honored to serve on a breakout panel at the F3 10 year celebration on Saturday, October 9, 2021, in Wilmington, North Carolina. The theme was “Breaking the Mold”: This session is designed to highlight efforts aimed at diversifying the pax of your Region. It will focus on ways to build relationships and make connections to ensure F3 is living up to our 5 Core Principles, especially being “Open to All Men.” You will hear from and learn from HIM who have demonstrated success on this initiative. My contribution is below.

The participants of our F3 workouts  – our F3 activity in all 3 F’s (Fitness, Fellowship, Faith)  – should be representative of the communities where we dwell and be representative of “all sorts and conditions of men” in our community.

Dos Equis

India

South Africa

Ghana

Ireland

Canada

Great Britain

Belarus

Indigenous Tribes in the United States

The United States of America

These are the national backgrounds you’ll find at the men of F3 Princeton.

I was “emotionally headlocked” by a magazine article, “Mending Men’s Ministry” a cover story in Christianity Today in May 2018. At end of June 2018, I went to my first workout at F3 Valley Forge, PA, and it was only week #6 for them. That’s how new F3 was in the greater Delaware Valley region.  Cspan moves up from The Fort in August, and F3 Philly starts in October 2018.  I start to bring “first followers” with Four Seasons and WallE with me in December 2018 to Saturday F3 Philly workouts.  We are mentored by Cspan in first quarter 2019, and F3 Princeton launched April 13, 2019, a significant day for me as it is Founder’s Day, Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday, and I am a UVA guy.

More background regarding F3 Princeton:  These are the population changes in West Windsor, a central New Jersey township east of Princeton, from the 2010 Census as shown in the 2020 Census.  Population growth of 8.7% to 29,518 persons.  White population has decreased by 30% and is now 36% of the township [10,491].  The Asian population is 53% [15,527] and that has grown by 52% in the last ten years.  Hispanic population has increased 24.2% to 1,507 persons, and the Black population has increased 27.9% to 1,276 persons.

Our Area of Operation (AO) has always had this diversity, so being the lone AO in the Garden State, 45 -60 miles from our nearest other AO’s, we wonder: “What mold?”

The brothers of F3 Princeton revel in the diversity we share, and yet each man shares similar struggles of doing well in one’s line of work, meeting the needs in all respects with the family, and staying strong – mentally, physically, and emotionally – for those who depend on us.  This is common to all of us men, no matter what category or label society wants to put on you.

As seen in the gloom, the fire of the first light at dawn becomes the forge in the West Windsor Community Park where the men workout together, become brothers together, become vulnerable with one another to share areas of struggle or need, and just enjoy each other. The Iron forged becomes steel. And this steel can build the community because it has a good foundation.

My take away thought for you:  I want to emphasize the “community “part of our mission statement: “To plant, grow and serve small workout groups for the invigoration of male community leadership.”  The participants of our F3 workouts  – our F3 activity in all 3 F’s (Fitness, Fellowship, Faith)  – should be representative of the communities where we dwell and be representative of “all sorts and conditions of men” in our community.

Honestly, where else – on a regular basis – in the gloom of the morning at a workout and in our times of 2nd F Fellowship – can you find such a diverse group of men together?

Onward.

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