GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Creating a conversation to improve the community one man at a time was the goal of the third annual Man to Man summit at St. Paul AME Church in Gulfport.
The summit brought more than 30 men together to discuss issues they face in today's society. Discussions began with a panel of speakers, each with their own specialization specific to the summit's topics.
Organizer George Patterson says that instead of focusing on problems at a national or global level, he'd rather see people start with issues they may face in their own lives.
"People in other places, or other parts of the world, or other parts of the country, they have families too," Patterson said, "If we're focusing on the family and we have what's right in our heart, then we'll be doing the right thing."
Panel member Herman Sylvester is a financial planner who wants to change the way society teaches young people about money. He believes it's important to understand the pitfalls of not having the proper financial education.
"What I like to do, I really like to teach people the money game. I feel like if you can get the literacy that you need you can make wise decisions," said Sylvester, "But if you don't know how to play the game, it's really hard to play the game if you don't know the rules."
Each of the participants at the summit left with a sense of how to help make communities safer, and more productive.
"If you see a young man or a young woman and just start with a hello, you're building rapport," said Patterson. "Once you build a rapport with a person, then you can start to introduce ideas that build and help them to grow and become a better person."
The summit was the final event in the Coast-wide Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.