General, The Well

Conversations Across Generations: Tyler Broady’s Vision for Youth Empowerment in Baltimore

If we are to create the transformational change we seek in our schools, our communities, and our economy, we must work together across identities, generations, and sectors.

May 10, 2024

Building an America where everyone can thrive is not a solo endeavor. It requires us to come together across lines of difference that have largely divided and fragmented us. At New Profit, we firmly believe that, if we are to create the transformational change we seek in our schools, our communities, and our economy, we must work together across identities, generations, and sectors.

We must also come together to share and understand each other’s ideas, experiences, and hopes. This is why we’re continuing to host a series of dialogues between intergenerational social impact leaders: To lift stories based on connection with someone with a different perspective. Discover past conversations with Anderson Sainci, Director of the Office of Shared Prosperity and Neighborhood Support for the City of Dubuque, Iowa, and Dillon Bernard, Executive Director of Create for Change. 

Shawn Dove, a Managing Partner at New Profit, has spent much of his career connecting with young people. For more than a decade, Shawn led the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, an initiative that has become the largest national movement to improve the life outcomes of Black men and boys. Shawn also served as a key advisor and organizer for the launch of President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, was the founding editor-in-chief of the award-winning Harlem Overheard youth-produced newspaper, and served as Vice President for MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership and Director of Youth Ministries for First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, NJ. In this series, Shawn hosts conversations with emerging leaders to explore their personal and professional journeys, learn from their experiences, and hear about their vision for building an America where everyone can thrive.

Tyler Broady is a Program Manager at Community Law in Action (CLIA), a New Profit Emerging Leader, and a past Corporation for Black Male Achievement #ITooAmAmerica Fellow. With a passion for politics and people, Tyler has advocated for youth employment and fair justice policy. He’s advised both local and state officials and sponsored bills for transparency and youth empowerment. Recognized for his leadership by organizations like The Family League, Tyler remains active in mentoring and student relations at Mervo High School. Deeply committed to serving the Baltimore community, he believes in the power of collective action and aims to change his city one young person at a time.


Shawn: Our evolving relationship over the last few years has certainly been a bright spot in my life. I am deeply proud of and inspired by you, Tyler. In what spirit and focus have you entered 2024? 

Tyler: I am in the spirit of gratitude and affirmation. I see 2024 as a year for personal rebranding and inhabiting the life that you truly want. It can be discouraging and tiring at times as you glimpse at the life you imagined you thought you could have growing up. But you need to look through a different lens to find your clarity and support. 

Shawn: Definitely appreciate the rebranding of yourself. I’ve approached 2024 with the mantra of ‘do less and be more’. I’m in deep contemplation about what is uniquely mine to do during this season of my leadership journey. 

You are one of the most introspective and mature 22-year-olds I’ve met in my 61 years of living. What grounds you at this age?

Tyler: I’ve always been one to stand out, and I owe much of that to my upbringing, particularly being raised by my grandmother. Witnessing her tenacity and steadfast faith, alongside the strength of our community, has deeply impacted me. While I may not have a clear trajectory for my life, I have faith in what lies ahead. It’s about finding that balance between embracing uncertainty and drawing from that innate vitality to forge ahead. It’s easier said than done, but you need to hold onto that sense of community and culture. 

Shawn: If you’re comfortable, I’d like to hear more about your journey into fatherhood and what it means to be a young Black dad in Baltimore. As we talk about conversations across generations, what has that meant to you? 

Tyler: Being a father is one of the greatest gifts anyone can ever ask for. Growing up without my biological father present was tough. But I witnessed the resilience of my mom as she juggled raising three young black men in a society that says you’re already going to be nothing because you don’t have a father or because you’re Black. God answered my prayer by sending me Rashad, whose leadership and community spirit have changed my life. I’m grateful that I’ve learned humility, patience, and to not take everything to heart. Now that I’m a father, I find even more comfort in the love and support of my family and my community. 

Shawn: As an emerging leader, let’s talk a little bit about the future you are seeking to create in Baltimore, where New Profit is hosting The Well 2024, the bi-annual gathering of our multiracial, intergenerational, cross-sector community (the M.I.C.™ as we’ve come to call it). 

Tyler: Baltimore is a city of great, rich history, but for far too long it’s been a city of trauma. The only way to get out of that is to have thought-provoking leaders and followers. I see a future of growing in youth and adult partnerships. We need to show people that they are great citizens of society and make people feel important. We’re living in a cycle that embraces the unfamiliar as a form of comfort. James Clear says that whatever you adopt is whatever you’ll be in support of. And a lot of people are endorsed by trauma. And now I feel hopeful that I will create life for myself and for others around me. You can’t understand how nothing else works until you figure out who you are. 

Shawn: There’s certainly an impression of trauma that has been inflicted on us across the generations in this country. Share a little more about the work you’re doing. 

Tyler: We take 14-to-24-year-olds here in the city and teach different pathways. Leading in leadership and advocacy, we believe we are equitable stakeholders in decision-making opportunities. We give them second chances. In our fellowship program, we actually pay all of our students in the interest of their choice, developing advocacy and facilitating training to teach the fundamentals of democracy. So that way they know your voice and your leadership. I have one of the greatest jobs that I could ever ask for to become a mediator of both the past and present. The next generation is in good hands, and I’m super excited to say that I get to be a part of that.

Shawn: When you said mediator of past and present, it made me think of the words of Tulaine Montgomery, CEO of New Profit, who often declares that we are at the same time, both students of history and futurists. What was The Well experience like for you in 2022, and what do you want to bring to the 2024 experience? 

Tyler: The Well is a time to impact the importance of democracy and social entrepreneurship. The 2022 experience changed my life forever. When you leave The Well 2024, you will be more affirmed and go back to your place of work or place of faith with assurance within your spirit. You’ll be more determined than you’ve ever been. You have to acknowledge that we don’t know everything. And we’ll get this job done by passing the mic across generations. I want the community to know that my commitment hasn’t changed, my perspective is just getting wiser. I want to honor all of the leaders who have a great influence but are no longer with us.

Shawn: What is it about elders that you think we don’t know, that we need to know about your generation? What should we be doing more of and less of?

Tyler: As elders, we should be showing more possibility through presence. Then just don’t overvalue the outcomes. It’s our duty to continue and not get comfortable because of one pivotal event. I think the legacy will always carry on. What the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro has done for me I’m going to bring here to Baltimore. The vision is still very much possible. You need the presence of elders in order to do what you need to do. 

Shawn: I remember in 2016, after having a retreat in Greensboro and feeling rejuvenated, I returned home. And in one week, Alton Sterling was murdered by police in Baton Rouge, then Philando Castile right outside of Minneapolis. This awakened this sense of reality that racism is not going to end in your lifetime. You do what you can while you are here. As a 22-year-old young man, how are you addressing your well-being and mental health? 

Tyler: I think the only way to heal is around the people that you love the most. I’ve gotten through life because of my moments of being vulnerable. The stigma is that you’re not supposed to be comfortable with your emotions. The thing is that I have accepted everything good and bad, so there is no room for emptiness. Being a Black man in America is tough but I’m still here, right? My favorite quote for 2024 is from Dr. Benjamin Mays, “it’s not a disgrace to reach for the stars, but it is a disgrace to not have stars to reach for.” I’ve collected all my stars, and the only way to go now  is higher. 

To hear more wisdom from intergenerational members of the M.I.C.™, explore our conversations with Peter Storey, Anderson Sainci, and Dillon Bernard.