Nonprofit launches apparel line to support mental health and wellness programs for local youth

What’s happening: The Detroit grassroots organization and nonprofit EMIY Inc. — Encourage Me, I’m Young — has launched a new line of EMIY Inc. apparel in support of the organization’s programs, and the boys and young men for which the nonprofit advocates.

Who they are: EMIY Inc. was officially launched as a 501(c)(3) by Calvin Mann in 2007, though his community work, and especially with young men, can be traced as far back as 1987 when he served as a high school basketball coach in Ferndale. The nonprofit focuses on boys and young men, from 3-year-olds to 24-year-olds, through a variety of programs that touch on suicide, mental health and wellness, literacy efforts, and more.

What they’re saying: “EMIY stands for Encourage Me, I’m Young and it’s about supporting our kids and their families against the negative forces they face daily. Negative influences have been normalized in today’s society–like violent video games and toxic social media–and it’s causing higher suicide rates, more bullying, heightened racism, violence, and substance abuse,” Mann says. “We’ve created a new line of family-friendly apparel that schools and families can use to create positivity and help us continue the important work we do in the community.”

What they’re doing: This latest line of EMIY Apparel features positive messages meant to offer encouraging words to young people and offer reminders of support from the community at large, including “Win as One Detroit” and “I’m Possible.” Profits will support EMIY Inc. programming like the EMIY RV, which features on-site visits from EMIY mentors offering words of encouragement at sports events and community activities.

You can find it online HERE.

Why it’s important: “I started EMIY because I saw the need for male mentors for boys and young men. Boys aren’t getting the support and encouragement they need, so I decided to bring that to them,” Mann says. “Over the years, I’ve watched many troubled young men grow into strong grown men through the work we do at EMIY. I’m planning to keep it going far into the future.”

Find EMIY Inc. on Facebook.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.