A simple move to a new home sparked the creation of a life-changing organization. Brothers Building a Better Nation is a 501©3 non-profit organization based in Newark, NJ with a mission to remove barriers from the lives of Black + Latino males between the ages of 16-29 who have a criminal record or are at risk of becoming incarcerated. Through various programs and resources, this organization is helping to better the community and provide great opportunities. We connected with Founder and President of the organization Quadeer Porter to learn more about how it was started, the current operations, and the future of the organization. Read on to learn all about Brothers Building a Better Nation, a local Newark non-profit.
(Photo credit: Brothers Building a Better Nation)
Apprenticeship, employment, housing, legal advice, and therapy are just some of the services offered by Brothers Building a Better Nation. Quadeer Porter started the organization back in 2020 to help Black + Latino men in his hometown become more independent in all aspects of life. “There is no other organization in the city that gives people the mental health resources first, and then gradually goes into job readiness and placement while giving them a living stipend throughout that whole stretch,” Quadeer said as he was explaining the incredible work Brothers Building a Better Nation does. As the website reads, “No brother is left behind in our organization and as the late great Donny Hathaway stated, ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.’”
Now, the programs and services are kicked off — however, starting out wasn’t so easy.
“In my neighborhood of Newark, NJ, we see a lot of crime to be honest, and we see a lot of young males dying prematurely. Involvement with certain activities causes the inability to participate in a lot of programs that are out there or the difficulty and hurdles that they have to go through to access their resources,” Quadeer shared as he recounted the reasoning behind starting Brothers Building a Better Nation.
In fact, he credits the founding of the organization to the young men he encountered after purchasing his first multifamily house in his hometown. “We saw a lot of young males either hanging out or just participating in very dangerous activities. I just went up to them and said, ‘Hey brothers, what’s going on?’” Quadeer knew he wanted to establish a relationship with the men in his community to engage in conversation that would lead to the building of opportunity. These encounters kicked off the organization.
Since the start of that relationship, Quadeer helped the young men obtain temporary housing, financial guidance, and overall support. Over time, the men opened up to Quadeer. They expressed interest in how he was able to purchase his first home at a young age, sharing that some actions in their past and lack of connections in the community have made access to additional support difficult.
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“For [other] programs, you have to know someone, or they don’t pay you on time or they are unprofessional. The men also shared that some of them are going through mental health issues or some of them have disabilities like dyslexia.” Quadeer went on to explain what unfolded from these connections. He saw the disconnect and compiled it into a non-profit, got some seed funding, and started enrolling brothers into the program.
How It’s Going
Right now, three men are fully enrolled in the program with plans to ramp up efforts soon — including bringing in a full-time case worker. “The progress the men have been able to make in such a short amount of time, over the last few months really, versus what they have been trying to do over the last five to seven years has been fantastic,” Quadeer shared. Some resources provided by the organization include mental health care through a partnership with Rutgers, support to get a driver’s license, obtain birth certificates, a weekly living stipend, mentorships, case management work, and more.
“We go on all fronts to ensure these brothers get what they need to get to the next level. It takes about 8-10 people for each person to get all the resources we want to give them,” Quadeer explained.
Brothers Building a Better Nation gathers the community to help the community. With the systems currently in place, it is so fragmented — it takes a full village to ensure the success of each brother. Right now, most of the services provided such as mental health and legal support are given pro bono through connections in Quadeer’s network. Additional funds are from grants and donations to be certain the promises to the men enrolled are fulfilled.
The work of this incredible organization can only be done with the support of the community. There are so many ways to get involved with Brothers Building a Better Nation. Donations of any amount are accepted at any time. While some of the support provided to the men are done pro-bono, most resources require monetary assistance to be fulfilled. Corporate donations are acceptable as well. The men are often in need of mentorship support. Signing up to be a mentor can greatly impact a life in so many different aspects. Just like most non-profits, volunteers are always welcome. Volunteer tasks include web design, community outreach, bi-weekly community clean ups, and more. Learn more about the organization and how to get involved here.