Episode #119: Keith Belvin

Dana GoodierOut of the Trenches Podcast

Keith K. L. Belvin is a certified Crisis Specialist, Personal & Marriage Counselor, Award-Winning Author, and Educational Consultant who listens to and helps address emotional problems through Person-Centered Counseling. Keith works with men, women, children, and couples by addressing their current issues and works to help them become experts in their lives and feelings. In addition, Keith helps mentor many to become more self-aware of how powerful they indeed are and were created to be. Keith’s friendly and transparent style makes him the perfect person to open up to and communicate your problem.

Trench story: When he first started teaching in NYC in 1998, worked with ED & ASD students. Difficult neighborhood. Lost 2 students to gang violence. Over 6 years, lost 9. Mom could grieve for 1 who died who had 5 other kids. Pushed him to figure out how to reach the kids. Every Fri, went to happy hour, 5 hrs. Lost self at home. Pushed him to a point where he said, “do what you can”. Walked away 16.5 years later to DE. Blessing in that moved him to counseling.

Talk about your 6 books and being featured in 7 others? Is finishing up 2 more. Added 2nd counseling company. Will feed audience whatever I tell him my audience needs. His story is something he tells often. Writes non-fiction, self-help. Memoir “From Gigolo to Jesus” was misogynistic. Re-acquired his faith. Wrote about his “dirt”, put about what he was 37 years old. It shows how the last 18 have been different. His first book was poetry “The Man in Transition”. Sold himself. chose 3 pieces from his book.

How were you featured in Essence, Ebony, Black Expression book club (mid 2000’s) and Jet Magazine? between 2012-14 featured with his wife. Had convo w/ editor, they talked about faith. He’d been in anthologies. The Black Expression book club featured him in other magazines for Black authors. Reached out to a friend. Rocha Aller’s daughter- he asked about this. Gave him intl. exposure. Allowed him to feel more comfortable being an author. Gave him more motivation to do the things he was doing. Was invited back to be parts of series “The Soul of a Man”. 13 men of color. 2009-best anthology of the year. Part 2 2016. 2021, Part 3: “I can’t breathe”. Very well received. His goal was to write something professionally every year. Has done except 3 years since 2012. Be comfortable be able to speak about the “why”. Is working on “Lukewarm Saints Part II”. Tries to write from the heart. Touches the reader. It’s hard to lock in time, as he has a busy counseling schedule.

What is your Young Kings Mentor Program? an in-person program. Started in 2010 in NYC based on the neighborhood he taught in. As a HS dean in Brooklyn, he had to figure out how to keep young ppl safe. Control stem of violence. Had dialogue over what they “got out of” being in gangs. Understand life is more precious than they see it it. Created after school program w/ 8-9 kids. Switched hats to father, man. Brought in police. Came to DE in 2016 & local juvenile detention center picked it up. Re-instituted the program in 2019. Was also an investigator in DE. Went virtual from July 2020-Jan. 2021. Is also starting Young Queens, 3-4th graders. Has an 8 y.o. daughter. Working with 2 young ladies who worked in after-school program. He needs their energy. Opportunity to have convos about social media, myths, etc. Have convo about they feel about social media. How to not get transferred in larger prison. He supplies food, t-shirt. Allows kids to be kids. Comes w/ Dean of St. lens. Edu knowledge paired with street knowledge. You have to make someone feel comfortable.

 Talk about your experience in the New York City Dept of Education? taught 22 years there, 13 was MS. Had grown to the point where he felt that he’d done everything he could for kids of NYC. Some places he was both a dean & teacher. Very last yr- worked with ES kids. Was called “disciplinarian specialist”. Taught everything but music or Spanish. Specialty was P.E. & health.  Realized discipline has to be fair, firm, found. T’s who didn’t take teaching as a craft, but a job. Regretted he’s only worked w/ littles at the end. W/ littles, he didn’t have the mental stress.

Kept them entertained. More disciplined. Control body before mind. Helped get new t’s to buy into it being a craft not a job. Having worked in a school system with families as they grew up helped w/ discipline. Has dealt with many types of criminal situations. Hard when kids get past your radar.

Left NYC when his daughter was 2. Got his Human Services M.S. Specializing in Christian ministry since 2019. Had to be able to present to pastors.

What are the Mental Health Ministries you set up with churches? He will preach, he doesn’t hide/project he’s a Christian. He is an actual Christian counselor. Sets up mental health facilities within a church. People are uncomfortable sharing … w/ their pastor. As outside entity, person pays what they can, church picks up the difference, they feel more comfortable talking about the problem. The Lord says, “we’re supposed to take care of our Brothers & Sisters”. There’s a lot of prayer but not the HOW. How to take away the negative feeling. Getting closer to God, etc. He has a MA in Christian counseling from Liberty Univ. Needs to help flock get better. He can also be a guest speaker at churches. Showing members HOW. Is the pastor comfortable. Works with DE, Maryland, AL, TX churches (3 churches) so not just local. Pastors are getting overwhelmed. They weren’t taught how to purge negativity. He’s an outside agent. Alot of ppl are uncomfortable sharing “dirt” about themselves cause they don’t want to be judged. It’s like a primary care MD referring you out to another specialist. He’s not a member of that church. He lets ppl pay what they can, church covers the rest. They say, “my church helps take care of ME”. If they’d like him to come & speak to groups he can. It removes the insurance barrier. In churches, he takes “therapy” off the table. Uses “crisis counseling”.

Talk about Mentoring and Educational Consulting you provide in general to ppl who might be looking? He wants folks to bridge the gap w/ race convos, Covid, etc. What happened to the “we’re all the same”? It’s one of the biggest fantasies on planet. Skin colors shouldn’t matter. Have the middle where we can all have convos. Most ppl are taught to believe we’re in a deficit, there’s not. Tries to be as fluid as he can. Explain there’s bad folk of every race. He blows up race myths. Overall, in sports they don’t care about person’s skin color. How can we have unified joy watching a sporting even but become animalistic just after? We need to push for less racial outcomes. The middle ground has to be fought for. REalize things will change if we really present it. If we want things to change, someone has to figure out how to fix. He does a presentation on how to protect your children from social media. Parents are giving in b/c the parents aren’t regulating it themselves- they’re not regulating it inside their own home. That’s what’s hurting our children. He moved into counseling to help parents understand their role better. He set the wellbeing app for time limits on social media. (good idea)

Out of everything…2 intellectuals having a convo w/ I hope everyone will be uplifted from what they’ve seen. It’s the goal when he works with clients of every race/ethnicity. How can we just sit down & have an honest/truthful/heartfelt conversation? Click To Tweet

Where can ppl find you online? Counseling and Consultant Info, www.BravinConsultants.com

Counseling Email: info@BravinConsultants.com

Books, Publishing, & Literary Services: www.BravinPublishing.com

Publishing Email: MainOffice@BravinPublishing.com IS on FB, Tictoc, IG, LinkedIn. Find books on his website for 55% off the top. Reach out & let him know what you enjoyed about this podcast. Circle of influence w/ our st’s.

View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kXvWkmHdfms



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