The Black Superhero Project, an organization run by a brother of Omega Psi Phi, rolled into Columbia, literally, with centering black girls at the top of its agenda.

For the fourth activation of this nation-wide service project, CFC40 partnered with two Columbia-based organizations, Broken Crayons and Love Yourself Always to sponsor Heart 2 Heart. Forty black girls aged 11 to 17 were treated to a special day honoring them. Many of these girls are without fathers or consistent male influence in their lives.

The Black Superhero Project is an initiative of CFC40 Inc., the brainchild of civil rights attorney Charles Coleman Jr., a proud member of Omega Psi Phi.

For the Black Superhero Project, CFC40 is visiting 10 cities across America and performing 10 different service activations, partnering with local organizations, with each focusing on a specific demographic in each city. The project has already done activations in Houston, Flint, Baltimore, and now Columbia.

Coleman stated that centering black girls was an important goal as part of the Black Superhero Project.

“It’s critically important that black girls know and see examples of black men who are there to celebrate and affirm them.” Coleman said. “A lot of these young girls have not had positive examples of black manhood and, in some cases, black men have done them harm. It was important that we do something about that.”

Heart 2 Heart had three main components. The girls began their day with a self-defense tutorial where they were instructed by U.S. Olympian Dr. Rhadi Ferguson, also a member of Omega Psi Phi, and his children Rhadi Isabelle and Rufus Ferguson, both of whom are nationally ranked in martial arts. The girls had a chance to learn basic self-defense lessons from someone who looked exactly like themselves.

Following the self-defense portion of the day, the girls were each paired with a male chaperone who treated them to a special lunch where the participants were able to engage their male chaperones in conversation about boys, relationships, life, self-esteem and service. These are critical questions that indulged the girls’ curiosities in ways that they do not normally have a chance to without the presence of black men. Many members of Omega Psi Phi served valiantly as chaperones for the girls.

The culmination of the day was the biggest surprise. Each of the 40 participants received a new bicycle and was taught how to ride. The excitement and joy that the girls experienced was both special and euphoric.