“The Man Up Club,” led by Korey "XROSS" Dean Sr., is helping restore a sense of community with pop-up grocery locations in Minnesota in response to the looting and riots that broke out following the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
Dean’s vision of helping the community goes back to many years ago when he first desired to launch a men’s ministry and help young black men pursue higher education. The dream was kicked into high gear following the unrest that came from racial injustice in his home town and as he saw a need in his community.
With a goal to “empower young black males to make positive choices while preparing them for post-high-school education,” Dean used his influence to rally young men to help make a positive impact during trying times.
“We’re building a pop-up grocery store, if you will, just so we can serve our community,” Dean said, according to Faithwire. “Because some of our stores are burned, some of our stores are closed because of the COVID-19. So you add this tragic death and situation on top of COVID and you can kind of get a glimpse of the magnitude from which the community is suffering.”
Dean revealed that he was “traumatized” by the murder of Floyd and the aftermath.
“I was devastated to see the police officer with his knee on the neck of George Floyd. That was heart-wrenching to me. And I thought about the long-term implications of what had occurred and the historical perspective of what continues to be perpetuated in America,” he added.
“For me, I have an advantage. My advantage is my faith — my faith in Jesus Christ. And I believe that God is in control of all things.”
The ministry leader said the pop-up stores are a service by young black men who are fulfilling their “civic responsibility.” The stores consist of providing essential needs, including food and hygiene supplies. Dean credited the community as a whole for donating the items.
He declared, “We ask for your forgiveness for any of the sins we have committed, that you would allow us to tap into who you are, and that we would walk like you, and talk like you, and that we would love like you. We bless your name. Help us to keep peace in this city. Help us to keep peace in this country and all over the world. In Jesus’ name, amen!”
After working with more than 500 African American high school students, Dean realized that "it was the African American male who faced the most challenges to reach graduation on time and experienced the most stumbling blocks to become successful beyond high school," according to The Man Up Club website. His mentor-leadership organization is designed to "equip these young boys and prepare them to become valued competing members of society."