Mar Butler is a motivational speaker and Leadership Development coach who empowers young people that have made wrong or harmful choices with tools to rebuild their lives. He knows firsthand how a wrong decision can negatively impact an entire community.
Ten years ago, Butler returned from prison on gun and robbery charges connected to a violent illegal drug transaction where the victims were people from his own neighborhood. The incident was a part of the life -- the "hustle" -- he chose when during the post 9-1-1 economic downfall, he was laid off from a lucrative second- chance computer sales job after an earlier incarceration.
The climb back this time was tougher. He rose at 3:45, jogged a half mile to the train station and caught a 5 am train to Fort Worth for a minimum-wage demolition job. With support and encouragement from people who believed in him, Butler launched a motivational speaking and life coach business. He approaches his work by understanding why individuals make decisions that harm themselves and others and using that “why” to help them redirect their drive to make meaningful and positive choices.
Butler made negative decisions as a youth, in part, because he saw his father and other men in his life in a revolving door in and out of prison. His work today is also tied to what he saw as a youth. His mother was constantly praying and held fast to her faith knowing he would turn his life around and use his powerful voice to lead and help others.
As part of his work, Butler advocates for policies that support individuals like his younger brother who is serving a life sentence for capital murder related to a crime where a person he was with took someone’s life. A believer in restorative justice, Butler works closely with No More Violence where he connects young people with murder victims’ mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who share powerful stories of the impact of losing loved ones to violence.
A member of the City of Dallas Advisory Board Member for the Office of Equity and Inclusion and a co-founder of the Black Male Alliance (BMA) group, he is a boots-on-the-ground mentor, role model and activist. He’s also an avid facilitator for Miles of Freedom outreach prison Re-Entry to Employment workshop.
Mar Butler has worked professionally as a facilitator, a speaker and mentor with Dallas Independent School District, an All-Pro Dads role model, and a volunteer mentor with the Dallas County Criminal Court District’s Intercept program.
He now serves as a Community Leadership Consultant for the Violence interrupter group called Dallas CRED who’s sole objective is to combat violent crime by offering positive and safe alternatives to negative behavior.
Mar Butler’s hand picked team of Community Heroes all share the same backgrounds as he did, which provides a great level of trust from the people they aim to reach.
As a result, the city of Dallas has seen a significant decrease in crime since he began this journey and was granted the “Everyday Heroes “ award by Amnesty International USA.
Currently Mar has partnered with “Stand Together” and “Heal America” in their 2022 Summer of Healing Initiative. Together while joining forces with powerful organizations like the Urban Specialists, Mar’s efforts to build relationships with likeminded change makers has successfully increased in the fight against gun violence.
Mar shares ownership of the real-estate company Butler & Royal LLC along with Toni Gamble, in acquiring multi-family properties and ground-up development projects for affordable living opportunities to people in underserved communities. Stable living cannot survive without stable housing, and Butler understands this from firsthand experience.