Wayne Carter really likes his car. He has good reason to, having worked many hours at odd jobs to save up for a 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. He uses his car to get around the neighborhood and to his sister’s house. More importantly, he needs his car to get to school and work.
Mazen Muna had already been paying rent at 1433 East Brady Street for a couple months before he knew what kind of restaurant he wanted to open. What he did know was how important location is to the success of a new business.
It’s the fourth day of the 96th Annual NAACP Convention. In the gargantuan Ballroom of the Midwest Airlines Center delegates representing every state in the union are heatedly debating a resolution calling for the banning of the use of the taser, the “non-lethal” weapon employed by police personnel across the country. It’s impossible not to be swept up into the furor of the moment, the high energy and unquestionable conviction of those who speak for and against the resolution.
“You are civil rights activists,” boomed Youth and College Director Brandon Neal to his attentive teenage audience. “You are the young people that will take in this information that is being given to you now, take it back with you to your respective communities, and [apply it]. That is your job!”
This month’s column… poem whatever label it needs…was inspired by the conversations I’ve had these past two months with an amazing circle of teens, parents, youth development professionals and a “few” neighborhood residents.
The Youth Leadership Circle is a grassroots organization that has been formed out of the Summer of Peace Initiative based on a need for “real conversations” between youth, teens, young adults and older adults seeking to “hear” one another.