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Young Folks Steppin’ Up

 

 

by Karima Amin

 

I hate labels but I have become more accustomed to a few as I’ve earned some perks because of my age. I am a “Baby Boomer.” Depending on the data you use, we “Boomers” are identified as those individuals between the ages of 51 and 69.  Many of us have retired or are close to retiring and we are rapidly being replaced in the workforce by the “Millennials” (ages 18 to 34) and “Generation X” (ages 35-50). As we “Boomers” are graying, more and more younger people are stepping up to take the reins of government and community leadership. Some say by 2030, the “Millennials will outnumber the “Boomers” by 22 million.
 
The next meeting of Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. will afford us an opportunity to hear from some young people in the community who are working diligently to help other young people avoid the “left turn” that could lead to unwanted involvement with the criminal justice system. What they have to say and what they are doing is beneficial for all, and not just for their peers.
 
Mercedes Wright and Eric Rose are siblings who share the desire to see a brighter future for all of us. In the summer of 2014 they acted on this desire by creating “Young Visionaries.” Starting initially as party promoters, they now mentor children left behind after loved ones have been lost to homicide.
 
Duncan Kirkwood is the Chairperson of the “Black Lives Matter” affiliate in Buffalo. He credits Katrinna Martin-Bordeaux, activist and founder of Young Black Democrats of Western NY, for guiding and supporting him in the local work of a national movement that is designed to increase community understanding.
 
Dave Harder is a man seeking to share his vision of a community where cooperative learning is the norm. He is working to create an environment where we are all stakeholders, learning, building, and growing together. His idea of “knowledge fire” is bolstered by the fact that every individual brings value to the world.
 
Dayatra Hassan is the young woman who serves as coordinator of the Food for Thought Teen Program. This FREE program at the Gloria J. Parks Community Center seeks to build resiliency and self-esteem through a curriculum that is actually shaped by the teens themselves.
 
This should be an interesting meeting. Come out and sit with us in the circle. Learn, discuss, and bring a friend. Our guest speakers this month are young people who understand the power of positive and productive work. Let’s listen to them and network with them to support their community efforts. As usual, we will meet at the Pratt-Willert Community Center, 422 Pratt Street in Buffalo on Monday, October 31, from 7pm to 9pm.
 
“God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through.” (Anonymous)
 
Karima Amin is a longtime Buffalo Activist, Educator, and Storyteller as well as founder and director of Prisoners Are People Too (PRP2).

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