Today, I despise the words “good for you”. Ironically, these are the selfish words that negatively empowered me the most prior to 2007.
At 31, I was also selfish as hell.
As a child, I dreamed of being rich and famous so that I could move to the suburbs and away from “my people” in the inner city of Atlanta. Television, movies and well meaning adults taught me that. I can’t tell you how many times I heard people tell me, “Get yours and when you do, don’t look back!”
BUT God had another plan. In 2007, He called me to lead in Atlanta.
When I share the mission and vision of L.E.A.D. with others, often times without fail I get a response of “good for you”.I immediately respond with “no…its good for you, too!”
Atlanta is regarded as a world class city and I’m confused on how that can be. L.E.A.D. exists because Atlanta can’t truly be considered a world class city until black males in Atlanta by the hundreds of thousands experience sustainable significance. Significance is greater than success.
What does living a life of significance look like for Black males in a world class city?
It looks like: on-time graduation, real investment into sports programming, not just equipment, but bona fide, proven programming and a resolute focus on prevention versus rehabilitation as it pertains to youth. It looks like year round core value training in our schools as a required school course and via our sports programs. When we have a cradle to CEO pipeline instead of a cradle to prison/grave pipeline, then Atlanta will be a world class city.
|C.J. Stewart with L.E.A.D. Ambassadors Denzel Campbell (left) and Desmond Stegall (right)
And that is really sad.
If you want to do something about this and make sure that all economic growth, expansion and revitalization is indeed good for ALL of Atlanta’s citizenry, then join me. We are empowering a generation of Black boys who will grow up to become an electorate that is responsible, civically engaged, knowledgable and gainfully employed. And we need your help to do this great work.
|C.J. Stewart with U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson