PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC. Re-enfranchisement, Education, Advancement, Counseling, Housing

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2015 Juneteenth - Save our Family and Men

Posted by projectreachinc on May 31, 2015 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Church and Community Leaders:

 

 

In 1944, approximately 75 percent of all homes in the black community were two-parent households. According to recent studies, only 25 percent of all homes in the African American communities are two-parent households. In the 1960s and the 1970s, African-Americans fought to send their children to better schools and to put an end to racial segregation. Also, communities, churches and grassroots organizations united for change.

 

 

During the era of the forties, fifties and sixties, guns and drugs weren't readily available on street corners, and neighborhoods as they are now. Teenagers getting a hold of a gun and firing into a crowd of his peers, on street corners, parks, or in schools was unthinkable. The escalating gun violence across this nation is a symptomatic failure of family, specifically as it relates to black men and boys. Ironically, black communities were safer between the forties and seventies, even with the presence of racial and social unrest. Black males had a better chance at a good education and a decent job at a time when black people were waging war against U.S. policies that were designed to hold us back.

 

 

Today, though we enjoy hard won freedoms, our schools are separate and unequal in many communities and like war zones. The drug war and gun culture in our communities has proliferated, despite strict laws and sentencing guidelines to stop it. The need for African American men in the home as fathers and schools as teachers and other workers are critical. African-American males, growing up in a fatherless home and without positive male role models has a negative impact on their lives and future. Sadly, the majority of young African-American men in the inner city fit this description. Many become drug addicted/dealers and they lack clear pathways to an economic and social future. Combine this with firearms and drugs and by the age of 15; we find an angry and dangerous group of young men.

 

 

To reverse the culture of violence that's leaving a trail of bodies and wheelchair bound young men across many of our communities and neighborhoods, we must target the inherent social, education and economic disparities disproportionately impacting African-American men and boys. According to analysis of police data, 75% of reported homicides in America are African-American males; ranging in ages 15 to 35.

 

 

Starting in June, PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC., is asking church leaders and clergy across the country to organize nights of prayer; targeting neighborhoods and street corners where lives are lost to gun violence, drugs and gangs. Concerned parents, politicians, residents and educators are also asked to participate. We must demonstrate our love for our children, communities and neighborhoods and use a proactive approach and not reactionary approaches, stimulated out of frustrations, fear and sadness.

 

 

This movement is designed to build, strengthen and unify around a concerted effort to take back our streets and save our young men. It must be followed up with a "Code Blue" level of community engagement, like we did back in the fifties and sixties and never again, fall into complacency. We're dealing with a generation that's been lost to the streets and the prison system; combined with children raising children and others raising and under educating our children in institutions across the nation.

 

 

Politicians, laws, law-enforcement and the prison industrial complex can't and will not fix the social and economic conditions of our family and children. If we look back in history since the Brown Decision in 1954, we'll see that African Americans have suffered socially and economically as a direct result of the backlash to hard-won civil rights laws. "The Invisible Vapor of Racism" has confused and even misguided many adults!

 

 

Without organized and structured community alternatives, many of our marginalized young men will not become, or live to be fathers, godly men and breadwinners, as I remember from my generation. Quality education and advancement has been systemically eclipsed in many African American communities, with a high percentage of graduate from Public Schools being unemployed and our penal system is overflowing with them.

 

 

When released back into our communities, the stigma of being an ex-con, thug or drug dealer makes it even harder to get a job or a place to live, especially if their family lives in Section 8.

 

Keep Hope Alive,

Rev. Richard P. Burton, Sr., Director

 

Poverty, Race, Criminal/Juvenile Justice and Voter Dis-enfranchisement

Posted by projectreachinc on May 21, 2015 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC.  

Dear Church and Community Leaders: 

In 1995 I started my first year of a twelve year tenure as a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors and the first board meeting that I was privileged to attend, I inserted a dialogue about Poverty, Race, Criminal/Juveniel Justice, The War on Drugs and Voter Dis-enfranchisement. 

On Tuesday during the countywide elections in Jacksonvile Duval Couty, Florida; I witnessed how the white candidates for Mayor and Sheriff respectively, used Race, Crime, Violence, Drugs, the Criminal Justice System and dis-enfranchisement, to defeat two African American candidates, for Mayor and Sheriff. 

Not only did they use the invisible vapor of racism; but placed fear into the minds of voters during their campaign, along with ongoing voter dis-enfranchisement created over the last several decades in Jacksonville - Duval county, that's either taken thousands of African American, Hispanic and poor off the voter role and the lack of opportunity to register to vote after serving time! 

As the United States celebrated the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965 to commemorate our shared history of the civil rights movement and our nation’s continued progress towards racial equality. Yet decades later a broken criminal-justice system has proven that we still have a long way to go in achieving racial equality. 

Today people of color continue to be disproportionately incarcerated, policed, and sentenced to death at significantly higher rates than their white counterparts. Further, racial disparities in the criminal-justice system threaten communities of color—disenfranchising thousands by limiting voting rights and denying equal access to employment, housing, public benefits, and education to millions more. In light of these disparities, it is imperative that criminal-justice reform evolves as the civil rights issue of the 21st century. 

Below, find an outline of the top 10 facts pertaining to the criminal-justice system’s impact on communities of color.

1. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men. 

2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police. 

3. Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make up two-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today. 

4. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. The data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system and at an earlier age. 

5. African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. According to the Sentencing Project, even though African American juvenile youth are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons. 

6. As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, the racial and ethnic disparities are startling. African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated, while Hispanic women are 69 percent more likely than white women to be incarcerated. 

7. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American. 

8. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison. 

9. Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on a past felony conviction. Felony disenfranchisement is exaggerated by racial disparities in the criminal-justice system, ultimately denying 13 percent of African American men the right to vote. Felony-disenfranchisement policies have led to 11 states denying the right to vote to more than 10 percent of their African American population. 

10. Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison. Evidence shows that spending time in prison affects wage trajectories with a disproportionate impact on black men and women. 

The results show no evidence of racial divergence in wages prior to incarceration; however, following release from prison, wages grow at a 21 percent slower rate for black former inmates compared to white ex-convicts. A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated. 

Theses racial disparities have deprived people of color of their most basic civil rights, making criminal-justice reform the civil rights issue of our time. Through mass imprisonment and the overrepresentation of individuals of color within the criminal justice and prison system, people of color have experienced an adverse impact on themselves and on their communities from barriers to reintegrating into society to engaging in the democratic process.  

Eliminating the racial disparities inherent to our nation’s criminal-justice policies and practices must be at the heart of a renewed, refocused, and reenergized movement for racial justice in America. 

There have been a number of initiatives on the state and federal level to address the racial disparities in youth incarceration. 

Last summer Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the Schools Discipline Initiative to bring increased awareness of effective policies and practices to ultimately dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. States like California and Massachusetts are considering legislation to address the disproportionate suspensions among students of color. 

And in Clayton County, Georgia, collaborative local reforms have resulted in a 47 percent reduction in juvenile-court referrals and a 51 percent decrease in juvenile felony rates. These initiatives could serve as models of success for lessening the disparities in incarceration rates. 

Sophia Kerby is the Special Assistant for Progress 2050 at American Progress.  

"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"

2015 Juneteenth Freddie Gray Voter Registration and Criminal Justice Campaign

Posted by [email protected] on May 3, 2015 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

Dear Church and Community Leaders: 

 

As part of PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. Inc., 2015 Juneteenth Celebration, we are supporting a Freddie Gray Voter Registration and Criminal Justice Campaign: Commencing June 19, 2015. This campaign is similar to the June 19, 2011 - Nationwide Juneteenth Criminal/Juvenile Jusitce and Unity Prayer Day, to shed light on disparities within the criminal/juvenile justice system and the prison industrial complex.

 

On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man, was taken into custody by the Baltimore, Maryland Police Department for allegedly possessing a switchblade. While being transported in a police van, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center. Gray died on April 19, 2015. His death was ascribed to injuries to his spinal cord.

 

To celebrate Freddie Gray's life and the many young lives lost through the act of violence over the last year since Juneteenth 2014. We at PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC., is organizing a Young People and Poor People "Black Lives Matter" Voter Registration and Criminal Justice Campaign!

 

A voter registration drive is an effort, often undertaken by a political campaign, political party, or other outside groups (partisan and non-partisan), that seeks to register to vote those who are eligible but not registered.

 

Sometimes these drives are undertaken for partisan purposes, and target specific demographic groups that are likely to vote for one candidate or other; on the other hand, such drives are sometimes undertaken by non-partisan groups and targeted more generally.

 

We are asking all community leaders to support this campaign. More so, church leaders to support this most important campaign, by setting up voter registration tables at their churches and provide criminal justice workshops and information, beginning in the church on Sunday June 21, 2015.

 

The overall campaign is to provide instruction and to empower a youthful voter registration and criminal justice advocacy group and to continue the campaign in schools throughout the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Procedure on College Campuses:

 

1.Scout out locations on campus that will allow you and your group to access the most people (see suggestions below) and pick which days and at what times you want to occupy these areas to register people. Keep in mind that to run a campaign in some of these locations may require permission from the school. Check with the necessary administrators – food services, RA’s, student activities office, librarians, etc. Below are some suggested areas and times when you can reach a lot of new voters:

a.First-year student orientation at the beginning of the semester. Get in touch with the office that coordinates these events and ask if Democracy Matters can have a presence and be involved with the orientation with the purpose of registering students to vote.

b.Classes. Contact professors and ask if you can come into their class and take 10 minutes to talk about Democracy Matters and pass around voter registration forms. You can also set up a table right outside the classroom and approach people before they enter or after they leave.

c.Cafeteria. Set up a table outside of the cafeteria or walk around inside from table to table asking people if they want to register. Contact the dining services department to get the necessary permission. You may also want to put table tents on each table with information about where and when you will be registering students.

d.Dormitories. Contact RA’s and ask if you can either go door to door asking people to register or organize a hall or dorm meeting to register everyone at the same time.

e.Sporting Events. Set up a table outside major sporting events and have people register as they enter or exit. Ask the sports department if you can put voter registration forms inside the program so people can fill them out during the game and then give them to your group as they exit.

f.Fraternities and Sororities. The campus Greek systems can provide access to a large number of students. Approach different houses and ask if you can work with them in making sure their members are registered to vote. You may even want to solicit their help in reaching out to other campus groups. Different houses can host voter registration parties, where students of voting age are only allowed to enter if they are registered. Provide opportunities for people to register as they enter the party.

g.Library. Work with librarians to allow students to access voter registration forms throughout the library. Ask for one computer to be set up specifically by your group to conduct online registrations. Have a clear display at the checkout desk with voter registration forms handy.

h.Reach out to students lounging around campus. Make it fun and dress up as political religious, or civil rights icons, or create your own eye-catching costumes to draw attention to your voter registration efforts.

i.Movie Screenings, Lectures, and Events. Table where people congregate for events – speakers, movies, concerts or other events Democracy Matters or other groups organize on campus, offering to register people to vote.

2.The student Voter Registration Campaign, is encourage on High School Campuses.

 

We must act now and invest in the future and lives of our children!

 

"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"

 

Blessings,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poverty and Desperation - The Root Causes of Drugs - Crime - Gangs and Violence

Posted by projectreachinc on July 19, 2014 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Poverty and Desperation is the leading cause of - Drugs - Crime - Gangs and Violence; along with far to many leaders that use their positions for self serving purpose. Organized meetings, mentoring and true leadership is the key to making positive and ongoing changes.

Reducing violence and violent-related deaths of young black men and boys can not be left in the hands of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. As church, law enforcement, political leaders and others are now speaking and meeting on crime and violence as it relates to young black men and boys, it must be real!

 

If leaders really mean what they are saying or meeting on, action must be in the forefront of the overall objectives, including having young people at the table and involved in the decision making process. In as much as over the years, many meetings and studies have taken place, with little or no positive actions or resolve; Furthermore, in making changes to modern day genocide of young blacks, Hispanics and poor; addressing poverty must be the number one priority, including addressing the war on drugs, racism and disparities in order to bring positive and lasting resolve.

 

Faith and community leaders need to signal a "Code Blue" as we continue facing an alarming amount of poverty in America. The side effects to poverty translates into desperation, gangs, drugs, early deaths and other social ills. If America improves the economy and opportunities for the at risk communities; crime will become more manageable for law enforcement and young lives will be saved and gangs, drugs and the prison industrial complex will decrease. A Black Man is Killed in the U.S. Every 28 Hours by Police - and 14 Black men killed every 24 Hours overall.

 

By leaving the economy as is, it does not matter how many drug dealers you take out or lock up, more will take their places. Poverty is the boogieman that politicians and other mainstream leaders avoid addressing, further concealing the social ills that lends itself to racial disparities, higher taxes and community blight. Poverty continue to grow across the United States at an alarming rate, with many communities being affected.

 

Over the last four decades, a number of studies on poverty, suggest that African Americans and Hispanics continue to be hit harder than most Americans and with continued racial disparities and high rates of poverty, theses communities will continue to fail and with a rising crime rate.

 

Run-down homes, apartment buildings and blighted neighborhoods, sometime located less than a square mile from downtown seems to be the norm for most urban communities. A short drive away from the impoverished areas, one can witness exclusive government buildings, mega stadiums, arenas, churches and other buildings with beautiful landscapes. However, within the impoverished communities, you can find blight, gangs, ex-offenders, drug dealers, prostitutes, school dropouts, unemployed or underemployed, homeless, and individuals with mental illness and drug addictions.

 

In visiting at-risk communities, some of the locals will take the time to discuss social and economic concerns/needs or woes as it relates to their neighborhoods and communities. Some of the stories are horrific, including stories about their conditions and their long struggles to shake their daily atrocities. Older individuals, suggest that their local leaders have forgotten about them, or care more about money, perceived power and politics than the poor and disenfranchised. On the other hand, younger people suggest their major concerns are; violence, gangs, drugs, unemployment, underemployment and distrust of law enforcement and some community leaders.

 

Faith, political and community leaders can play a vital role by reflecting back to the sixties and the "Poor People's Campaign" and the "Sullivan Plan".

 

The Poor People's Campaign was a 1968 effort to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States. It was organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The Campaign demanded economic and human rights for poor Americans of diverse background. After presenting an organized set of demands to Congress and executive agencies, participants set up a 3000-person tent city on the Washington Mall, where they stayed for six weeks.

 

The Poor People's Campaign was motivated by a desire for economic justice; the idea that all people should have what they need to live. King and the SCLC shifted their focus to these issues after observing that gains in civil rights had not improved the material conditions of life for many African Americans. The Poor People's Campaign was a multiracial effort aimed at alleviating poverty regardless of race and the Poor People's Campaign is needed NOW.

 

Sullivan's work was built on the principle of "self-help", which provides people with the tools to help themselves overcome barriers of poverty and oppression. African Americans had been excluded from the types of training which led to better paying jobs. Sullivan realized that simply making jobs available was not enough. He said, "I found that we needed training". Integration without preparation is frustration.

 

In 1964, Sullivan founded Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) of America in an abandoned jail house in North Philadelphia. The program took individuals with little hope and few prospects and offered them job training and instruction in life skills and then helped place them into jobs. The movement quickly spread around the nation. With sixty affiliated programs in thirty states and the District of Columbia, OIC grew into a movement, which has served million of disadvantaged and under-skilled people. This approach also led to the formation of the Opportunities Industrialization Centers International (OICI) in 1969. Around the same time, Sullivan established the Zion Investment Association (ZIA), a company which invested in and started new businesses.

 

We must act now and invest in the future and lives of our children!

 

"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"

Homeless and Incarcerated Veterans

Posted by projectreachinc on May 27, 2014 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

 

As we celebrate Memorial Day 2014: Remember Bro. Ted Williams, a Army Veteran, who was homeless for 17 years. who became an overnight sensation after the Columbus Dispatch posted a clip of him demonstrating his voiceover skills while begging by the side of the road, is just one example of the plight of homeless and incarcerated veterans. Ted Williams, with the Golden Voice, gained worldwide media attention in January 2011 when a video of Ted being interviewed by the Columbus Dispatch went viral on YouTube.

We at PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. Inc., shared this concern in writing in 2011 with Congress, media outlets and national leaders, as it relates to Homeless and Incarcerated Veterans and the condition of healthcare or lack of. Three years after this writing, we are still faced with a number of untimely deaths of veterans due to poor healthcare and thousands of incarcerated veterans either serving life in prisons/jails -- or long sentences, because of the atrocities surrounding poor healthcare or other social ills.

 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) states the nation's homeless veterans are predominantly male, with roughly 5 percent being female. The majority of them are single; come from urban areas; and suffer from mental illness, alcohol and/or substance abuse, or co-occurring disorders. About one-third of the adult homeless population are veterans.

 

America's homeless veterans have served in World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq. Nearly half of homeless veterans served during the Vietnam era. Two-thirds served our country for at least three years, and one-third were stationed in a war zone. Roughly 56 percent of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, despite only accounting for 12.8 percent and 15.4 percent of the U.S. population respectively.

 

About 1.5 million other veterans, meanwhile, are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.

 

Although flawless counts are impossible to come by - the transient nature of homeless populations presents a major difficulty - VA estimates that 107,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. Over the course of a year, approximately twice that many experience homelessness. Only eight percent of the general population can claim veteran status, but nearly one-fifth of the homeless population are veterans.

 

In addition to the complex set of factors influencing all homelessness, extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care, a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.

 

A top priority for homeless and incarcerated veterans should be, the best healthcare, under "Obama-care" and all healthcare, secure safe and clean housing that offers a supportive environment; free of drugs and alcohol.

 

Although, most homeless people are single, unaffiliated men. most housing money in existing federal homelessness programs, in contrast, is devoted to helping homeless families or homeless women with dependent children.

 

Veterans need a coordinated effort that provides secure housing, nutritional meals, basic physical health care, substance abuse care and aftercare, mental health counseling, personal development and empowerment. Additionally, veterans need job assessment, training and placement assistance. Locking them up and in many cases for life is not the answer!

 

The story of Ted William a veteran, living as a homeless in Ohio should have sent a clear message to President Obama, Congress and all Americans the urgent need to address veteran affairs, including the many that's homeless, on drugs, in need of healthcare and serving time in prison across this country.

 

This is very personal with me, as I have witnessed the side effects of my Sons who have served in the military and many relatives and friends that's facing the same atrocities as the veterans in this writing, including Bro. Ted Williams a proud veteran and American.

 

"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"

 

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education. - Martin Luther King, Jr. "The Purpose of Education" (1947)

 

The Root Cause of Drugs - Crime - Gangs and Violence

Posted by projectreachinc on May 23, 2014 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Poverty and Desperation is the leading cause of - Drugs - Crime - Gangs and Violence; along with far to many leaders that use their positions for self serving purpose. Organized meetings, mentoring and true leadership is the key to making positive and ongoing changes.

 

Reducing violence and violent-related deaths of young black men and boys can not be left in the hands of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. As church, law enforcement, political leaders and others are now speaking and meeting on crime and violence as it relates to young black men and boys, it must be real!

 

If leaders really mean what they are saying or meeting on, action must be in the forefront of the overall objectives, including having young people at the table and involved in the decision making process. In as much as over the years, many meetings and studies have taken place, with little or no positive actions or resolve; Furthermore, in making changes to modern day genocide of young blacks, Hispanics and poor; addressing poverty must be the number one priority, including addressing the war on drugs, racism and disparities in order to bring positive and lasting resolve.

 

Religious, faith and community leaders need to signal a "Code Blue" as we continue facing an alarming amount of poverty in America. The side effects to poverty translates into desperation, gangs, war, drugs, early deaths and other social ills. If America improves the economy and opportunities for the at risk communities; crime will become more manageable for law enforcement and young lives will be saved and gangs, drugs and the prison industrial complex will decrease.

 

By leaving the economy as is, it does not matter how many drug dealers you take out or lock up, more will take their places. Poverty is the boogieman that politicians and other mainstream leaders avoid addressing, further concealing the social ills that lends itself to racial disparities, higher taxes and community blight. Poverty continue to grow across the United States at an alarming rate, with many communities being affected.

 

Over the last four decades, a number of studies on poverty, suggest that African Americans and Hispanics continue to be hit harder than most Americans and with continued racial disparities and high rates of poverty, theses communities will continue to fail and with a rising crime rate.

 

Run-down homes, apartment buildings and blighted neighborhoods, sometime located less than a square mile from downtowns seems to be the norm for most urban communities. A short drive away from the impoverished areas, one can witness exclusive government buildings, mega stadiums, arenas, churches and other buildings with beautiful landscapes. However, within the impoverished communities, you can find blight, ex-offenders, school dropouts, unemployed, homeless veterans and individuals with drug addictions.

 

In visiting at-risk communities, some of the locals will take the time to discuss social and economic concerns/needs or woes as it relates to their neighborhoods and communities. Some of the stories are horrific, including stories about their conditions and their long struggles to shake their daily atrocities. Older individuals, suggest that their local leaders have forgotten about them, or care more about money, perceived power and politics than the poor and disenfranchised. On the other hand, younger people suggest their major concerns are; violence, gangs, drugs, unemployment and distrust of law enforcement and some leaders.

 

Faith and community leaders can play a vital role by reflecting back to the sixties and the Poor People's Campaign:

The Poor People's Campaign was a 1968 effort to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States. It was organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The Campaign demanded economic and human rights for poor Americans of diverse background. After presenting an organized set of demands to Congress and executive agencies, participants set up a 3000-person tent city on the Washington Mall, where they stayed for six weeks.

 

The Poor People's Campaign was motivated by a desire for economic justice: the idea that all people should have what they need to live. King and the SCLC shifted their focus to these issues after observing that gains in civil rights had not improved the material conditions of life for many African Americans. The Poor People's Campaign was a multiracial effort aimed at alleviating poverty regardless of race and the Poor People's Campaign is needed NOW.

 

"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"

 

Faith - base prisons v. Faith - base schools

Posted by projectreachinc on April 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

As more and more inmates find themselves praising the Lord and a steady growth in the number of faith-based prison/facilities across the nation. One can witness the fervor of devout volunteers and mentorship, but the programs are often met with criticism by some faith groups, politicians and taxpayers. Even though there is evidence that faith-base programs tend to help reduce recidivism and other negatives factors.

 

Other evidence provided by prison heads, ministry leaders, community leaders and inmates, strongly suggest that fights, violence and trouble-making has dropped sharply within many of the facilities. Far to often, faith-base programs are the only vibrant rehabilitation options at a time when taxpayer-funded alternatives have been cut back. Inmates offer compelling argument, that they feel they are treated with respect, dignity and given hope through these programs.

 

Inmates in faith-base prisons, sometime express that they have never had anyone to show them love, including their mothers and fathers and even by some local church and community leaders. However, faith-base programs shows the love that most are seeking.

 

With all of the wonderful things that perhaps faith-base prison/facilities provide: PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC., is suggesting a proactive approach in the form of faith-base public schools in some form. Minister Richard P. Burton, Sr., founder and director of PROJECT R.E.A.C.H, suggest that "Faith-based public schools were extremely important leading up to early sixties and should be a part of all public schools today". The U.S. Supreme Court has been vigilant in forbidding public schools and other agencies of the government to interfere with Americans' constitutional right to follow their own consciences when it comes to religion. In 1962, the justices ruled that official prayer had no place in public education.

 

Faith-based Public School efforts did and will cultivate, sustained and motivate young minds. It is urgent and necessary for churches, synagogues, mosques, and all faith-base organizations to signal a "Code Blue" as it relates to the need to come together to empower our families and children and especially our youth through education v. incarceration. Together we can be stronger, and together we can exponentially increase the effects of good works towards saving our children.

 

In order to be the top producers of successful students in our nations schools; we must be focused, determined and committed to providing our youth with as many resources as possible, including promoting prayer in public schools. If Congress, individuals and organizations would have spent the same energy, resources and lobbying efforts to keep prayer in our public schools, as with trying to stop "The Affordable Care Act" - Obama Care, perhaps faith-base prisons would not be needed today.

 

The faith community can help change the prison culture, by moving in a direction of "Saving Our Children and reducing the Prison Industrial Complex ( PIC) Now", by having local churches to partner with local schools in the form of adopting-a-school, as a great vehicle for connecting with a school in your local community. A few thoughts to consider as you ponder the recommendations; Start by promoting basic messages to maximize student success by creating healthy conditions at school and in the home - good character, stay in school, say no to drugs/ alcohol and no to bullying. Relationships can be developed with students through a combination of activities such as:

 

School-based Mentoring - cultivates trusting relationships between educators, adult role models and students, developing pro-social skills in students and a sense of belonging among their peers, families, and communities.

Life Skills Education - addresses anger management, school dropout and substance abuse.

After School & Summer Programs - provides enrichment activities for students, such as basketball leagues, chess games, robotic clinics, computer labs, etc...

 

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education. - Martin Luther King, Jr. "The Purpose of Education" (1947)

 

"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"

 

Legal Drug Career v. Illegal

Posted by projectreachinc on March 26, 2014 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Drug education, prevention and academics at an early age is the key to helping to end the war on drugs and a method in changing the mindset of adults. More importantly, this movement will move our nation in the direction of saving the precious lives of children.

 

Recently, I visited a at-risk neighborhood after speaking to a city official about issues surrounding drugs, violence, gangs and poverty. This neighborhood is located near my home church and other churches and the neighborhood is just a few miles from downtown, where there are beautiful buildings and clean and safe streets.

 

This was mid day and young black men were either standing on the corners or sitting on porches, perhaps like many other communities across America. In talking with some of the young men about jobs and the lack of, suggested to me that these man made disparities are not only created, but need much prayer and advocacy from committed individuals and groups for positive resolve, because politics and government is not the answer.

 

From this neighborhood visit, I continued my travels to a local Walmart's store and passed the pharmacy counter and saw no black males employed. From these encounters and talks, I thought of using proactive approaches to illegal drug use and the selling of, must start at an early age and PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC., is suggesting and encouraging parents, educators and community activist to begin directing children to careers in pharmacy.

 

As many church and community groups continue to focus on ways of saving black males and others from gangs, violence and the drug culture. Let us look at a simple answer and its legal.

 

Download the website below and encourage our children and others to enroll in Pharmacy Schools In The United States. This will allow them to use their abilities to save lives and make a good and honest living in the process as certified pharmacist. "There is a school near you"

http://www.globalrph.com/pharmacyschools.htm

 

Keep Hope Alive!

Minister Burton

 

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education. - Martin Luther King, Jr. "The Purpose of Education" (1947)

"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"

 

Drug Prevention/Education and Lobbying Campaign

Posted by projectreachinc on March 11, 2014 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Dear Family:

Your help is needed with a PROJECT R.E.A.C.H INC., initiative and this is a profound question for you! If the TSA, CIA, FBI and other agencies can keep terrorist off our planes and out of our country, why not cocaine?

After reading a recent article of a young man in Allentown, PA that swallowed Crack, I thought of a campaign that came out of Pittsburg years ago to help save our children. Mr. Yuk as you know, is a trademarked graphic image, created by the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and widely employed in the United States in labeling of substances that are poisonous if ingested.

 

In order to help children learn to avoid ingesting poisons, Mr. Yuk was conceived by Dr. Richard Moriarty, a pediatrician and clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who founded the Pittsburgh Poison Center and the National Poison Center Network. In Pittsburgh, the skull and crossbones previously used was not terribly helpful, because the Jolly Roger was the mascot for the local baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

 

However, we as a community must come up with a "Save our Children and Say No to Drugs" label and education campaign for our children and parents, so as to stop our children from being thrown in the river of no return.

As of today, we at PROJECT R.E.A.C.H. INC, a Re-enfranchisement Organization based in Jacksonville, Florida and founded by Richard P. Burton, Sr., in 2005 is asking that all schools, churches and homes will assimilate the Mr. Yuk Campaign, by using the same format to get our children to say "No To Drugs".

 

If you are in, let us start this campaign today, so we can end the foolish and winless War on Drugs and the creation of domestic terrorist within our communities.

 

Within the next 30 days we will be consulting with experts and others in the fields of education, prevention and parenting as it relates to drug prevention, and to devise a national blueprint and brand for teaching and lobby against drug abuse and this campaign will begin its teaching with Kindergarteners.

Our goal is to address: The oppressive nature of Racism and Slavery, cupped with limited access to education, jobs and inadequate mental/ physical health care has socially, emotionally and physically terrorized Black people.

 

Many of us suffer from PTSS (Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: That trauma has been passed down through the ages. Unfortunately, poverty, brings its own set of social ills. This is a problem that needs to be addressed within families, churches, schools and in communities. We need to form real groups that model real problem solving and tangible outcomes. It is possible to create productive change in our communities.

 

"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"

 

 

Race-Poverty-Desperation-Gangs-Violence-War and Death

Posted by projectreachinc on February 27, 2014 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Race-Poverty-Desperation-Gangs-Violence-War and Death: 225 local officials from 37 cities, including 20 mayors, attends meeting, held by the Cities United organization in New Orleans. The two-day meeting seeks to reduce the number of violence-related deaths of young black men and boys. As political leaders and others are now speaking and meeting on crime and violence as it relates to black men and boys, let it be real!

 

If leaders really mean what they are saying or meeting on, action must be in the forefront of the overall objectives, including having young people at the table and involved in the decision making process. In as much as over the years, many meetings and studies have taken place but little or no actions; Furthermore, in making changes to modern day genocide of young blacks, Hispanics and poor; poverty must be the number one priority, as well as addressing the war on drugs, racism and disparities to bring positive and lasting resolve.

 

In early 1970, Edwin Starr used these profound lyrics as it relates to War. "War, huh, yeah - What is it good for - Absolutely nothing" War means tears - To thousands of mothers and fathers eyes - When their sons and daughters go to fight - And lose their lives.

 

Please download and listen to the lyrics! Edwin Starr - WAR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d8C4AIFgUg

 

Political and community leaders need to signal a "Code Blue" as we continue to face an alarming amount of poverty in America. The side effects to poverty translates into desperation, gangs, war, drugs, early deaths and other social ills. If America improves the economy and opportunities for the at risk communities; crime will become more manageable for law enforcement and young lives will be saved and gangs, drugs and the prison industrial complex will decrease.

 

By leaving the economy as is, it does not matter how many drug dealers you take out or lock up, more will take their places. Poverty is the boogieman that politicians and other mainstream leaders avoid addressing, further concealing the social ills that lends itself to racial disparities, higher taxes and community blight. Poverty continue to grow across the United States at an alarming rate, with many communities being affected.

 

Over the last four decades, a number of studies on poverty, suggest that African Americans and Hispanics continue to be hit harder than most Americans and with continued racial disparities and high rates of poverty, theses communities will continue to fail and with a rising crime rate.

 

During Black History month, I visit communities of run-down homes, apartment buildings and blighted neighborhoods, sometime located less than a square mile from downtowns. A few minutes away from the impoverished areas, I see exclusive government buildings, mega stadiums, arenas, churches and other buildings with beautiful landscapes. However, within the impoverished communities I find ex-offenders, school dropouts, unemployed, homeless veterans and individuals with drug addictions.

 

Within some of these at-risk communities, some of the locals will take the time to discuss social and economic concerns or woes as it relates to their neighborhoods and communities. Some of the stories are horrific, including stories about their conditions and their long struggles to shake their daily atrocities. Older individuals, suggest that their local leaders have forgotten about them, or care more about money, perceived power and politics than the poor and disenfranchised. On the other hand, younger people suggest their major concerns are; violence, gangs, drugs and unemployment, and further indicated that drugs and poverty is the root causes of many of their problems.

 

As we end most of our meetings, they often ask for prayer and indicate that they also have fears within their communities with law-enforcement and political leaders that only come around their neighborhoods during election time and looking for their vote.

 

Also, Trayvon Martin, Marissa Alexander, Jordan Davis and Florida's Stand Your Ground Laws enters into the larger discussions, not just in Florida, but across other states and communities. "I find myself sharing on the sadness of these atrocities, and how high profiles cases get a lot of media and public attention, however, similar cases go un-noticed far to often across Florida and other communities across the country. Case in point; a young army veteran by the name Benjamin Dykeman, who was killed by a Brevard County, Florida deputy in Melbourne, Florida, with little or no community or media hype.

 

Benjamin Mayoles Dykeman Sr., died on June 16, 2012 in Brevard County, Florida. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia on Oct 25, 1980. He graduated from Salem High School in 1998. He received an associate degree in Information Technology from Keiser University in Melbourne, Florida, 2012. He was employed at the Wounded Warriors Org and GSI Commerce located in Melbourne, Florida.

 

Benjamin joined the US Army in 2001 and served his country honorably. His battalion was one of first groups of young enlisted personnel sent to the Iraq war from basic training. While serving he received several metals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons. Such acknowledgements were; the Army Good Conduct Metal/The National Defense Service Metal/ Global War on Terrorism, Expeditionary Metal/Global War on Terrorism Service Metal, Army Service Ribbon and Overseas Service Ribbon.

 

Benjamin Dykeman's mother tried desperately to get civil rights organizations, members of the faith communities and attorneys involved; "However, she received no support from anyone, including the US Military".

 

 

"At no time do we condone wrongness on either side of the wall"


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