Thursday, January 24, 2019

Belong. Believe. Behave.


L.E.A.D., Inc. (Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct) is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization operating in Atlanta. Our mission is to empower an at-risk generation to lead and transform their city. Through our year-round "Pathway2Empowerment Programming," we are inspiring and equipping Black males with the empowerment they need to live a life of significance.

The program helps:
  • Launch student athletes toward educational opportunities after converting their raw talent into the skills required for entry into college athletic programs
  • Expose teens to service and local enrichment activities in order to instill a sense of responsibility, belonging and investment; key requirements for building a civically engaged individual
  • Advise players, coaches and parents on the process of effectively supporting dreams of playing baseball on the college level
  • Direct young men toward their promise by using the historical journey of past African American legends as the road map
Tens of thousands of young Black males living in the inner city of Atlanta need the three B’s in order to live a life of significance. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

Belonging

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” — Brene Brown

As a child, both of my parents modeled their work ethic in the comforts of my home. I was blessed to wake up to a father and mother in my house every day. But I grew up in poverty. It was hidden from me through designer clothes, a mandate to use articulate speech and annual visits to the Fox Theatre to see “The Nutcracker.”

I felt that I was better than my neighbors who lived in the same segregated Hollywood Brooks (Bankhead Atlanta) apartments as I did. I grew up feeling I was learning the right way, which had resemblance of the "White way".

Atlanta will never become a world-class city until hundreds of thousands of Black males are living a sustainable life of significance.

L.E.A.D. Ambassadors Harris Clement and Deangelo Nowell along with Coach Desmond Stegall
Believing

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” — Voltaire

L.E.A.D. partners with Atlanta Public Schools to inspire and equip Black males (Ambassadors) with the empowerment they need to live a life of significance. We Scout The Counted Out (TM).

Our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors believe they can live a life of significance because of our year-round “Pathway2Empowerment Programming.” Access to game-changing people and opportunities without support is like trying to drive a car that doesn’t have an engine.

Georgia has one non-profit charitable organization for every 361 people. It is ranked in the top one-third of most charitable states overall. Georgia’s charitable organizations are generous with both their money and volunteers.

Why then does Atlanta have so many problems with poverty and failed educational outcomes?

Why haven’t these problems been resolved?

It isn’t a lack of resources. It isn’t a lack of goodwill. But it is time we ask ourselves the hard questions so that we can create authentic change.

Rise Up Atlanta. Tens of thousands of youth Black males don’t believe that living life of significance is their destiny.

Behaving

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait — it's how we behave while we're waiting.” — Joyce Meyer

Patience is the ability to wait without anger. Some of our L.E.A.D. Ambassadors are mad as hell because they know that if you’re born into poverty in Atlanta, you have a four percent chance of making it out, according to research by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Judge Peggy H. Walker of the Douglas County Juvenile Court said, “When children don’t have language, their behavior becomes their language.” Here’s one intentional thing that you can do in 2019 to help me lead in Atlanta.

Become a recurring donor of $10, $20, $30 or more — no donation is too small.

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