Switch Lanes is off to a running start in it’s promise to “do good things in the Waukegan community”.
President Anthony McIntyre was a presenter amidst some of Waukegan’s great leaders invited by Waukegan’s Coalition to Reduce Recidivism (C2RR) to the Youth Summit held at Waukegan’s downtown Job Center of Lake County. The purpose of the event was to address 13-14 year old middle school aged children and their teachers and principals. With focus on anti-gang violence, anti-bullying, cyber bullying and even had a presentation about one’s mental health.
This Youth Summit boasted some influential voices in the community while utilizing art and music to reach the young audience. Powerful and informative deliveries were made, lunch was served with a show and students were offered the opportunity to showcase their talents.
During Mr. McIntyre’s workshop times, he spoke to the young crowd about the 37 year prison sentence due to a 90’s murder conviction., in which he served 19 years. He told the young men in attendance that they have a “responsibility to lead” and be good leaders. In a heartfelt address to the young ladies, he told them that they “have more power” than they know. He also told them that they were beautiful, intelligent and didn’t need to do anything to impress anyone around them. He passed out business cards and before the event was over, he had received multiple Facebook friend request from some of the future leaders. ( My! What technology can do to connect us!!! 🙂 )
“Some of the greatest leaders in this World were once the best followers.”
– Anthony McIntyre, Switch Lanes President. Coalition to Reduce Recidivism 2017 Youth Summit.
Some of the voices heard were:
Community activist, author and founder of B.A.M.M. aka Black Abolition Movement for the Mind, Brother Blanks moved the young crowd with his hard hitting delivery of spoken word art. Be sure to check out his article published and in his hand on the day of the event. He examines Illinois DCFS and similar agencies and their accountability.
“Animation” is a 21 year old Waukegan native, graduate and returning Marine Corps veteran. He performed twice and the crowd seemed to be very pleased with his delivery and his word play. He spoke on some real issues like making his family proud and even touched on losing friends overseas in somebody else’s war in his song called Gone Tomorrow.
Waukegan’s first African American, Black American Mayor Sam Cunningham presented himself with a huge smile and lots of enthusiasm. Student’s felt his speech and even felt compelled enough to ask questions such as “what are your next challenges as mayor?” and “what was the biggest challenge to get to where you are?” He constantly reminded the group of young future leaders that “intelligent people make intelligent decisions!” He stated that in his youth, he was too busy with work and school to get into trouble, so he said “partnerships” will be created so that idle time is few and far between.
“Intelligent people make intelligent decisions. ”
-Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham
Some of the Coalition to Reduce Recidivism’s board members ans supporters reflected on their childhoods and school life. C2RR President Dr. Mary Roberson smiled and joked with the young audience. Treasure and retired “special needs” teacher, Arlene Day warmly recognized her mother as the inspiration to her teaching career. Minister Warren works with CLC and the Repatriation Program talked about being a mail man and explains negative connotations in the world surrounding Repatriate vs Ex-(anything negative). C2RR VP Chief Jennifer Witherspoon reflected on growing up in the projects of Chicago under the roof of a single mother household and how the decision was made at a young age to do good for herself and her family. Waukegan Township Supervisor Pat Jones called and treated all the audience members “young Kings and Queens”.
“…Young Kings and Queens… Future Leaders of Tomorrow. ”
– Waukegan Township Supervisor Pat Jones
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