My Quest To Teach

May 27, 2013

Save Our Sons Summit

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Jackson @ 16:11

Save Our Sons Summit

Save Our Sons Summit is a collective effort
between St. Paul MBC of Jacksonville, Florida,
Community Connections, and other
organizations. The mission is to prevent
young men 10-18 years of age from being
involved in the judicial system, working to
solidify the importance of education and
its empowering value of the family structure.

Encouraging mentoring, fathers staying involved
with their children and positive parenting.
The Save Our Sons Summit was attended by
over a thousand youth. This summit provided
an opportunity for youth in Jacksonville and
surrounding communities to be engaged in
discussions about their responsibility and
accountability for their actions. The
importance of youth understanding that if
they are not personally accountable and have
low expectations for their success socially and
educationally there is a criminal justice system
that can and will incarcerate them. Students from
throughout DCPS, teachers, parents, guardians
and grandparents were invited to attend. Importantly
to bring a young man with them.

Today’s criminal system has been compared to
modern day slavery. The lack of educational
resources, counseling (education and substance
abuse) and vocational education to help youth
get back on the right path in society.
Judge Mathis a noted community activist and
national speaker on prison systems stated
many times his criticisms. The prison system is
designed for the failure of Black men, not to help
them re-enter society with marketable skills.
Judge Mathis has pointed out Black men are
60% of the prison population the results of bad
schools, diminishing mental health resources,
lack of fatherly involvement and no
employment opportunities that often result in
African American men being in prison.

The value of education, the importance of
self respect, the priority of valuing life and
living should continuously be taught to youth.
Parents should talk to their children every day and
if there are no responsible parents, then a mentor or
positive adults should take the effort to bond and
support that youth through schools and churches.
It is easier said than done, but the priority is here
and now. Each of these elements and more were
discussed in detail for the attending young
men and even several young women.

Community organizations from 100 Black
Men of Jacksonville, Churches, Fraternities, Law
Enforcement and other community groups were
in solidarity for this initiative.

Attending were
Mayor Alvin Brown speaking about the Learn2Earn
Experience and how he strives to get first generation
students to enter college. Even though Gov. Scott has
vetoed monies for this summer event that is a now a
national model, Mayor Brown understands with a
college education employment and career doors open.
The community, churches, businesses, fraternities and
their sister organizations are encouraged to support
the Learn2Earn Experience because their children may
need helped in their aspirations for college.

Dr. Vitti, Superintendent of Schools for Duval County
Public Schools, discussed parental responsibility and
how parents are their children’s first teacher, mentor
and foundation for educational and social excellence.
New direction for parents to be more involved and
active in schools, taking a lead in working with
teachers and administrators for the growth of educational
successes. Dr. Vitti has stated many times that schools
cannot do it alone in the educational process they need
parental support not criticism. Parents can help with
student discipline, truancy, bullying, and even the potential
for criminal behaviors that create too many opportunities
for youth to be involved in the criminal justice system.

Pastor John E. Guns St. Paul MBC
heartfelt words of his experiences presiding over funerals
of youth that have been murdered showed his passion and
commitment to youth and the Jacksonville community.
Parents need to be involved in their children’s lives each day.
No child should be incarcerated, killed or involved in the
killing of another person. More can and should be done by
churches and organizations throughout Jacksonville. Pastor
Guns announced this is only the beginning. Next will be
Save Our Daughters.

Each of the community organizations involved represents
what is good and positive in Jacksonville. Speakers spoke
to parents and youth to inspire, encourage and engage the
reality of our world for young men Black, Latino, Mexican,
Asian, Haitian and even White.
The direct discussion by men that were incarcerated, gone
astray in life and their experiences were shared to show
youth how life is precious and should be valued. To show
those attending what social and educational paths NOT to go
thru because of the long term negative effects of being
involved in the juvenile justice system and even the adult system.

The school to prison pipeline is shown to be affecting the lives
of millions of youth especially Black youth. The implementation
of preventive measures are many times not in place to help
youth that are challenged educationally, socially and the
instability of the family structure.

Emphasis was on more could be done. As Pastor
Guns stated multiple times, “more can be done
for our youth in Jacksonville. More organizations,
fraternities, professionals and others need to step-up
and help youth of our community.”

Save Our Sons is just the beginning of a wider
initiative, expanding soon to Save Our Daughters.
Data shows more young girls from the ages of 10-18
are challenged academically in schools, exposed
to bullying, sexual situations and the lack of male
and female mentors. This is only the beginning and
to be successful more Churches, Chamber of Commerce’s,
Educational organizations and community groups need to
be involved.

Save Our Sons Summit 2013

YouTube Videos from Save Our Sons
Pastor John E. Guns, Dr. N. Vitti and Mayor Alvin Brown


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