Just as the attacks of September 11th provoked multiple law enforcement agencies (SS, FBI, DEA, ATF, etc) to re-evaluate their tactics for effectively protecting our country, I believe the same needs to be done with our public school systems. LA County systems leaders can better coordinate public services to support our children through stressful times.

Inner City Industry is seeking your support to advocate for social emotional learning in schools.  Secondary to reading and writing education places emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  With nearly 49“%” million American’s living in poverty, we must better prepare future youth generations about themselves, their peers and the 21st century as it awaits them.  As a tried and tested nation, we must begin to better assess the mental health needs of children and youth beginning with those who reside in historically low income communities. As we are firmly positioned in the “Knowledge Age” with ongoing technological advancements, our children will best excel academically in a student-centered education system.

This paradigm shift comes at a time when our country is in political turmoil with no clear direction toward a United States of America. The conflicting views are complex and multifaceted as you have a mix of rich vs. poor, established vs. emerging and tradition vs. non-traditional ideas competing for superiority.  Individuals that accumulated their wealth from initially flawed systems seek to maintain the status quo and the often younger, unemployed yet inspirational new leaders represent the Occupy Movement. Increased to 99%, all citizens now acknowledge and endure the inequality of America’s unjust systems.

The reality: African Americans are disproportionately represented in nearly every adverse statistical category and numerous barriers continue to weaken our legacy. Parallel the 80’s crack cocaine epidemic to today’s crystal meth epidemic and its severe effects on family structure and clearly, all citizens must unite for change to revive the American Dream.

The solution: Your support is imperative for Whole School-District Systemic Change to establish a Continuum of Healthcare and Education Systems to ensure all children and youth have access to comprehensive health coverage and social emotional learning while enrolled in school. Every culture begins with one child, which in turn contributes to the big picture of living a prosperous life with cultural understanding. Regardless of ethnicity, young, old, middle class or working poor, our time for action is now!

Since 1999, Inner City Industry (ICI) has continued its commitment to inspiring children and youth to reach their full human potential through social, emotional and professional development learning programs. ICI combines three inter-linked mandates with focus on education reform, economic empowerment and cultural understanding to reverse generational poverty as a bottom up strategy toward establishing a level playing field in which all American’s can fairly compete.

Reform of our nation’s education system is the essential component to  establishing economic opportunity that will empower communities by simultaneously providing culturally competent services and jobs. My prayer is that you join this social change call to action and become a part of our movement to support youth development and community well-being. We must will to win!

In Spirit, Bruce Wheatley