The White House

President Barack Obama

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

President Obama:

I have been inspired by your determination as President of the United States.  Your drive and ambition exemplifies that of a champion athlete.  Despite the countless attacks to deter your tireless effort, you have remained steadfast with tenacity to achieve a win for the American people.  As a Black male working my way beyond poverty, I am even more inspired by your continuing achievements.  Far too long Black people have been labeled as crabs in a barrel.  If there is ever a time to change such a negative stereotype today presents the perfect opportunity for Black America to champion for your re-election.  Without your second term our chances for growth and prosperity throughout the 21st century decrease dramatically as we continue to endure disparity.  As you have so eloquently spoken “change doesn’t happen top down, but bottom up,” you, Sir have certainly accomplished your part.

I also commend you for taking a stance on same sex marriage and immigration reform.  However, Mr. President respectfully, it’s been almost four years since your discussion related to the effect poverty has on America’s children.  Overwhelmingly Black men, women and children are enduring poverty at alarming rates.  I understand you are not the Black President of the United States but President of the United States.  Despite your historical achievements, America’s crash has left Black people beneath the rubble.  As some of the longest standing citizens instrumental in building this country we must emerge from the smoke and gravel with a clear direction of how best to support community well-being for all America.  I seek your support for the following multifaceted and comprehensive solution:

Inner City Industry’s Peer Empowerment Program establishes on-the-job professional development training for transition age youth 18 to 25 years of age in health and human service professions. As a certified Peer Mentor employees provide social emotional learning support to children and youth. This employment solution is reinforced by building a Continuum of Healthcare and Education Systems (CHES) in K-12 education.  CHES establishes systems for prevention, early intervention and care transforming K-12 into a student-centered system providing comprehensive health, mental health and substance abuse service delivery.

While I have little to no expectation you will or can make our issue America’s priority your recent initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans is timely.  And, your brilliance to include mental health parody in Affordable Care Act Legislation is the clearest indicator that you understand the crisis in the Black community.  I have researched and become familiar with Race to the Top policy and ACA Legislation and CHES fulfills several of your mandates as a whole school-district reform opportunity.  In considering CHES for your education initiative, ACA may represent the paradigm shift to proactive interventions that reduce health and education disparity.

Given mental health issues have persistently threatened the Black community, we must begin by organically introducing social emotional learning to eliminate stigma. It has become imperative that America’s 21st century youth generation become well acquainted with themselves, their peers and the world that awaits them.  It is pass time for Black people to meet your achievements half-way; bottom up.  It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who proclaimed, “It is the nettlesome task of Black Americans to bear the burden of redeeming the soul of America.”  Given no American system was designed to support non-whites; my hope is that your administration will embrace CHES as you consider guidelines for both ACA implementation and Educational Excellence for African Americans; in so that Black America has a hand in rebuilding education as we begin our journey to overcome today.

In spirit,

Bruce Wheatley