Yo Fellas:

This outreach is to excite your support for Inner City INDUSTRY (ICI) of which I established nearly 15 years ago. I turn to you gentlemen first and foremost because you know me personally and my work ethic as an athlete.  With identical focus, intensity, energy and player camaraderie I bring to basketball my drive endures off the court in our South Los Angeles community working to transform delivery of services.  Based on my professional experiences and certainly no surprise to you, we gentlemen are the strongest Black men to remain standing at a time our young brethren are disappearing, our individual voices are powerless, financially strained and the powers that be look over our heads as if we do not exist.

Currently accumulating in California reserves due several recent voter approved propositions rest nearly $15 Billion dollars intended to support poor and disadvantaged residents. Additionally, as dysfunctional as the Affordable Care Act enrollment had become sits nearly $1 Trillion dollars with a significant portion of these dollars allocated to reduce disparity to close the health gap.  My research-study has provided me recognition as a whole system analysis. I possess extensive knowledge having developed several systemic program(s) processes that will utilize funding resources to transform the no longer existing “socio-economic/healthcare safety-net” in low income communities.

There are currently 47 million Americans in poverty and rising.  Another 30 million one paycheck or emergency crisis away from the hardship poverty presents. Among the 77 million poor or working poor, there are only 37million Black people in the United States. It’s safe yet unfortunate to say we’re heavily represented in these statistics.

Inner City INDUSTRY currently provide jobs and services simultaneously with intentional focus on the African American community and youth as our next generation comes of age.  The goal with your involvement is to ensure every child and their family has access to comprehensive health care, social-emotional learning, mental health and substance abuse care if necessary.  Therefore, Inner City INDUSTRY is launching its Behavioral Health Initiative of which my outreach to you today is for your consideration to join our movement.

In order to reduce disparity we must instill primary care services deeper into the community where citizens reside to proactively respond to their needs.  I believe restructuring K-12 education as research suggest is the only way to reduce poverty and improve the social determinants that increase disparity.   K-12 education must operate as an open system with focus on the whole child, flexible course schedules to re-enroll students who have dropped out for numerous reasons and of critical importance improve the students learning experience utilizing perhaps retired or downsized executives to provide professional instruction as electives to students interested in more than science, technology, engineer and mathematics.

Real Life Scenario: The Affordable Care Act is expected to enroll 1 million Californians over the next few years.  The current emergency room wait time at the dreaded County Hospitals is 10-12 hrs. minimum.  With 1 million new citizens becoming enrolled and seeking services wait times will increase dramatically without restructured access to behavioral health care.  Currently our “beloved” Kai$er hospital is opening a new site off Martin Luther King Jr. across from the “Jungle” as several other community clinics are popping up around South LA.  We have needed these services for decades and they have not come.  Now there’s new money on the table…do you think they’re here for our care or profit?  This is not to shame the entrepreneurial minded, it’s just that they’re in the game and we’re not!

Half of South LA is under 25 years of age representative of our next generation and Black folk are sprinkled throughout in small clusters.  If we as a population are united and intimately involved in leading the transformation of our health and education systems around Behavioral Health advocacy, we will all win and redeem the soul of America as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed is our nettlesome task to bear such the burden.

This means we must come together Now!

I plan to check on the availability of the multipurpose room at Washington Park to host Behavioral Health presentations on game days throughout December to bring those of you interested up to speed on Inner City INDUSTRY’s work, vision and advocacy timeline.  This will be a great time to answer any your questions during hopefully two separate hour long sessions.  

Immediate Involvement: Volunteer – Advocate – Donate.

  • Volunteer to become intimate with our program(s) and fundraising processes in so that as we prepare to expand the jobs and service program we have knowledgeable leadership identified.
  • Advocate for Behavioral Health by attending speaking engagements (City, County and Systems Leadership Meeting) to demonstrate unified support and/or call or write state policy makers to ensure their accountability to the process.
  • Donate for those who can spare a dollar or direct ICI to additional donors, financial support is vital to the organizations success to administer programs and host advocacy events as state funds are limited to service delivery.

Fellas, this call to action is not about whether or not you have kids, go to church, have a job or not, time currently spent mentoring a child or young professional, this is about our heritage as Black people.  What we do today will define our legacy throughout the 21st century.    

What I will present is a road map to prosperity, I hope you get on board with me. With all us together it’s going to be a lot of fun and celebration, but we need to walk unified.

Blessing to each of you, see you on the wood!

Big Bruce Wheatley.