Since sharing my blog site, I’ve received a lot of interesting feedback about my conversations. The most memorable came from a friend who said…Big fella, you’re preaching to the choir…which my response was I understand, now grab your robe because we’re off rhythm. As the director of Inner City Industry, my concerns are likely your concerns. I share this information in an effort to bring to light the many and constant concerns that impede our community and culture.

We’re very much present but off rhythm. Off rhythm in the context of we’re facing one another with our backs turned. Understandably we constantly overlook our shoulders to protect property, relationships and peace of mind as we genuinely trust few. My objective is to point out what we already see and understand yet have little to no discussion about as it relates to our plight while culturally, holding on for dear life. Gentlemen, we’re two generations, some will say three, behind where we should be economically, academically and quite frankly socially. If our next generation comes of age under the hardship the last two generations have endured we will become further torn apart.

Our communities are suppressed by inequality which has resulted constant traumatic experiences that has affected our health and well-being. What I propose is uniting behind Behavioral Health.

Without being overly technical and certainly not wanting to compete against my own design (folk are watching, reading and listening…trust) as this opportunity is among us now, Behavioral Health will provide integrated health and wellness services to children and youth in K-12 education and adult support services at newly established comprehensive behavioral health and wellness centers. The end goal is to establish community wide systems for prevention to educate our young about the challenges that persistently impeded success, systems of early intervention to immediately begin supporting individuals whose needs have gone unmet for years and systems of care to help individuals requiring intensive treatment. Behavioral Health will support and advance all vulnerable communities delivering jobs and services simultaneously.

Despite the mismatch of circumstances we dare to become Champions arriving mentally prepared and motivational ready to compete every game as our journey from disparity to prosperity shall be no different. Therefore, I turn to you as athletes and professionals to stand united for Behavioral Health as we know how to win…yet more importantly, we know how to come from behind to win. In moving forward, we must harness our gift of “seeing the floor” in essence being aware of all moving parts combined with an ability to anticipate as timing is everything when our spirits align to inspire one another when the game is on the line…we become unstoppable.

Fellas, the game is on the line. We must square up shoulder to shoulder, heads high, unbiased, and game face ready. This once in a lifetime opportunity represents our World Cup, Super Bowl and NBA Championship post athletic careers. No one’s coming to advance us but us and oddly enough…we’re waiting on us….all we need is our collective rhythm. Can the Choir say…Amen?

See you on the wood in the hood. B.