Update on Plan for Criminal Justice Reform.
Kansas City, MO
I’ve been quiet about my plans for criminal justice reform. To be honest, I didn’t know what to do. I knew I couldn’t continue to be useless and let the days go by knowing that something is broken. I have always thought that I had to launch this huge initiative to get things started, but in reality, I don’t. I’ve learned It’s okay to start small and build. It’s like building a house; you lay one brick as perfectly as it can be laid —one by one — and eventually you've built a home.
If you’re like me and don’t know how to help dismantle systematic oppression, start by serving the youth that will likely fall victim to it. The first and most important brick that I have been laying is serving as a mentor at-risk teens at the Juvenile Detention Center and other young adults in the community. Just like the example of building a house, improving the life of one person who improves the life of another person eventually creates an army; an army of people who are no longer victims of the system — that can be used to help fight oppression.
The population I’m serving of at-risk teens and young adults have gifted me a sense of purpose and re-affirmed why God has placed me in Missouri.
I initially hated being in Missouri; I spend most of my time by myself. Even though my time here is temporary, the bonds and relationships I’m building aren’t; these kids look up to me and finally have a role model they can relate to and build with. If I can be the little bit of hope they needed to realize it ain’t nothing in these streets, then so be it. God gave me a light and purpose and I’d be damned if I didn’t let it shine.