Saturday, May 21, 2016

Positive Youth Development

By George, It’s “The People’s Agenda”


By Eric Stradford, U.S. Marine Corps Retired
AMWS May 21, 2016, Atlanta -- 10,000 Black Men Named George is a TV movie about union activist A. Philip Randolph and his coworkers Milton Webster and Ashley Totten.  The film follows Randolph’s efforts to organize the black porters of the Pullman Rail Company in 1920s America, known as the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.  The title refers to the custom of the time when Pullman porters, all of whom were black, were addressed as "George".
In this chapter of American history, a movement emerged from organized social action, producing evidence of change in the United States Armed Forces.  Between 1941 and 1946, A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin organized The March on Washington Movement (MOWM) to pressure the U.S. government into desegregating the armed forces and providing fair working opportunities for African Americans.  The evidence came in the form of Executive Order 8802.  Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the order prohibited discrimination in the defense industry under contract to federal agencies.  Roosevelt’s executive action opened the door for some 20,000 “Georges” to become United States Marines.
In 2011, President Barack Obama, a beneficiary of Randolph’s social activism, approved the Congressional Gold Medal to the 20,000 “Georges” distinguished as Original Montford Point Marines.  Between 1798 and 1942, the U.S. Marine Corps followed a racially discriminatory policy of denying African Americans the opportunity to serve as Marines.  The name, “Montford Point,” today known as Camp Gilbert H. Johnson, was the site of a segregated boot camp where these “Georges” earned the title, United States Marine.  Coincidentally, the first Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to a “George.”  The Continental Congress approved the medal on March 25, 1776.  Its recipient, George Washington, served as the first U.S. President from 1789 to 1797.
Protocol having been established, Ambassador Theodore Roosevelt Britton, Jr., 90, Atlanta, GA is one of 20,000 Original Montford Point Marine.  Just one beneficiary of Randolph’s social action, Britton joined conveners of The National Black Political Convention (@TheNBPC) in 1972 to address policy issues impacting African American lives.  Britton returns to The NBPC June 9-12, 2016 as a 21st Century advocate for veterans’ issues.
According to news sources, two of the last three remaining presidential candidates – former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders – have also agreed to participate in a forum in Gary, IN and submit to questions of particular importance to African Americans. An invitation to Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has been extended.  The presidential forum is part of the National Black Political Convention, which will return to Gary more than 40 years after the historic 1972 gathering.
This year’s convention is being co-convened by former Gary, IN Mayor Richard G. Hatcher, one of the original conveners of the 1972 convention; Tuskegee, AL Mayor Johnny Ford, who was founding chair of the World Conference of Mayors and founding co-chair of the National Policy Alliance; Gary, IN Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson; Newark Mayor Ras Baraka; Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks, Tarrant County, TX; Webster Guillory, founding co-chair of the National Policy Alliance; and Thelma Moore, former chair of the National Association of Black County Officials (NABCO).
The presidential forum, scheduled for Saturday, June 11, 2016 will be moderated by George E. Curry, editor-in-chief of EmergeNewsOnline.com. He will be joined in the questioning of candidates by Chinta Strausberg, a reporter for the Chicago and Gary Crusader Newspapers and Webster Guillory.
“The 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary was the kickoff to what became the powerful Black political revolution, which led to the election of more Black political leaders than had been elected in the United States since Reconstruction,” the organizers said in a statement. “Now is the time for Black America to return to Gary, convene a second National Black Political Convention; recharge our batteries; develop a Black agenda, and announce it to the world, and leave Gary prepared to implement that agenda.”
That agenda will be developed at next month’s convention, which will be held at the Genesis Convention Center. Positions are expected be taken on such issues as education, justice, energy, voting rights, gun control, health, environment, economic opportunity and the treatment of Black veterans.
In addition to Saturday’s presidential candidates’ forum, on Friday there will be an intergenerational Town Hall discussion.
The first convention had as its theme, “Black Politics at the Crossroads.” The agenda included:
    Home rule for Washington, D.C.
    Establish a national network of community health centers
    Establish a system of national health insurance
    Elimination of capital punishment
    Create a new urban-based homestead act
    Government guarantee of $5,200 income for a family of four
    Minimum wage guarantee of $2.50
    Establish a Black United Fund
    Effective enforcement of anti-trust legislation
To register for convention and obtain more information on the 2016 convention, go to theNBPC.com.
Conveners of this year’s convention said, “We must set our agenda as Black Americans, and be able to say to both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention…we in Black America have set our agenda and if you want our vote and support, then you must consider the Black agenda.”

Friday, April 22, 2016

$11 Million in My Brother’s Keeper Commitments

National Service Agency Announces More than $11 Million in My Brother’s Keeper Commitments


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Apr 22, 2016
Announcement includes more than 125 AmeriCorps members in Michigan, Minnesota, and New Mexico
WASHINGTON, D.C.  – As part of today’s release of the My Brother’s Keeper 2016 Progress Report, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, announced new commitments that will help meet the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) milestones. More than $11 million in new programming includes new AmeriCorps VISTA programs with the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and Social Innovation Fund grants through the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Youthprise.
“As a nation, there is much more we can do to help our young people stay on track and reach their full potential in life,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  “We are thrilled to join other committed partners to launch new AmeriCorps and Social Innovation programs that will put hundreds of young people on a path to success in school and life.”
Through a new partnership with the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an independent nonprofit committed to uniting leaders across philanthropic, nonprofit, and private sectors to improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color, CNCS will place up to 20 AmeriCorps VISTA members in MBK communities across the country each year. The AmeriCorps VISTA members will serve through local organizations to advance MBK initiative milestones.
Additional AmeriCorps VISTA partnerships in Michigan, Minnesota, and New Mexico will address opportunity gaps and ensure young people can reach their full potential. In Santa Fe, N.M., an MBK community, AmeriCorps VISTA members will develop and implement a pilot Mentoring, Tutoring, & Internship Hub; coordinate out-of-school time programs; research best practices and support grant writing; and develop community outreach strategies for early childhood issues and ways to reach disconnected youth. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, MBK AmeriCorps VISTA members will create youth leadership councils to provide young people the platform to voice their needs and help design the programs most beneficial to them, as well as support career readiness and apprenticeship programs. They will also create an MBK Partners Institute to help build the professional capacity of small, local community organizations working to achieve MBK milestones.
CNCS, in collaboration with the Michigan Community Service Commission, will place 12 AmeriCorps VISTA members in Michigan Regional Prosperity Zones to develop and implement an action plan to help youth reach their full potential. Beginning in June, AmeriCorps members will assist designated communities and tribes with improving mentoring, job training, and skill development services for young people. These AmeriCorps members will serve in Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Port Heron, Saginaw, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties, as well as the Chippewa Tribe in Sault St. Marie and the Huron Potawatomi-Nottawseppi Tribe in Battle Creek.
CNCS also announced two Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantees to support evidence-based models for opportunity youth. SIF awarded $1.8 million to Annie E. Casey Foundation to fund 10 organizations that will increase employment and educational opportunities for youth who have been involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, or who are homeless. SIF also awarded Youthprise $3.75 million over three years to six organizations across Minnesota that provide wraparound services to address the discrepancy between high school graduation and employment for youth that are either homeless, in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system, or disconnected from school and education. In addition, the SIF will announce more than $3 million in Pay For Success grants to nearly 20 organizations in more than 10 communities to support MBK-related initiatives.
“My Brother's Keeper Alliance (MBKA) and AmeriCorps VISTA's partnership is one that gives me great hope and pride,” said Blair Taylor, CEO of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. “MBKA is thrilled to put boots on the ground to build capacity around powerful place-based work started long before President Obama launched My Brother's Keeper. We are eager to recruit passionate and committed young people to serve as MBKA VISTAs and look forward to working with powerful partners to march forward on this critical work in short order.”
"The Annie E. Casey Foundation has long been committed to ensuring all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential, and the increased national attention on boys and young men of color aligns well with our focus on addressing the challenges facing these youth," said Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Foundation. "We're excited about helping even more young people of color get on paths to success through our new Social Innovation Fund initiative."
“I’m excited about the newly adopted My Brother’s Keeper initiative in Santa Fe, as well as the new partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service and AmeriCorps VISTA which will support the My Brother’s Keeper initiative to improve the lives of Santa Fe’s Youth,” said Mayor Javier Gonzales, of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In addition to today’s announcements, CNCS and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership recently launched Mentor.gov, an online search engine to connect Americans to mentoring opportunities. The new site supports MBK’s call to action for Americans to make a difference in the lives of young people through mentoring. Research shows that the presence of a mentor in a young person’s life significantly improves their potential for success.
On February 27, 2014, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative to address opportunity gaps faced by boys and young people of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. Through this initiative, the Administration has joined cities, towns, businesses, and foundations that have taken steps to connect young people to mentoring, support networks, and skills they need to find a good job or go to college. Today, the Administration released a two-year report outlining milestones and progress on key priority areas, as well as new federal investments to support the initiative.
Through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Social Innovation Fund programs, CNCS helps advance MBK by increasing entry-level job opportunities and providing access to mentorship and apprenticeship options for all young people, including boys and young men of color. Today’s announcements build on previous commitments from CNCS that underscore the President’s belief that all young people deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. Previous CNCS MBK programs include a partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to fund Youth Opportunity AmeriCorps, a landmark partnership with the USDA’s Forest Service, and Aspire Mentoring Academy Corps, a collaboration with AT&T and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

Monday, February 29, 2016

YouthUSA Chair honored as Woman of Achievement


By Eric Stradford, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired

AMWS, March 1, 2016, Atlanta - The YWCA of Northwest Georgia will recognize Stephanie A. Walker Stradford as a woman of achievement.   The 2016 Tribute to Women of Achievement will take place on Friday, March 18, 2016 from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m., at the Cobb Galleria Centre, Marietta, GA.  

Stradford provides executive leadership for Youth Achievers USA Institute, a national 501c3 public charity promoting Positive Youth Development as a means of achieving economic security.  

In 1996, she created THE ANNUAL YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS to celebrate American youth for their vision of their own future.

An on-line application process invites any caring adult to serve as a Community Asset Manager (CAM) for one or more youth applicants.  The CAM assists the youth applicant in writing seven (7) goals valued by YouthUSA as “Money-n-the-Bank.”   Each application identifies one community asset with a “whole village” of 20 caring adults who provide support in one of seven areas of human development.   The program builds capacity for diverse local public charity missions seeking to engage and empower future leaders.

In Cobb County, GA, YouthUSA partnered with the local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to invest in community-based organizations.  A federal grant application for Americorps funding addresses “a gulf of mistrust” as a national security threat to America’s future.  Ongoing grant development for the National Learn-2-Earn Partnership connects community leaders with U.S. Marines who have combated racial disparities since the 1940s.

The Montford Point Marine Association, a strategic partner in National Learn-2-Earn, preserves the military history and traditions of the United States Marine Corps while preserving the legacy of the first Black Marines.  The national veterans organization is planning a $2 million monument to promote inclusivity for future generations. 

Perhaps by chance, or divine appointment, the YWCA (Young Womens Christian Association) of Northwest Georgia is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.  The YWCA envisions a community free of domestic violence and sexual assault.

This is the 31st year that the YWCA has recognized Women of Achievement. Fifteen women who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in their professional and community endeavors and lives and/or works in Cobb, Cherokee or Paulding counties are eligible to receive this honor.

Tom and Wendy Bunch Heyer will be serving as the 2016 Tribute to Women of Achievement co-chairs.  Additionally, The Honorable Roy and Mrs. Marie Barnes, 80th Governor of Georgia and First Lady, will serve as our honorary co-chairs.  The YWCA is committed to delivering programs and services that increase the awareness and reduce the occurrence of domestic violence and sexual assault in our community.

Friday, February 26, 2016

WIN UP TO $100 IN CASH AWARDS FOR OUR BEST PHOTO


The American Mentor Wire Service (AMWS) a program of YouthUSA, is sponsoring a photo contest as a LEARN-2-EARN ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY.  You must be a YouthUSA beneficiary to win.

The next LEARN-2-EARN opportunity will be SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2016 during the 11 Year MLK/Black History Celebration Gala hosted by Cobb County SCLC.

NATIONAL LEARN-2-EARN partners will be in attendance as part of their grant requirements.  Funding for L2E partners aims to create opportunities for YouthUSA Beneficiaries to demonstrate their leadership skills.

As a YouthUSA Beneficiary, your assignment is to meet and interact with L2E partners, take a picture, or two, or as many as you like.  Upload your winning photos to the YouthUSA Facebook Group.  Then participate online in the selection process.

1ST PRIZE - $100 -  This photo must be taken by the YouthUSA Beneficiary or any caring adult member of the Whole Village.  The winning photo must include a) YouthUSA beneficiaries, (b) an L2E Grant Partner, (c) The $3000 L2E Grant Check.   The photo must be uploaded before midnight FEBRUARY 29, 2016 for consideration.  The photo must be tagged to identify FB friends in the photo.  

2nd PRIZE - $50 -  This photo must be taken by the YouthUSA Beneficiary or any caring adult member of the Whole Village.  The winning photo must include a) a YouthUSA beneficiary, (2) an L2E Grant Partner, (3) The $3000 L2E Grant Check.   The photo must be uploaded before midnight FEBRUARY 29, 2016 for consideration. The photo must be tagged to identify FB friends in the photo.   

3rd PRIZE - $25 - This photo must be taken by the YouthUSA Beneficiary or any caring adult member of the Whole Village.  The winning photo must include a) YouthUSA beneficiaries, (2) an L2E Grant Partner, (3) The $3000 L2E Grant Check.   The photo must be uploaded before midnight FEBRUARY 29, 2016 for consideration.  The photo must be tagged to identify FB friends in the photo.  

4th PRIZE - $10 - This photo must be taken by the YouthUSA Beneficiary or any caring adult member of the Whole Village.  The winning photo must include a) YouthUSA beneficiaries, (2) an L2E Grant Partner, (3) The $3000 L2E Grant Check.   The photo must be uploaded before midnight FEBRUARY 29, 2016 for consideration.  The photo must be tagged to identify FB friends in the photo.  

AMWS Task Force will make the final selection.  Any YouthUSA beneficiary or caring adult to include subscribed L2E partners can participate in the winning photo selection process.

Are we Facebook Friends yet?  Like us now at www.facebook.com/YouthAchieversUSA

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Stephanie’s “Cancer”

Whose report will you believe?

Washington Media Pioneers saw a” Dream Deferred” as a “test” for #HealingAmerica.  It would require an alternative vision of America’s future.  Stephanie called on a few friends in the profession to “be the ones we’ve waited for.  Photo (c) 1991 Marvin T. Jones & Associates.


By Stephanie A. Walker Stradford and Eric Stradford, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired

AMWS, February 23, 2016, Atlanta – Stephanie A. Walker Stradford, Chair, Board of Directors, Youth Achievers USA Institute, awakened from a peaceful night sleep in her own bed to report from her own perspective, her status and experience with a recent medical diagnosis. 

“I’m blessed,” she declared. “Praising God for the test-i-mony.   The “assumption of power” clause in her corporate by-laws, legally invoked prior to XI DAVINCI ROBOTIC surgery, has been rescinded.   Now, whatever you’ve heard about “cancer,” chances are you won’t see it or even believe in it until (a) it makes you feel different, or (b) somebody you trust says you have it.  It’s like one in 2.1 billion Christians on Earth explaining Jesus to a dead guy.   You’ve got to hear the story more than once.

Since, trust is so hard to come by, many historically disadvantaged Americans rely on their faith that this too shall pass.   With ObamaCare firmly entrenched into laws of the land, more and more cancer patients are confronting bad news with proactive Psalms.  It seems, the more believers share their personal story, fewer unbelievers walk around feeling hopeless about their circumstances.

On the 6 am prayer call, Stephanie shared in morning meditation with believers and bedazzled that which only they could appreciate.  Pastor Kenneth E. Marcus, Senior Pastor, Cathedral of Turner Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Marietta, GA convenes the Lenten Season morning devotions as daily, proactive treatment for healing sick folk.  (6:00 am EST Mon – Sat.  1-712-432-3900  - Access Code: 586149#)

For Stephanie, a late evening call from “her pastor” could have been Dr. Marcus, or it might have been The Reverend William “Rick” Henley, Senior Pastor of the Beulah Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA. Stephanie’s 102 year old grandmother, Laurena Puriefoy Walker and her husband Deacon J. D. Walker, invested spiritual value in Henley’s West Philadelphia congregation since 1926.  The investment continues to net returns for Stephanie as one of their own. 

At one point, friends like Janice Rubin, Philadelphia High School for Girls, trekked Jewish Prayers from somewhere between California and Miami Beach, FL just to make sure both Old and New Testament beliefs were still in sync.   And, of course there’s the YouthUSA Corporate Village, bound by the alternate reality, “I believe I can achieve whatever I believe I can achieve.” 

One might perceive a Facebook text from Penelope “Penny” Vails-Williams to be her late brother, Stellar Gospel Recording Artist Reverend Dr. Donald Vails “channeling” positive energy to a sick friend.  In Texas, Pastor Evangelist Linda Holliday, wife of Matlock Actor Kene Holliday texted reports from the “War Room” that prayer changes things—fervent, effectual prayer of few righteous friends changes things big-time.  Geographically miles apart, but in the same War Room, if you believe in a strong offensive strategy, The Reverend Dr. Cecelia Williams Bryant  is “in pursuit of the authentic MANIFESTATION of the power of GOD in the earth realm.” Fellow NBC Media Pioneer, Reverend Aisha Karima weighed in from Washington, DC, “still prayin.”  Rev. Dr. Debyii Sababu-Thomas, no stranger to barefoot benedictions, brought closure with a pinch of emotion, “We love you.”

Dr. Joel Freeman, co-author, Return To Glory, Powerful Stirring of the Black Race, is almost always a heartbeat from the healing.  Our mutual friend John Phillip Sousa, IV, great grandson of the renowned conductor of the U.S. Marine Band reminds believers of the importance of a cadence.  Whether you get it from a drumline or an EKG, where words fail, music speaks.

Depending on that which you choose to believe, Stephanie’s “cancer” is a perception of reality with an undetermined outcome.  Dr. Jeffrey S.  Cohen is awaiting lab reports as a follow-up to Friday afternoon’s surgical procedure.   For the Thomas type of believer, the evidence may be more complex than you are ready, willing and able to receive.  The prescription may be even tougher to swallow.  

The testimony usually starts with a test.  Stephanie’s “test-i-mony” started with a diagnosis or professional medical opinion of Dr. C. Gregory Nesmith, Atlanta Gastroenterology.  He took pictures—digital images, printed some copies, and suggested surgery to remove a malignant polyp in a section of her colon.   The surgery was delayed due to back-to-back abnormal EKG tests. 

Along the way Stephanie’s Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Stanley Dysart, injected prayer along with a double shot of Cortizone.  Chiropractor Dr. Patricia Cohen, no relation to Jeffrey, applied a holistic hug.   After consultations, examinations and more tests with primary care physician Dr. Suzanne Starke, and Cardiologist Dr. Ayushi Ahuja, Stephanie’s “test-i-mony” had rallied a whole village of medical professionals, engaging them in an evolving story about faith and works.

The patient met with her surgical team to pray for them individually and collectively.  She took a praise pill to relax herself, and quietly headed for the operating room.  Dr. Cohen’s team powered up the XI DAVINCI at Northside Hospital, Cherokee, GA for a ROBOTIC LAPAROSCOPIC LEFT COLECTOMY WITH SPLENIC FLECTURE MOBILIZATION.  “Can I watch?” asked the official care partner.  “No. They won’t let us do that,” Dr. Cohen replied.

At that moment, all of a 400 year historically disadvantaged gulf of mistrust came down to the pronoun, “they.”  There was little comfort from healers and holy rollers that met a cadence set some two thousand years ago.  John 11:4 - But when Jesus heard about it he said, “The purpose of his illness is not death, but for the glory of God. I, the Son of God, will receive glory from this situation.”

In John 11:43 - Jesus shouted a prescription for raising dead folk, “Lazarus, come out!”  Then later in John 14:13 - Jesus empowered believers for generations to come with promise and provision for making things happen. “You can ask him for anything, using my name, and I will do it, for this will bring praise to the Father because of what I, the Son, will do for you.”

Dr. Sharon Davis Williams, a close friend and prayer partner shared a word about “Fervent” at a private birthday brunch just days before Stephanie’s surgery.  Her text messages during the hospital stay ministered healing through the simple word, “walk.”  Dr. Williams was headed out for a long walk as part of her own healing process.  As new “walking partners,” Stephanie saw that maybe this sister gets it.  

Stephanie dumped part of her prayer list on Sharon as a demonstration of how the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution might work in a “more perfect union.”  In a memo on “Heavy Lifting,” Stephanie shared with Dr. Williams the Money-n-the-Bank goals of some fifty YouthUSA Beneficiaries of diverse beliefs.  Collectively, they share a corporate statement of faith, “I believe I can achieve whatever I believe I can achieve.  Individually, they represent substance of hope for #HealingAmerica.

Some of the people in this “test-i-mony” or, if you prefer, “cancer” watch things happen.  They are 49% of the folks you meet.  Another 49% are still wondering what’s happening.  They are waiting on the lab to confirm that the best is yet to come.  Then there’s the 2%, those on the prayer team, the medical team, the ministries of learning and earning.  They MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.  

Stephanie’s beloved “Two Percenters” are uniquely endowed to write the vision for an IN GOD WE TRUST” constituency.  But, to achieve that which they individually and collectively believe, they’ll need more trust than most political candidates and religious leaders have been ready, willing and able to invest.



















Monday, December 28, 2015

Return To Glory

“Any dummy can spew divisive rhetoric to get elected…we need to put words to work toward a common vision to strengthen America wherever we live, learn, work and worship.”



By Stephanie A. Walker and Eric Stradford, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired

AMWS, January 1, 2016 Atlanta -- Authors Don Griffin and Joel Freeman co-wrote the book and also co-developed the script of the film, Return To Glory.  But, it was the transition of Original Montford Point Marine, Ozell Sutton from Earth’s labor to “Heaven’s scene” that brought national attention to untold "glory" behind #BlackLivesMatter and #MyBrothersKeeper.
Dr. Joel Freeman is also credited with the 123 minute DVD presentation entitled "A White Man's Journey Into Black History."  The founder of The Freeman Institute is committed to educating a nation on the value of her historically disadvantaged menfolk.  Friends connected as family through the National Basketball Association (NBA) know Freeman as the veteran chaplain of the NBA Washington Wizards for 19 years. 
More recently, the author and chaplain has been engaged in the #BlackLivesMatter and #MyBrothersKeeper movement as a healing asset for the 2016 Presidential campaign.  Freeman’s calming voice in neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson’s spirit offers the marginal and disenfranchised a unique path toward inclusion in that “more perfect union” envisioned in the U.S. Constitution.
As members of the Montford Point Marine Association celebrate the life of Congressional Gold Medal recipient Ozell Sutton, they could only imagine the fruits of their efforts would translate into economic security solutions for “Our Streets, USA.”  

The Montford Point Marines have been reaching out to investors in America’s future to engage them in national service at home.   Their “big picture” approach is embodied in The Marines’ Hymn, “…if the Army and the Navy ever look on Heaven’s scene, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.” 


The Carson for President Campaign acknowledged the value of Montford Pointers in a national engagement strategy for #HealingAmerica.   The Montford Point Marines have not endorsed the candidate, but have fully committed to working with serious leaders committed to #HealingAmerica.  That includes faith and community leaders. 

The Montford Point Marines have called on fellow beneficiaries of “stolen peoples’ equity” to join forces in modeling “The Beloved Community” envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The worldwide African Methodist Episcopal Church has echoed the call with one for unity in the community, praying for healing during worldwide celebrations of “Freedom’s Eve.” 

In the six-state Atlanta Federal Reserve Region, the national 501c3 public charity Youth Achievers USA Institute has been calling on friends-n-kin to engage in increasing value where they live, learn, work and worship.   Already, Montford Point Marines in the Southeast United States and its Ladies Auxiliary have joined a movement toward developing America’s future leaders. 

A fully funded $1.8 million Montford Point Monument project evidences first fruits of engagement “in appreciation of a grateful nation.”   The City of Kennesaw, GA, Kennesaw State University, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Cobb County, GA are being challenged to forge the mettle it takes to truly honor one U.S. Marine.

Veterans of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces in Cobb County are getting the call from one local Montford Point chapter as a call for #HealingAmerica.   The veteran-led, #WeAreKENNESAW local engagement initiative connects learning assets of a state university to earning, living and giving assets on Main Street, USA.

“The 2016 race for president can no longer be perceived as a joke,” said Stephanie A. Walker Stradford, CEO, YouthUSA.   “Any dummy can spew divisive rhetoric to get elected,” she said.   “We The People need to put our words to work on a common vision to strengthen America wherever we live, learn, work and worship.”

The Board Chair for Youth Achievers USA Institute is looking for youth and young adults to lead a National Learn-2-Earn campaign and demonstrate America’s commitment to healing thyself.  She has called on the clean comedy team of Willie Brown and Woody to engage the undecided in a campaign for #HealingAmerica.  Your vote for #Woody4President supported through #Gold4Goals is a demonstration of collective corporate will to make business as usual a practice of the past.

#HealingAmerica Events

December 31, 2015 – Any church, ministry or community based organization is invited to join the Montford Point Marines in corporate prayer for #HealingAmerica.   Contact any African Methodist Episcopal Church to “lift a collective community voice” in celebration of “Freedom’s Eve.” 

January 5, 2016Formal launch of #WeAreKennesaw as a veteran-led community-engagement campaign in support of #HealingAmerica.

January 18, 2016 -- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Parade in Cobb County, GA will honor Original Montford Point Marines as The Grand Marshall’s Detachment.  Any veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces is invited to march or ride in MLK Day Parades in solidarity of #HealingAmerica.

February 27, 2016 --  #WeAreKennesaw will be honored at the SCLC Cobb Annual Gala by the Cobb SCLC Freedom and Justice Fund as a Community Engaged for #HealingAmerica.