Saturday, September 13, 2008

What Are You Doing to Make a Difference?

With the upcoming presidential election, media attention, including the CNN special "Black in America," and numerous town hall meetings about the state of Black America etc., there is a lot of open discussion about the challenges we're facing in the Black community. And many of these challenges-- increasing violence, gang and drug involvement, academic achievement gaps, high incarceration rates--involve our youth.

But we know there are a lot of people in our communities who are working hard to try to address these tough issues. For example:

Say It Loud! Readers and Writers Series, provides Little Rock teens with activities designed to enhance their appreciation for literature as a tool for personal, educational and career development.

YOUTHOUTCRY Foundation, Inc., is a Newark-based organization that hosts traveling youth power summits, among other programs

Chicago’s Black Star Project, which provides educational services that help pre-school through college students succeed academically

Cleveland, Ohio’s Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, sponsor of initiatives including the Youth Employment Program, which helps youth ages 16-21 enter the work force and the Youth Re-Entry Program, which provides life skills training, physical and mental health and other services for formerly incarcerated youth.

And there’s our own non-profit, the Knowledge is Power Project, which sponsors book donations, writing contests, author visits, workshops for parents and teachers, and other programs that support our goal of educating, empowering and inspiring youth through reading.

Just Us Books was founded 20 years ago with the mission using children's books to make a positive different in the lives of our young people. We want to use the first post of the JUB blog as a forum to highlight the many good things that you--parents, teachers, mentors, schools, churches, non-profit organizations--are doing in support of our youth. Let's take this opportunity to share the good news, exchange ideas, suggestions, ask questions and support each other. Tell us: What are you doing to make a difference?