Sunday, July 29, 2007
History was made at Dallas City Hall - The kids came first
It's about expanding the worlds of young people and catching them before they make bad choices that result in death or the jail system.
NBC 5 coverage of Teen Summit
Fox 4 coverage of Teen Summit
DALLAS On Saturday, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway and I Won't Complain Ministries made history. Over 150 kids and parents packed City Hall (on a Saturday) to kick off Dwaine's Community Teen Summit Series. It's really about expanding the worlds of young people and catching them before they make bad choices that result in death or the jail system. On top of that, we want to give them real chances to succeed. This is all part of Dwaine's 20-point plan on which he based his City Council Campaign.
This is the first in a series of summits. We will have a forum almost every month, ten within the next year.
Dwaine has had this on his heart for the entire time I've known him. He's always said that he wanted to bring neighborhood youth to City Hall and expose them to another outlet and venue for opportunity. Then, right after he was elected, he met Tyrone, Aaron, and Takela Jackson with I Won't Complain Ministries. The Jacksons (founders of the ministry) have all been incarcerated at some point in their lives and told powerful stories of despair, hope, and redemption to the crowd.
Bishop Larry McGriff started us off with prayer. From that point the Ordered Steps and Angel Faces youth dance group performed, members of DPD talked about the dangers of drugs (not just how bad the drugs are to use but the life/death risks of selling drugs), and community leaders gave advice and answered questions on a panel. Breakfast and lunch were provided, and the kids were able to take pictures with various Councilpeople and the Mayor. Thanks to Allyn & Company for their sponsorship.
For the record, the entire crowd followed the lead of Ms. Jan of the Park Dept in doing the Cupid Shuffle on the floor of the Council Chambers. You have never seen kids so excited to be in City Hall.
The mission is to create leaders and show kids another avenue to pursue when shooting for their dreams, and to have goals in general. Some of these kids have never been outside of their own neighborhoods. We will be contacting and following up on these kids as time progresses.
I would personally like to thank Dwaine and I Won't Complain Ministries for having the vision for such an event. It exceeded everyone's expectations. In addition, I want to thank all of the volunteers that worked hard. The event was well attended by several councilpeople and the Mayor.
Once again, Dwaine is leading the way and changing the game at City Hall. In future sessions we will have focus groups and even more ways to expose the kids to different environments and opportunities.
Mike Davis has worked with Dwaine Caraway on his campaign and on the shutdown of "hot-sheet" motels.