Thank you CNN

soledad-obrien-nadine-b-hackI attended the preview screening for “Black in America 2, Soledad O’Brien Reports”, a CNN four-hour documentary that premieres on July 22 with “Tomorrow’s Leaders” and July 23 withToday’s Pioneers.”  I encourage you to watch this two-part series as it features extraordinary programs that serve as highly successful and replicable models. While I was inspired by all six, I was particularly touched by an initiative Malaak Compton-Rock started at the Bushwick Brooklyn Salvation Army Community Center called Journey for Change. Thirty children were chosen to participate.  First they served their own community and then had a two-week service trip to a South African township. Read the Journey for Change blog to see what these kids have learned and what they are doing now.  What I think is most significant about her program is the paradigm shift it offers for young people, ages 12 to 16, who become empowered by providing community service. When asked in the Q&A segment why Malaak chose working with the Bushwick Center it was because her husband, Chris Rock, went there when he was a kid, a living example about how youth empowerment programs truly can be transformative. after-the-panel-discussion3colonel-gullery-commander-sargeant-major-robinson6suzanne-engo-nadine-b-hack2

Post your comments on what CNN features and your recommendations about any other successful empowerment programs, whether sponsored by businesses, governments of civil society. greg-dalba-nadine-hack1panel-discussionhadim-works-schomberg

Malaak also explained that she chose South Africa for the service program of the Bushwick team because she’d been working with a grassroots program there and knew that the kids would have the support of a talented on-the-ground team. I love the kids’ blog entries that capture the sense of empowerment that comes from giving young people – or older adults – training and opportunity.

I know this from direct experience: in the 1970s I created an OCCUR project in Oakland that still thrives as a state-wide initiative; in the 1980s I worked with Children of War, connecting survivors from violence who learn the skills to heal themselves and then go on to train others whether in Cambodia or South Central LA; and over these decades I’ve worked with effective projects around the globe.The key ingredient for success always is providing what’s necessary to unlock their latent potential and giving them the support to use it. Most recently, I’ve seen this magnificently embodied at the South Bronx-based Ghetto Film School, another program that CNN supports.

See more pictures from the CNN feed.  View the Black in America 2 trailer here.  And learn how this series explores innovative solutions to challenges facing Black Americans here. Watch the program when it airs (July 22 & 23 8pm EST) and you will see that CNN’s Black in America 2 also features extremley powerful adult initiatives.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • suzanneafrica July 11, 2009, 5:54 pm

    so glad to have you as my guest you rock NH thanks for spreading the word.
    suzanne “africa ” engo

  • Mino Akhtar July 12, 2009, 10:39 am

    Hi Nadine,

    Congratulations…your amazing talent for connecting ideas, people, movements continues to inspire me!

    Best wishes, Mino Akhtar
    (Daisy’s friend and ex-adviser; corporate job has taken over my life!)

  • Black Economic Empowerment July 12, 2009, 1:34 pm

    Many believe now that the central political theme programs aimed at the eradication of black poverty. Black Economic Empowerment

  • Colette Phillips July 13, 2009, 8:42 am

    Nadine: Congratulations. You ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so proud of you. You have a a brave and compassion heart, a keen intellect and the ability to make BIG things happen where ever you are. I love you my sister. You truly are my “soul” sister on so many levels.

    With great love, respect and admiration always, colette


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