We are at a breaking point. Black men are an endangered species; not just because of racial injustices, but black-on-black killings, an inordinate proportion in jail, and a lack of education to make the situation better.
I’m NOT Next! Is a campaign to shift the pendulum from unrest, anger, finger pointing and protesting to setting in place actionable steps, to raise money for programs to better educate, and equip black males in their day to day deals in society and with law enforcement. The campaigns purpose is to also show the world that the African American community is focusing on what we can do as a race to better situations with regard to our black males( because that is what we have the most power and control over to make changes) instead of just protesting, feeling helpless and complaining. This multi-level campaign is in an effort to prevent another black male from being lost to racial profiling, unfair treatment, or violence. We are not asking the question “Am I Next?”, but declaring that “I’m NOT Next!” The tragedy stops with Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner and the thousands of other black male’s lives that have been senselessly taken away from us.
This campaign empowers all people and sets a positive spin to the current climate of protest for “hands up”, “am I next?”, and “I can’t breathe.”
Anyone with a loved one can now change the conversation to: “My Son Is NOT Next!”, “My Nephew Is NOT Next!”, “My Friend Is NOT Next!” and “My brother Is NOT Next!”
Also, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the slogan “The Black Male Crisis”, is there really a “Black Male Crisis”? Let’s define what a Crisis is: A time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger, a time when a difficult or important decision must be made. With this definition and relating it to African American males at this time, “Black Male Crisis” qualifies. But, the second part of the definition states “a time when a difficult or important decision must be made” which is our hope, plan and purpose for launching this campaign. The I’m NOT next campaign will create lucrative resources and allow a plan of action to be developed to provide the tools, relationships and programs for the black community and for our African American males.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought African-Americans to a great point, virtually eliminating segregation, dealing with racism, and giving us a right to vote. Bishop T.D. Jakes said, “We are a far cry from the post-racial, peace and love society envisioned by ’60s idealists or the melting pot that our forefathers portended.”
Therefore – We are currently in crisis!
3 parts to Campaign and Fundraiser Outline:
1) A Multi Author book, “The Black Male Crisis: Strategies and Solutions to Eradicate Losing Our Black Males”will be donated specifically to the new documentary, “The Black Male Crisis.” The book will feature African American community leaders sharing their wisdom, professional experience, tips, and strategies on how to avoid and deal with racial profiling; As well as share their thoughts on areas that need to be developed and repaired in African-American lives. This book will serve as a guide for parents and anyone else that wants a better understanding and have new strategies to help black males they know, to guide them in their decision making and show them a better way.
2) A Fundraising Campaign, “I’m NOT Next” to raise money (modeled after Covenant House sponsorship campaign) to be donated to the 100 Black Men of America organization. And together, create a program specifically to help, empower and better equip our black males around the country of all ages.
3) An evening event, a “Shut In”, Nationwide solidifying the “I’m NOT Next!” fundraising campaign which will be a collaborative effort with 100 Black Men of America in all cities, African-American leaders, local churches, and any and all men that want to participate in the pledge to raise a determined amount of money for “I’m NOT Next” along with African American males of all ages. They will together spend an evening at local churches around the country on a unified “Shut In” night bonding, sharing solutions, encouraging one another and unveiling a plan for change.