By Amari Woods
Recently, the AJC published an Op-Ed featuring Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta President and CEO, Kwame Johnson. In the article titled “You don’t have to fear me”, Johnson addresses the serious issue of police brutality. He began with, “My heart is heavy thinking of all of the black men and women hurt or killed in racially charged incidents with police.” From there, he reflected on his personal experience with police as a teenager. During his time in jail, Johnson was fortunate enough to have his track coach, Mr. Maynord, play a positive role in getting his life back on track. Based on these experiences, Johnson has dedicated his career to defending the potential of youth.
As Johnson points out, 97 percent of children served are people of color. Knowing this, he sees mentorship as a powerful solution to overcoming racism. He stated, “Mentorship can bring two people from very different backgrounds together, and the beauty is that both benefit from the relationship.” Johnson also elaborated on the role of BBBS of Metro ATL to have hard discussions to facilitate in-depth training and support among families and volunteers. He encourages readers to actively listen and engage with people from different races. By doing this, we can make Atlanta, and most importantly the U.S., a better place for all- a place where the feared can be loved.
If you would like to read the AJC article, then click here to do so!