Practitioner of progressive movements.
I was born on the South Side of Atlanta, off of Cleveland Ave. I'm the youngest of four from a single parent home. I became an early advocate of fairness by being excluded from my older brother's activities with my older cousin. "Why are they allowed to do that, and I can't" became a base thought in my early physique, but more importantly I became very comfortable asking the question "Why?" seeking answers, then engaging in solutions.
We moved around a lot because we lived in poverty and we also moved to keep me and my brothers out of trouble when we associated with the wrong crowds. My adolescent years was spent between College Park, and Hapeville, a majority white city. During my teenage years, I lived in East Point and went to Tri-Cities High School (Home of the Outkast), and my favorite subject was Social Studies. I recall paying attention to my first presidential campaign Gore Vs. Bush. It was my first instance realizing that government "wasn't fair". I began to understand the government's effect on my community and the country. I was naive to it first, but I then put my upbringing as a young black boy living in poverty, and the recent undercutting of democracy together. I felt voiceless. It was not fair, and I immediately wanted to fight back, so I joined the NAACP at age 15, where my first march was to remove The Confederate Flag off of State Buildings in South Carolina.
I took my activism to Paine College where I lead my baseball team to an SIAC championship through a familiar desire to fight to win. I then transferred to Morehouse College where I forwent my baseball ambitions for poetry and servant leadership on and off campus. The first AUC protest I aided organizing was in 2006 in response to The Jena 6, 6 Jena Louisiana high school students targeted by racism. We staged a 2,000 student March to the CNN Center. My life changed dramatically during the "Occupy Wall St." and Troy Davis movements. At the Troy Davis rally I was fiercely beaten, tazed, and briefly incarcerated. In that cell I reflected on my life of fighting back, and upon my release my mentor gave me advice for moving forward, "be proactive" and build within the community.
I graduated Morehouse College as "The Activist of The Year" with a degree in Early Childhood Education, and was blessed enough to have Barack Obama as my commencement speaker. With a strong belief in educational reform and grassroots movements, I started Wecycle Atlanta an internationally known non-profit that infused academics, character skills, healthy activity, and mentorship for youth through cycling and urban agriculture. I took my mentor's advice about being proactive and engaged my community in a way that aided mitigating issues in health and society. I also became active in my community association and NPU in top leadership positions and worked as a City Council employee during and after college.
Then and now a neighbor of Ashview Heights I've aided in organizing some of Atlanta's most recent marches and initiatives that are reshaping Atlanta's culture back to its original spirit as a trailblazer of urban policy and socio-political movements. My associates and I were in Ferguson for Mike Brown organizing with Black Lives Matter, in Baltimore during the riots for Freddy Grey, and constantly in the streets of Atlanta proactively through programming and reactively to "shut down" social and economic injustices that are still being perpetuated today. Through activism I've been able to influence Atlanta policy on youth engagement, criminal justice reform, and affordable housing. Through daily community engagement I've also been able to change the culture of West Atlanta though meaningful collaborations with grassroots, community, philanthropic, and city organizations with a simple goal... social-economic justice. A goal that I believe we can achieve together.