Category Archives: Community

Chicago’s Food Bank – One Meal At A Time

The Greater Chicago Food Depository was founded by Tom O’Connell, Robert W. Strube, Sr., Father Philip Marquard, Gertrude Snodgrass, Ann Connors and Ed Sunshine in 1978. Since then they have been trying to make an impact in the city of Chicago. They have been a part of many programs over the years and the amount of food they have supplied has grown exponentially. The main goal of the Greater Chicago Food Depository is to make an impact on the amount of hungry people in Chicago.

Personally, I have volunteered for the Greater Chicago Food Depository before and I was pretty impressed by the staff and the amount of people that would show up everyday to help volunteer as well. I talked to a couple people while I was there and some of them show up everyday to volunteer just because it makes them feel good to know that they are helping to make a difference. Another thing that I found interesting was that they have a program where the participants take 12 weeks and learn some new culinary skills as well as participate in a 2 week internship following the 12 week period of training. This could be a great way to help people get jobs that have no experience what so ever. Another reason to look into the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

The fight against hunger remains constant on the south side of Chicago and also with the rest of the city. I have seen people constantly walking up and down the streets asking for money to help get them back on their feet. It saddens me to see these people outside in all types of weather with seemingly no hope in their heart. Below I have left you guys a video that explains a little bit more about their mission and why they are doing what they do. They are always looking for volunteers that are ready to make a difference in their community.

Advertisements

Living in Tragedy – Finding Hope

XXX Tentacion debuted a new song on Soundcloud titled “Hope”. At the end of the song he dedicated his lyrics to the victims and survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week in Parkland, Florida. The track is very brief but towards the end Tentacion begins singing in a sad tone saying “Rest in Peace to all the kids that lost their lives in the fucking shooting.”

Personally, I have seen a lot of growth from this artist and one thing that I can say about him is that he isn’t afraid to show his emotions or vulnerabilities within his music. Some might even go as far as calling him a revolutionary. There were also rumors that he was done making music not too long ago because of his frustration with the music industry and the state of things in the United States that are constantly effecting the youth as well as many other people.

In the song’s Soundcloud post, there is an extra note to listeners and survivors of this tragedy. It reads “follow your dreams, and know that even though you have lost, you have guardian angels watching over you , day in and day out, the last thing they want is for their lives to be lost in vein, make them proud! live full, healthy, genius lives!”

I think this is a great example of how artists can impact the people and try to make a difference by trying to bring change. We realize that we can do nothing to change the world and the people that are in it but the one thing that we can do is try to change ourselves for the better in order to have a brighter future.

Give the song a listen here on Soundcloud!

You can also follow me, Julian Riviera, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Soundcloud.

How Black Men 100 Of Chicago, Inc. Is Changing The Lives Of Chicago Youth

When you think a Chicago youth what do you picture? Growing up on the West Side of the city it’s not always pretty. Some people may think of drugs, gangs, and teenage pregnancies while others see hope, future, and stability. 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. sees possibility. Possibility in guiding local youth on the West and South Sides to be the best they can be.

100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. started in 1994 when a group of men wanted to help guide youth, focusing on young men in the city, in positive directions through educational opportunities and mentoring. Programs that the organization provide encourages young black men in the city to achieve and think of themselves as more than where they come from.

Programs

100BMC Youth Images, Photography by LeVern A. Danley III
Photography by LeVern A. Danley III http://www.LeVernDanley.com

Mentoring, a large component of the program, happens on a weekly basis where mentee and mentor relationships are formed. This program aligns with the school year to provide services to young men during their academic year.

Scholarship fair and fundraiser are to help young men to be exposed and afford college. For more than 15 years, the scholarship fair happens during the fall where youth and their families get a chance to see colleges and universities from all over. This event provides youth with information for  post-secondary education, provide millions of dollars in grants and scholarships, and offers for enrollment to eligible students. In addition, the scholarship fundraiser is monies gathered by 100 BMC to support graduating men from high school and their mentoring program to pursue post high school education.

 Why Is This Needed

bmc 3

Before 100 BMC, I have never been exposed to an organization that particularly focused on black men. There are a lot of controversy that seem to surround black men but, here is a program that provides a helping hand. This guidance comes from other black men who may have shared similar struggles and can advise on how to overcome them. The program also provides young women with the opportunity of mentorship and guidance into young adulthood.

In order to see a change in youth residing urban Chicago areas, there has to be an example and what 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc. is doing is only the beginning.