Celebrating Black Leadership

United Way of South Central Michigan invited some key and influential community members to share their thoughts on Black History Month. A special thank you to Thomas Burke of Save Our Youth Help Them Prosper in Jackson for his response.

“My great grandfather (my grandmother’s father), was born a slave in 1859; in 1880, he became a certified school teacher. I have followed my great grandfather’s example of him being a slave, persevering through the reconstruction period in America, and becoming a certified teacher in 1880. It appears he was a humble, respectable community leader in his time. I have worked on following what I know of him, bringing to the community what I think he brought to his community being a BIPOC. I am proud of who I am, where I come from, and feel blessed to be able to serve in the city of Jackson, Michigan.

Black history month is often misunderstood as being just a celebration of African American accomplishments, Black History Month is also a way to empower us to make a difference in our communities. What I also know, Save Our Youth, will continue to bring the VALUE of what needs to be done to raise awareness on why mentoring is important in our communities; developing mentoring programs and projects that are needed to help set up a sustainable pathway of success for our youth.”

Save Our Youth will be celebrating its 20th year of service to the Jackson community this year! They are planning a community wide picnic at Ella Sharp Park July 6 of this year. For more information please email [email protected] or text 517-240-6134