Earl J. Blanks of Symmes Township is the Executive Director of the nonprofit Shelton-Reid, Inc. that works with children and families in Avondale.
My sympathy is with Michael Brown and his family, as no young man or woman, black or white should have to face a police bullet at the tender age of 18.
However, I am concerned that the important lessons from this event are going to be missed as the news media and politicians pounce on it to promote their “race” agendas.
As an African-American male who grew up and was educated in the South during the 1960s and faced the most overt racisim, and the father of three grown sons and one daugher raised and educated during the 1990s and 2000s, I am concerned about the attitude of entitlement that Michael Brown demonstrated, based on the videotape of his behavior in the store, from the very beginning of this event. Why hadn’t someone in his life – his parents, neighbors or church members – taught him better at the age of 18?
Friday, October 17, 2014 at 6:30 PM at Zion Baptist Church
“In my right hand is my son’s Birth Certificate. In my left hand is his Death Certificate. Just twenty short years. This should not have happened to my son.”
We agree with this mother, who lost her son to community gun violence. It was never God’s plan that a young man should die of a gunshot wound at 20 years of age. John 10:10b says: … “I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” We are helping young men, women, and families find this abundant life… of hope and peace.
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Over 210 job seekers attended the first Avondale Job Seekers Movement event on Thursday evening, February 21, 2013. Participants listened to job placement specialists from the Urban League, Cincinnati Works, CIRV, the Ridge Project, and others provide specific steps to landing a job. Unemployment in Avondale at 17% is about 3 times that of the City of Cincinnati. The evening provided participants with information as well as Hope that they can exercise through their Faith, as they are waiting for things to change in their lives. Earl Blanks, Executive Director of Shelton-Reid, Inc. told the crowd that “We believe in you… we believe that you have some skills, talents, interests that if developed can be used to provide sustainable employment for you and your family. He cited Ephesians 2:10 ” we are His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which were planned by Him before the beginning of time”. Blanks urged participants to “partner with their Creator/ God” in sharpening their skill sets and finding employment opportunities. Participants received a free hot meal. Another Job Seekers Movement will be held within 3 months to assess how well the participants fared in obtaining employment.