By Staff Writer and Photographer
Several men from the different Masonic orders have decided that they would come together and do things a little different to address issues that have plagued the communities for some time and have recently come into the rear view mirrors of others.
“We need to bring young men together and hear what they have to say to the police about the recent activities of unjustifiable homicide of Black men and young boys,” stated Terrence Lemons one of the organizers.
Prior to this conversation Larry Jones of Big Larry’s Bail Bonds, expressed the need to have the City of Fort Lauderdale leaders to explain the significance of ‘Community Policing’.
From these conversations sprang two events that have begun to bring these entities together.
The first was a forum that consisted of a panel which included: City of Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley; Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner of District III, Robert McKinzie; Tracy Martin (father of Trayvon Martin) and District Deputy Grand Master, Jonathan Ferguson.
The second activity was a “Therapeutic outing” that consisted of several different activities that brought approximately 60 young Black male participants between the ages of 10-17 out of their normal box of physical enjoyment. Sprinkled into the activities were sessions that engaged the partakers with judges, psychologists and positive Black men.
“We wanted to make the young uncomfortable and reach inside to find a connection between them and the men involved in the activities for the day. No basketball and no football,” said Bobby Henry, Sr., another organizer.
The topics of discussion crossed many areas that prompted the group to engage in- from juvenile justice to drugs to education to Black History.
Some of the activities were: a sack race, fundamental obstacle course, a cook-off where the groups had to prepare and cook hamburgers on the grill while the men (grill masters) schooled them on the process.
One of the highlights of the day was to see how the young men sat on the edge of their seats as Judges Elijah Williams, Kenneth Gillespie and Kal Evans told them of their stories of how they became judges.
Guy A. Wheeler, Vern Dooling and CJ opened the eyes of those in attendance with a very visual experience that had the young jaws dropping.
The following were represented and made the event successful: Starlight Lodge #542; McBride Lodge #390; Tom Raines Lodge; McDonald Lodge; District #7; King Lions/Williams Saba Temple; James Peavey, Big Larry’s Bail Bond, My Brothers Soul Food Take Out and Catering and the Westside Gazette.
The next event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015. To find out more information please contact: ‘Visions of Unity’ (954) 605-8107.