What’s going on, y’all? It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been on here and a lot has happened. The charity game was awesome, Chanel and Baby Kameron are doing well, and we started back training with the team! I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am for everything that’s happening around me. It’s surreal in a lot of ways. I’m glad to be back in the Bay with the fellas. My family is back East, so I’m out here extremely bored when I leave the facility lol. I’ve been reading more and taking extra care of my body to make use of the time. It has been rewarding.
With some of my extra time I’ve been more active on social media, following the presidential debates, and staying up to date on our current events…which actually inspired me to write this post. It seems like when I wake up every morning I read a headline about another senseless act of violence. While no individual situation is the same, most could be avoided. It may sound cliché, but I often look myself in the mirror and wonder what else I can do to help the problem. My non-profit is reaching kids, but what else can I do? I ask myself and talk to my wife about this all the time.
A few months back director Lee Morton told me about this film project he had been creating. He described it by saying, “Invictus 344 is a story that aspires to shed light on what is otherwise overshadowed...those in Charm City with heart and hustle. It's a story of a Baltimore teen, pushing through the noise of the inner-city environment through the motivation of basketball and inspiration of family. We created Invictus 344 to elevate and bring hope to Baltimore.”
I had no clue this short video could be so impactful. It felt real. I’ve heard a lot of the same words spoken by the young boy in the video myself growing up. And after spending a few years in the Baltimore area, visiting schools, and talking to students throughout the city, I know that too many kids are living this short film daily. Too many young men and women are trying to “make it out,” a lot of times with little support and limited resources.
The video is a simple, yet powerful, three-minute movie to inspire and bring awareness to this epidemic. A video alone won’t change what is going on, though. It will take a collective effort from everyone to change what is going on in the city.
There are so many great organizations out there trying to make a difference. So many people rallying against violence so that the kids in the city have a chance. There are people in the field, at schools, and in the community, who are acting on, not just talking about, bringing change to the city. The 300 Men March organization is in the trenches fighting against gun violence and mentoring young men. The Living Classrooms Foundation is all over the city providing opportunities for children and adults who are otherwise overlooked.
I admire everyone who is trying to make a difference in these neighborhoods. Keep pressing on. It is obvious that more needs to be done. How do you think WE can fix this issue? What are you doing to help? Please check out the video below and leave a comment letting me know what you think.