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I’m blogging from Pensacola, Florida. I was invited to this city to be a keynote speaker at a Stop the Violence Rally hosted by the group Movement For Change.

The rally takes place on Saturday, February 7 but today I was invited to kick off my weekend here by speaking to over 100 students at Gainer High School. The school houses those whom the public schools have given up on and kicked out.

So this school is seen as their last chance.

Pensacola has had an influx in Black on Black violence and young people are dying daily in neighborhoods surrounding the school according to their principal. So, she was excited to have me there and when it comes to addressing youth I never take the opportunity lightly.

Why?

Because the words we speak can mean the difference between life and death for some of them. Many of them had already chosen lifestyles that lead to jail or death so I didn’t waste time with fancy words…but straight talk on how valuable they are.

But I ended by telling them that it doesn’t matter what anyone says to them because at the end of the day, they have to make the decision to be great.

Once I finished speaking, many of the so-called hard young brothers in blue and red came up to me and said ‘That’s just what I needed to hear’. Many of the young girls with tears in their eyes said they could relate to the difficulties I went through growing up as my mother battled with her drug addiction.

This was a deep way to start the trip and there is nothing like sharing knowledge to help young people elevate their lives.

We can’t wait…..Be The Change

More from Pensacola coming soon.

Brother Jesse