(FinalCall.com) – Susan L. Taylor, founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement (NCMM) and the emeritus editor-in-chief of Essence magazine told The Final Call that she is extremely excited and looking forward to being a part of Saviours’ Day 2010 and signing up committed individuals who care enough to sacrifice their time and accept the responsibility to become a mentor.
Ms. Taylor recalled the 2006 Essence Fest in Houston, Texas, in which she discussed the terrible problems confronting our youth with The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, who also delivered the keynote address at the event. Ms. Taylor gave birth to the idea and has tirelessly pursued to goal of connecting with those interested in changing the wretched conditions existing within many Black communities.
“When you read the statistics that are so heart-wrenching, you say to yourself, or I said to myself, ‘enough conferencing, enough writing about it, enough talking about it, enough shaking our heads about it.’ I mean, we need to continue to talk about it and write about it and meet about it–but we have to do something about it,” said Ms. Taylor. “I could see that our community had no plan, no cohesive, organized plan to rescue our young who are filling up prisons, who are in schools that are failing them, and those failing schools are the pipelines to prisons,” she added.
Ms. Taylor cited staggering statistics such as:
-Of all Black fourth-graders, 58 percent are functionally illiterate.
-In some major cities 80 percent of Black boys drop out before completing high school.
-Each day, 1,000 Black children are arrested.
-The number one cause of death for Black boys is homicide.
According to Ms. Taylor, NCMM is currently active in 56 cities across the United States with plans to expand internationally. Canada, the United Kingdom, Barbados, Jamaica and several other Caribbean countries have requested to bring the NCMM there.
“We have grown faster than our infrastructure,” said Ms. Taylor giving thanks to “angel funders” such as Oprah Winfrey, Essence magazine and Federal Express. With their help, NCMM has been able to hire an administrative staff and others to better facilitate their explosive growth, which appears poised to continue with the announcement of this historic partnership with the Nation of Islam.
“It’s especially exciting for me to partner the Nation’s programs, aspects of our prison ministry, literacy program, and parenting classes with the National CARES Mentoring Movement to create a model here in Chicago that can be duplicated around the country,” said Minister Ishmael Muhammad, national assistant minister to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
“The success that the Nation of Islam has had in transforming human life is absolutely rooted in the spiritual teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad that connects the individual back to God, who is the source of all advancement in our lives. So we’re excited to share and package this message in partnership with Susan L. Taylor and National CARES Mentoring,” said Mr. Muhammad.
In her special way, Ms. Taylor delivered a word of encouragement to all who plan on coming to Saviours’ Day 2010.
“I want people to know that there is no challenge that we will ever face that we don’t have the capacity, not only to handle but to handle well and grow from. When we worry, we worry for nothing because we are human and divine. We can stay in meditation all day and all night and we can stay in prayer all day and never know our divinity,” she said.
“We will get in the flow of life, trust in God that things come together, they fall apart. There will be losses. There will be chaos. We are the Messengers of Life evolving. We’re getting to the next stage and in order to get there, there are going to be some things that are crazy–like war–it’s all part of the mix and what we have to do, we have to become critical thinkers so that we decide war no more! These are the kinds of things that we’re going to allow in our community, in our lives, in our homes, taking responsibility first though for ourselves, our own wellness and from that place of balance. That’s my message when I come,” said Ms. Taylor.
(The “Be A Mentor! Save A Life!” workshop is scheduled for Saturday, February 27th at 3PM in the Stephens Convention Center.)