In My Humble Opinion on 101.3 Jamz recently had a critical conversation on gun violence and the work and resources it takes to support children.

“Our kids are dying,” Daniel Fairley, who is in charge of the Charlottesville Alliance for Black Male Achievement, said on the live Sunday, Sept. 25 show. “We need to do something. It is time for us to come together and think critically and prevent the next deaths.

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“People have already given up on the kids that we work with, people have already given up on young, Black men. That is unacceptable to us.”

Co-host Charles Lewis asked how to reach young, Black men who are already in crisis. Co-host Troy Robinson (Razor) said, “I was one of those kids who carried a gun when I was young. The reason I did that is because I didn’t want anyone to harm me. My friends that carried them, it was because they were being abused.

“They’re disrespected, and think, ‘I gotta go get my respect back,’” Robinson continued. When someone has nothing — school lunches, EBT cards, not enough money at home — they are looking for respect.”

Robert Gray, president of the Uhuru Foundation, which mentors local, at-risk kids, said, “You got to meet people where they’re at. You got to speak to their experience. You’re going to have to be uncomfortable doing this work.” The foundation is made of people mostly born and raised in Charlottesville, which allows them to be trusted quickly, he said.

“A brother once told me, when you’re doing this work, you got to be prepared to give somebody something in return when you’re taking something away from them,” said Gray. “It’s easy to get access to some of the stuff these guys are doing in the streets. But when you take that away from them, what do you have to give them in return? Are you able to connect these individuals to the resources they need in order to take care of themselves and their family members?”

“I don’t know of a greater purpose for why we are here is preparing our next generation for greatness,” said Fairley. “We need to do everything possible to make sure our kids are not living in fear when they go to school, our kids are not living in fear when they go home.

“I am looking to grow the Alliance to include everyone that is working with young, Black men and just kind of get on the same page. Figure out who’s on first base, figure out what we need to do to make sure that our kids aren’t living in fear, that our kids have jobs, that our kids have opportunities,” he said. “As opposed to feeling less than, feeling, as Will Jones [of Prolyfyk Run Crew] once said, like liabilities to the community.”

In My Humble airs every Sunday at noon on 101.3 Jamz and is part of Charlottesville Inclusive Media.

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Angilee Shah

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