The Future is Ours/Gang Task Force, along with Olivet Baptist Church Ministries, Y-CAP, The Bethlehem Center, the city of Chattanooga Parks & Recreation Department and Brewer Media are continuing outreach efforts this summer by inviting national motivational speaker and former gang member Victor Woods to Chattanooga July 11-15 for a week of community focused, youth-centric events.
The events will begin on Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. with a Say No to Gangs & Violence City-wide Youth Rally at Olivet Baptist Church, 740 M.L. King Blvd. Local exhibitors are invited to share information with youth. There will also be a voter registration drive.
There will be a Community Leaders Forum on Thursday from 12-1 p.m. at Olivet Baptist Church and a Ceasefire Rally from 5-7 p.m. at the Bethlehem Center, 200 W. 38th St.
The Y-CAP “Boxing Not Bullets” Tournament will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Westside Boxing Club, 1600 Central Ave. There will also be a Sisters Expo Saturday from 12-4 p.m. at Eastgate Mall. Local youth and national recording artists will perform along with informational booths, book signings and other activities.
Victor Woods will be the speaker at Olivet Baptist Youth Ministry on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Mr. Woods, the son of college-educated, professional parents, grew up in one of Chicago’s most affluent suburbs. Though raised with every advantage, Mr. Woods used his intelligence and charm to mastermind elaborate criminal schemes by the age of 16. At age 19 however, Mr. Woods was arrested and spent two years in state prison, where his skills as a criminal were enhanced as the jail served as a training ground for learning the intricacies of white-collar crime.
After his release, Mr. Woods organized a $40 million credit card conspiracy that left law enforcement baffled for several years. But, Mr. Woods was eventually arrested and sentenced to six years in prison.
However, instead of using his time in jail to advance his criminal skills, Mr. Woods committed himself to making positive changes in his life. Eventually Mr. Woods began encouraging other inmates to change their life expectations as well, and after his release, Mr. Woods’ speeches on adversity and perseverance have empowered people from all parts of society. Mr. Woods’ autobiography A Breed Apart: A Journey to Redemption was written during his second prison term and has since been published and thousands of copies have been sold.
For more information about The Future Is Ours and the Gang Task Force contact Boyd Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Fred Houser at email@example.com.