Mayor Lumumba has a plan to stimulate youth to action

By Alice Thomas-Tisdale

Jackson Advocate Publisher

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba spoke candidly about Jackson’s youth in part three of a four-part series. Unlike tapping into a water source confined to the groundwater provided in detention centers, Lumumba is looking for mountain water to quench the thirst of youth who want to participate in breaking the cradle to prison pipeline. And he thinks he’s found it in the stroke of a brush or a few strokes on a guitar. However, what he’s discovered is no stroke of luck.

For nearly two decades, Lumumba has produced a number of youth basketball teams that have competed on the national level, and returned to Jackson victorious.

Through his charitable organization, the Community Aid and Development Corporation, he has raised funds to provide summer jobs, college scholarships, book stipends and basic needs for job preparedness for area youth.

“Our coaches accomplished great things with the AAU basketball teams. The parents were actively involved and the players had a great work ethic. My desire to work with youth has not changed. Matter of fact, being mayor requires me to develop young talent,” he said.

Mayor Chokwe says Jackson has an abundance of talented youth, and it’s not limited to sports. He has interest in supporting existing arts programs and creating new ones, both visual and performance arts. He also plans to explore ways to increase the number of youth employed by the city’s summer youth jobs program.