By: Darwin Campbell,
Recently, the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development Inc. held its Monthly Business Networking Luncheon, located at 6112 Wheatley Street, 77091.
Chairman Roy Douglas Malonson greeted attendees with jokes and hearty one-liners that set the tone for the great food and raffles.
The drawing was full of fun as attendees and tables competed with each other to see how many from each table could win raffle prizes.
Prior to blessing the food, a period of welcoming, networking and introductions were shared around the conference room by Chairman Malonson and attendees.
After Rev. Joseph Baker blessed the food, a period of good eating and fellowship with many networking and exchanging business cards, stories and life experiences.
After the meal, Chairman Malonson made special mention of the importance of knowing and understanding history and made special notation of how important it is your the next generation of youth to understand it, especially as it relates to current news stories about education, civil rights and equality. He noted that too much is taken from granted and more people are needed to take issues serious enough to come off the sidelines and fight for the future of young people and make the sacrifices that will improve opportunities for young people.
Attendees were introduced to keynote speaker Deric Muhammad by Judge Warren Fitzgerald who talked about Muhammad and his overcoming the odds to beat the streets. He praised how Muhammad blossomed growing up in a single parent home and with the help of a supporting cast of a mother and grandmother has become a great youth advocate, modern Civil Rights activist and community leader.
A native Houstonian, Muhammad grew up on the rough and tumble streets of Northeast Houston. At the age of 11, his father died and his mother struggled with addiction to drugs that she later overcame. Deric was raised in an environment where drugs, gang violence, prostitution, police brutality and other “social cancers” were prominent. Like countless Black men before him, he changed his life around through the studies as a member of the Nation of Islam.
He believes that man is given power for one reason; and that is to serve others. He is an accomplished activist, organizer who on the same streets and abroad addresses issues of social justice, Black Male Development, Police Brutality, Racial Inequality and other issues.
Muhammad sees his role as an “on the ground” watchman of Freedom, Justice and Equality for the Black community and other poor, underserved, disenfranchised communities also.
Among is current community activities include hosting an annual “Smart’n Up” Black Male Summit that deals with the unique issues that Black men and boys face in society.
He recently launched a Houston-based Black Male Initiative called Project Forward that focuses on stopping inner city violence and creating economic development.
During his address, he defined some of the greatest struggles and challenges youth face today. One of the main problems besides not having a positive father figure or strong make role model is the quest for acceptance and identity.
“Our kids are angry and are like scattered sheep with no guidance,” he said. “We must offer youth direction and help them re-channel that energy and focus on their talents and pulling that greatness out of them.”
He said adults must see the urgency, step out, be trendsetters and stop being afraid of reaching out to young people who are not in nuclear families.
“When you look at them, you are looking at yourself,” he said. “Don’t condemn them because you are condemning yourself. Do not hide your light. What God did for you, he can do for young people too.”
He urged Blacks to get on board and get involved in the lives of young people and bring them up to speed on their history, education and knowledge and community action.
After the message, Chairman Roy Douglas Malonson told the group that Muhammad’s message was at the heart of truth and one that should be shared in every community and every church.
He ended his words on Muhammad calling him a great example of a young leader forged by the work and efforts of two women ( mother and grandmother) who dedicated their lives to raising a young Black man in spite of the odds of living life without a father.
He also commended him because of his selfless acts as an agent for change and a coalition builder and serves as an example for all those who aspire to selflessly serve others.
Chairman Malonson shared his thoughts on the importance of saving our young people following up on the message.
He challenged the audience to think about how the message of saving the next generation impacts all Black people.
“We cannot say that it does not affect me because it is someone else,” he said. “If it affects any Black person on the planet, it affects you and me and you cannot ignore it.”
He was very clear about the role of preachers and politicians and demanded that each reconsider the seriousness of what is happening in the Black community.
The luncheon was closed in prayer by Pastor V.C. Dones, offering supplications to Almighty God and special blessings on efforts to help Black people and the community.
When it comes to understanding history, it was a lesson in life that clearly emphasizes what Chairman Malonson shared and said and that is to “Please do not forget our history. Forgetting what happened to us can destroy us.”
For more information about upcoming events or details on becoming a member of the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development, contact Anthony Stewart at 713-692-7161 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.