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Nominate Yusef Shakur!

I’m taking a break from moving today to encourage everyone to nominate Yusef Shakur as best community leader in the Steve Harvey Hoodie Awards. You can vote until 6pm today, Wed. May 30th. There are many reasons to nominate Yusef, but I want to share why I, a suburban-raised white guy living in Woodbridge, would like to see him get this one.

Yusef’s Zone 8, his neighborhood, is literally on the other side of the tracks from the privileged and corporate-insentivized neighborhood where my partner and I are raising our 3 year-old. To my Woodbridge neighbors; you know that gunfire you hear way too often? We’ll, many times it’s coming from Yusef’s neighborhood. The intense disparity between our two neighborhoods is a disgrace perpetuated by institutionalized racism and profit-over-people practices that are somehow in service of both progress and austerity.

I consider Yusef’s work to fly in the face of this disparity as it directly supports people in his community and doesn’t rely upon corrupt systems for funding or implementation. While I hope he’ll forgive the dominant culture reference, I think of Yusef as something of a renaissance man. As an author, an activist and an entrepreneur, he has directly supported people in his community.

Coming from my background, there is no way for me analyze, interpret or judge life in Zone 8, but I can see Yusef’s work directly impacting his neighborhood and supporting people in his community.  I’m encouraged by this community first approach because I believe the well-being of folks who live in Zone 8, and in a city-wide context all Detroit neighborhoods, to be directly connected to our well-being here in Woodbridge and other privileged spaces throughout the city.

Please take a moment, and really, it only takes a moment, to nominate Yusef for the Hoodie Awards Best Community Leader category. Visit: http://hoodieawards.steveharvey.com/nominations/ The info you need for the nomination is:

Yusef Shakur
5740 Grand River
Detroit, MI

Thank you all! Good Luck Yusef!

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