By Jada Coleman and Fred Wright-Jones Staff Writers
Detroit’s male inner-city youth has been drawn into the violence of the streets. With nothing or no one to turn to, the streets are the only option for these young men. Role models are at a minimum nowadays, but thanks to D.I.G.N.I.T.Y (Doing in God’s Name Incredible Things Yourself) our young men can be steered in the right direction.
Through mentorship, positive action, and leadership training, D.I.G.N.I.T.Y will empower EEVPA students. D.I.G.N.I.T.Y’S Co-founder, Ray Winans said “The goal of the D.I.G.N.I.T.Y program is to change lives, build responsible young men, minimize violence, build structure and create a positive environment.”
The youth today are considered the future. With D.I.G.N.I.T.Y lending a helping hand to the male youth at East English Village, these young men have the opportunity to create — and potentially even bring to life — solutions to the tremendous economic and social issues plaguing Detroit such as poverty, illiteracy and gang violence.
This program’s success can be given to the founder, EEVPA’s principal Patricia Murray and co-founder Winans. They mended the gap for these young men that were once separated by the streets of Detroit. With this program, the youth will have life skill learning tools that will expand their outlook on life, careers, education and their community as well as familiarizing them in areas of self-interest.
D.I.G.N.I.T.Y has improved lives.
“D.I.G.N.I.T.Y has changed my life by showing me how to switch gears by knowing when it’s time to play and time to be serious,” said D.I.G.N.I.T.Y program leader Michael Barnes said. “D.I.G.N.I.T.Y has also showed me a lot such as becoming a responsible man and owning up for my actions.”
The youth will have the skills to become mentors amongst their peers; having the ability to identify high-risk people, places and situations. There will be a reduction in gang activity and violence; an increase in proud, strong leaders. This will become an organization of positive young men and produce increased student achievement and attendance. With D.I.G.N.I.T.Y, our young men at East English are headed in the right direction.