Youth in New Orleans have increased self esteem and are excited when they have the opportunity to march in parade and to wear a uniform. Several years ago I had an opportunity to collaborate with the very early days of The Roots of Music program. One of the main features of that very successful program was getting kids into snappy uniforms. For centuries uniforms have induced people to join. Ask a sailor or marine what they think about “the uniform.” Our kids need something to latch on to. We provide them with a safe space; learning opportunities; and opportunities to “shine” in public affirming them as valued. Uniforms can help us establish our program as a culturally significant statement. The uniforms in question (see photo right) can be worn beyond our use. Yes, this year would be significant – black and gold is the motif!
In collaboration with local activist and artist Charles Anderson we have a chance to fit out our kids with uniforms. These uniforms will be used not only for a parade but for other public events where our kids perform. These will be unique and terrific. Our hope is to give our seniors the uniforms to keep and to recycle the smaller sizes as our kids grow. The total cost will be only $3,500 for about 22 uniforms. But we need your contributions now. Please mark your contributions “uniforms” in a memo line or envelope. Let’s get our kids the apparel befitting our program!
A bit about Charles Anderson: Charles and I met not long after Katrina perhaps 2007. He was then a deeply devoted Christian man who sought to curb urban violence. I recall that held prayer vigils in Central City for more than a year. Sometimes alone he would offer prayers and solace to mothers who lost their kids. Sometimes he would find himself alone in the park where he prayed each Friday. He reach out to so many. On one occasion, after dabbling in art, a mother asked him to render a picture of her lost son. He did so with such care and precision. He discovered a God given talent. He continues to speak out, he also now has a hip new clothing line that he personally creates. Local art sourced from a man dedicated to peace in the city. Check out this site for a bit more about Charles for more insight check out this website: https://www.charlesoanderson.com/artwork