New Orleans, LA. – “We saw a need and heard a cry from the community and we responded,” stated Brother Willie Muhammad, Student Minister of Muhammad Mosque 46 and New Orleans Representative of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, speaking about a series of summer sessions held Monday at Mosque 46. “Some members of the community were concerned about the city of New Orleans Mayor, LaToya Cantrell’s plans to enforce standing city juvenile curfew as a deterrent to what was believed to be an increase in juvenile crime. Instead of complaining about the believed issue with juvenile crime we, the Student FOI Captain, myself, the FOI and members of the community came together to hold manhood development sessions for teenage boys. In these sessions we taught Black History, respect for the female, leadership development, visualization strategies and more,” continued Brother Willie.
Parents dropped their boys off at the mosque during the FOI class community outreach curriculum. “Since the brothers would be out in the community we used the available time to help teach these young brothers who showed up every Monday eager to learn and participate,” said Brother Willie.
Parents have been sending messages to Muhammad Mosque social media pages expressing how much their sons are enjoying the sessions. “He (her son) said that he enjoyed last week’s meeting. I believe he enjoyed because he got a chance to see and be in the presence of men with different mindsets, different goals, different lifestyles agreeing to disagree and still build, grow, and respect one another. This is a hint of the hereafter. APDTA! Give Thanks to all of the brothers. Peace and Blessings to all!,” stated Sister Rishaun X, who is a member of Muhammad Mosque #46.
“I definitely appreciate the classes as well as Raynell, I wish they can be ongoing…One of the things he talks about mostly is looking a man in his eyes when speaking, and the way you should sit. I know this was a great learning experience for him,” stated Karron Williams whose young son attends.
“I’m so grateful for the class I believe some of the training will be life changing for them. The seeds that were planted in them will help them maneuver in a very critical stage of life which is being a teenager”, stated Brother Patrick X who brought two of his nephews to the weekly sessions.
The value of the weekly sessions were recognized by Gregory Barabino so much that he made the commitment to drive from Gulfport, Mississippi (80 miles) every Monday to bring several young boys to participate. “The reason I came to new orleans is because there was no opportunity in my area to address the issues that young black men face. There has been a few instances of murders in my community but no one wanted to address the underlying issues. No pastors, politicians, so called community leaders and so on. It was a lot more effective to bring the youth to an organized effort than to raise money for speakers and rent buildings to accommodate such an event on our city. It was the best practical way to expose the youth to these quality, qualified, passionate speakers who genuinely care for black males without having another agenda than true love for young black males.”
“We are thankful that we were able to hold these sessions. To me it shows that it is time to take what we have learned from the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad & the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and create programs that service our community. We we will explore how we can continue these sessions beyond the summer,” stated Brother Willie Muhammad.