The “ Be the Change” discussions, aimed at all men within the community, was held at the National Stadium yesterday had just over one hundred people in attendance. It was evident that not many young men or teens attended the event.
Keynote speakers at the event were Raymond Simons, Andre Curtis and Emmanuel White Sr., the latter who hails from Fort Worth, TX.
Raymond Simons was first up to speak and discussed choices that he made which resulted in getting fired from an unnamed establishment. After he was fired from this establishment, he
admitted to getting involved in money laundering and was not caught until he brought in drugs on a regular basis.
Mr. Simons was sentenced to ten years in Westgate after getting caught. It was while he was imprisoned that he decided to start to turn his life around, beginning with giving his heart to the Lord.
Mr. Simons assured all the young men in attendance, and the wider community as a whole, that it is never too late to get out of the gang lifestyle and change their ways.
Andre Curtis spoke following Mr. Simons and told attendees that, unlike Mr. Simons’ situation which was handled behind closed doors, his situation was plastered all over the newspaper.
According to Mr. Curtis, his name was mentioned in the Royal Gazette everyday for six straight months. Everything that was written about him in the paper, according to him, was completely
“ I’ve been through life and I can tell you that we’re changing,” Mr. Curtis told attendees. “ I’ve visited Westgate and I heard demons hollering through people’s quarters at night. For those who may think Westgate is good, it is not.”
Mr. Curtis said that he was the right-hand man and campaign chair to former Premier Dr. Ewart Brown, but ended up in Westgate himself before he knew it.
“ We have to understand our role and understand what God is doing in our lives,” he said. “ Your personal situations might be different from mine, but we all go through the pains and hurts
of life . . . The reason why I’m standing here talking to you men today is because I got up and walked away from the graveyard.”
“ People can say what they want about me, but God tells me who I am to him, so I stay with God, through the anger and pains of life,” he continued. “ I was cleared of all of the stealing that
I was accused of, $600,000 later; but it was painful while I was going through it.”
Mr. Curtis admitted that, when he was younger, he probably would have shot a lot of people. However, now that he has God on his side, he realizes that he does not need a gun.
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