AMENDED MINDS, INC. - Our mission is to change the lives of our at risk youth
 
 
AMENDED MINDS  
PREVENTIVE MENTORING INITIATIVE MOVEMENT




 
Our movement is of the body of Christ Jesus. The name of our movement was inspired by a verse in the Bible..."for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he ( Prov. 23:7 KJV ). The Amended Minds movement  is based on this biblical verse. The mind is where the battle takes place and here is where we will intervene. By instilling this belief in the minds of the troubled youth in our community, that they are how they think or see themselves. Our goal is to change their image of self and their mindset.
 
The founder of our movement is a former felon and his own early incarceration gives him a special insight into the challenges  that many at risk youth face in society.  His experience in that environment was instrumental in helping him to develop the Preventive Mentoring Model, unlike many traditional programs that focus on activities or resources that in the long run prove to not be long term solutions.  This model focuses on changing the "thought process" of  at risk youth.  To learn more about the Preventive Mentoring Model please refer to our "About Us" page.

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THE PRESENT CONDITION OF OUR NATION. The communities and the police, no trust between the two. How do we solve the problem when in the community there is the "NO SNITCH' RULE"  in the law enforcement ranks they have their version of the "no snitch rule"...  the  "FRATERNAL BROTHERHOOD...We have got to bring the two together.

   We can no longer leave this tragedy solely up to others to solve for us. There are no more penitentiaries (repent) for reform nor any more departments of corrections (rehabilitate); now, this system is solely about detention.
(Recidivism). Many offenders are being released from these institutions with the same criminal mind set that got them there. In many cases, they have learned more about how to pull off other hustles from inmates who suppose to be “master minds“, when asked, why or how did they get caught, they always have a good explanation. So before many of these guys are released back into society they’ve already got their next scheme planned. The following is the historic origin of incarceration. Initially the concept was to try and change the behavior of the criminals, to “rehabilitate” and then release them back into society, keep that in mind.
     “Programs geared to reforming prisoners to make them fit to return to society were first introduced in Ireland in the late 1850‘s by Sir Walter Crofton, one of the greatest of all prison reformers. He provided work and education for prisoners and encouraged them to reform by allowing them to gain early release through good behavior and hard work. Crofton‘s Irish system attracted the attention of American reformers, who used the system to set up prisons for young offenders. These came to be known as reformatories. The first reformatory was opened in Elmira, NY in 1876. Thus in the United States the Irish system became known as the Elmira system.
     Reform programs for adult prisoners were not introduced until the 1930’s. Reformers tried to change the prisoner’s ways of thinking and acting. Experts provided better prison schools and workshops where the prisoners could learn a trade. But in spite of these advances, few prisons even today are able to successfully reform many prisoners. This has led to the greater use of parole, probation and other alternatives.
 
(HARRY ELMER BARNES
Co-author, New Horizons in Criminology Updated by Anna Kosof Author, “Prison life in America”. 
 
Many politicians are advocating for the building of more prisons and simultaneously pushing to cut funding for various programs that are in place to help  at risk youth. The prison industrial complex is real! (private/for-profit prisons) are being built as you are reading this, I am also aware that conservative Christians/politicians  just want to eliminate all social programs in spite of the efforts by many activists who have put forth a lot of hard work to help the disadvantaged or at risk youth. It seems to be a losing battle so some of us have thrown in the towel. We must get them to change their thinking, first! All of the resources, recreation, and programs that are presently being provided will not help them unless they change their thinking. These young men and women are literally suffering! they don’t know where or who to turn to for help, this is one of the main reasons why they join  gangs. Generational systemic poverty is the reason/cause of blue collar and youth crime. If we stand on the things of God, obey by works.  Acts 9:6 and he (Apostle Paul) trembling and astounded said, Lord, what will thou have me do?... ,

Q:How do we stop recidivism /repeated offenses?

A: by preventing the first occurrence!!!


THE NEUTRAL ZONE PUBLIC SQUARE
                   A FORUM WHERE EVERYONE CAN SPEAK FREELY 
                                                   Public forum

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT:
·  No complaints.
·  No arguing.
·  No cutting in or off when someone else is speaking,
·  No mudslinging or rock throwing.
·  No offensive language.
·  No disrespect at all.
Open discussion on current events

FIRST SUBJECT:
Law enforcement and the communities of color. How can we bridge the divide, can we bring CMPD and our youth in the communities together on an ongoing bases and forge a true lasting relationship?
Discussion:
1. Black on black crime, blue on black, black on blue and blue on all people in the communities.
2. The history of crime and detention and the creation of the police force and how CMPD meets the “serve and protect” oath.
3. Give CMPD the opportunity to share with the group at any forum the programs CMPD have up and running for the communities and their commitment to the communities.

4. Encourage youth to join the force to better represent their community.  

.

    IS GOD USING SOME ARTISTS IN HIP-HOP TO GET HIS WORD TO THOSE HE HAS CHOSEN OF THESE GENERATIONS ?


God says… His Word will be here for every generation (Psalm 12:6-7)
In the gospels Jesus often spoke to his Disciples in parables, in the Greek that word means: to put one’s self in danger, the common use today is as allegories which are metaphors in which : a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences.  When He spoke in parables it was for His disciples only. (Mark 4:10-12) Anyone other than His disciples who did hear would hear but could not understand.
Today, I pay attention to this generation the millennial's and gen Z, Hip-hop is the dominant factor and force of our youth in society today. It is song/music, sports, dress/style and social/media, but the base is Rap/logos. When I saw the BET cypher series a few years back, I was like “wow”.
Since I believe God and His word “in truth” from the original text before translation, as God said. His Word will be here for every generation; therefore I have to give some rappers an ear. Like Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Drake and  J. Cole. Conscience rappers have existed since the beginning of rap/logos and even back then they spoke about injustices in society. Jesus also spoke against injustice perpetrated by a sect of religious leaders of that time, the (Pharisees).
It appears that this generation listens to rappers not preachers. Recent statistics show that there is a sharp decline in youth church attendance and also younger adults. The push back seems to be geared towards organized religion and all the different denominations basically preaching for $. and not showing love (agape) for the community.
I think we should start to build something for the youth, something of substance.  Traditional libraries and recreation centers are no longer attractive to young people with the advancements in technology, the smart phones, tablets and pads used for social media have taken over their interest.  


   THE  NEUTRAL  ZONE PUBLIC SQUARE
A FORUM WHERE EVERYONE CAN SPEAK FREELY
Future community centers

·Build a state of the art modern day community center(s) for the youth, multi-use facilities composed of class rooms, music and video studios where they can learn to read and write music, learn to write and direct music videos which have taken over traditional theatrical plays, the videos will be streamed through social media and performed live for the public.
· There will be open forums where the youth can speak freely, class rooms set up for teaching and showing documentaries, relevant movies, news clips and uploads from social media.                                                                            
Ex: Netflix doc 13, Hip-hop Evolution, Killer Mike’s Trigger Warning, rare MLK Jr. Speeches, HBO’s “The Wire” and most important, viewing and discussing material the youth agree to put on the table.
· Also we will start a reading program entitled “who wants to be a millionaire” (youth edition), it will be modeled after the once popular show. Participants would be given material to read based on the level of their next grade so that they won’t fall behind in reading over the summers. For those who are already behind there will be classes to teach them how to read with comprehension and purpose, back to the basics of grammar and vocabulary/defining words. This will give them what they want $ and what they need. Funding should not be a problem, instead of using tax $ the NC education lottery can support this initiative by implementing a new scratch-off with the heading on the cards “WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE (YE)” reading and comprehension is the base of learning. This program will do that while providing a means for them to (earn) some$ over the summers and simultaneously provide a summer camp having them to learn, have fun and earn $, most importantly, providing a safe place to be and not out possibly getting into trouble.   


THE REAL REASON WE HAVE WEALTH INEQUALITY IN THIS NATION
 
Since the economy was rescued from the crash of 2007 statistics show that:
1. Profits for a vast majority of U.S. companies and corporations have increased dramatically. CEO and other senior officer’s bonuses and salaries have increased as well.
2. That production and productivity also increased rapidly and is still rising.
3. That wages for the blue collar workers who made this happen did not and have not increased at all since this period.
How can this be? The stats reported by some economist and some news organizations say’s that on an average 200k jobs each year give or take, were created since the recovery even up to this point. So how can wages remain flat? Even with Wal-Mart raising their minimum starting wage to $10 dollars and Amazon at some warehouses to $15, people are still under water or check to check in the red. First, for a single person living in an apartment or renting a house who may have a dependent or two living with them or not, $10-15 dollars an hour is still not a living wage in this nation today in modern times. $15 an hour at 40 hours a week for one year is 28,800 gross but after standard deductions it’s less than that. The average wage should be no less than $16 but a true living wage of very lucrative businesses should be around $18-20. So why are businesses recording record profits but wages for blue collar workers are still stagnant?

    The answer is right in front of us, but politicians will not bring it to a conversation about low stagnant wages and poverty, that’s both Democrats and Republicans even libertarians who claim to be different than the other two parties will not bring this up in any conversation about jobs and wages. Conservatives brag about how many jobs are being created today, that's true but the devil is in the truth, these jobs are mainly low paying jobs in the blue collar sector with an ugly twist...


 IT’S THE MIDDLEMAN! Known as Temp agencies, staffing agencies or            employment agencies.
 
Most people who work for a company through a temp agency will not let it be known simply because they feel embarrassed knowing that they are underpaid. Companies do not have to move their operations out of the country to pay lower wages; most companies simply move their operations down state where there are practically no labor unions. But temp agencies are the norm, people can no longer get a job in the blue collar sector without having to go through a temp agency, even when they go directly to a company’s office or front desk, they are directed to contact the temp agency.
The reason companies are using temp agencies is simple:     
1.They save money on the screening and training processes
2.They save money by not having to provide benefits like health care, 401k or provide a 40 hour work week and in some cases they use temps for day labor or occasional work not having any obligations or restrictions set by labor laws, everything is on the temp agency.
3.When companies move from a state where their employees were paid a higher wage and the company paid higher corporate taxes, they are offered money saving  incentives  in the recruitment bids by southern politicians to relocate their operations to a southern “right to work” state.
4.They end up paying low to hardly any corporate taxes, and before moving they may have been paying  an average wage of 20 dollars an hour, now when they “down source” (move to a southern right to work state) and hire through a temp agency, they can simply pay a reduced flat rate per hour per employee. Ex: before the move they were paying min. 20, now they pay the temp agency a flat rate of 10 dollars, they’ve just saved on taxes and cut their hourly pay by 50%, the temp agency will advertise job openings and when people apply on line they will see or when they go to the office for the interview they find out that the position only pays 8 dollars an hour, the temp gets 2 dollars per hour per employee. In some cases companies pay higher flat rates to the temp agencies so as to give them more flexibility on how much they can make for themselves Ex: if a company pays a flat 18 dollars an hour the temp agency can still run an ad for a position that still only pays 8 dollars leaving them with a 10 dollar per hour rate per worker.
5. This will ensure that said company will always be provided with workers from the temp agency and on an instant demand basis without having to miss a beat.
6. Also it gives companies the opportunity to check out a worker’s labor output / productivity and reliability. It used to be that these temp agencies were exactly what their name said “temp-to-perm” (temporary to permanent employment). The standard contracts between the companies and temp agencies in the 1980’s were 480 hours or 90 days of working through the agency, which ever came first and then the workers would be hired on permanently. Now this practice has morphed into an indefinite contract where some companies never hire the temps, if the temp workers don’t like how they’re being treated then their only recourse is to find another job. The companies then just simply call the agency and have them send a replacement.  
This has been going on in this nation for some time now and no one in the political arena at any level has even brought this to the conversation when debating about stagnant wages and raising the minimum wage, but now you can see the real reason conservatives are against raising the minimum wage. It would hurt the middle man (temp-agencies) and the companies that are engaged in greed/vulture capitalism that do all their hiring through the agencies.
This is why conservatives in these red states passed right to work laws; they wanted to eradicate the unions so these vulture capitalist companies can operate without any push-back. The conservatives when asked “what do they have against labor unions”, they’ve said that unions are “job killer’s”, “unions destroy current jobs” and “prevent other companies from coming to their states”.
They say they have the best interest of the people at heart. If this was true they wouldn’t support temp agencies which by the way have replaced labor unions. The unions through collective bargaining negotiated fair wages, awesome health care, a safe and productive quality work environment, 401-k plans and other benefits.
The temp agencies only offer subprime health care and low wages, because, as a middle man they are getting a cut per hour of the worker’s pay off the top.
 

           THERE IS ONLY ONE SOLUTION TO THIS INJUSTICE;
        And this will also push back against gentrification
 
We must push for vocational/trade, hi-tech and business schools for the youth of this city and engage youth who live in areas where there is massive commercial, residential and recreational gentrification taking place.
Amended minds believe entrepreneurship /owning a business is the way of the future for the youth.
The old way of thought, “go to college so you can get a good job” is not working. Starting a business is a first step in moving out of poverty, it also gives them the ability to compete against the markets to bring down prices and charges.(inflation) across the board.
Also earning a higher wage through self-employment will enable them to afford the cost of keeping their families homes up to code and remodeling without having to barrow or rely on programs, and they will be able to pay the property tax increases. 
Also more business owner ships  from/in their communities will result in bringing down  unemployment as they can hire.
 
 
 



 
Amended Minds is a non-profit movement recognized  under section 501(c) (03) of the Internal Revenue Code


      
 Frederick Douglass


Amended Minds is a non-profit movement recognized  under section 501(c) (03) of the Internal Revenue Code



 
 
 
 
 
 
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