On June18th & 19th, 2020- The Dreamers, Visionaries & Leaders (DVL) Project gathered a multi-generational group of Black men in the High Desert to address their concerns, experiences and hopes around the issues of racism.
The commonality amongst these men, both young and old…is success. They are accomplished, intelligent, educated, business owners, professionals, retirees, husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, taxpayers, homeowners, compassionate, articulate and committed to serving their communities. They represent just the tip of the iceberg that mainstream media seldom shows. They reflect a norm that many Americans seem to be unaware of.
Hear their stories in their own words.
CAST OF PARTICIPANTS
Wilton Bell, MBA
Bishop Dr. David Denson Jr.
R. Paul Earle
Bishop Jesse J. Giddens Jr.
Deputy Greg Jones
Dr. Tayari Kuanda
Alemayehu (Al) Mariam, M.A., Ph.D., J.D., ESQ.
Cornelius “C.J.” Page
Chandale M. Sutton
This Dreamers, Visionaries, & Leaders (DVL) Project was made possible by the generous sponsorship support of:
A MESSAGE FROM THE CREATOR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & DIRECTOR
This project is a “Love Letter” to the Black MEN in my life. I cherish the opportunity to provide a platform for your voices to be heard!
I, like many of you watched the horrific murder of George Floyd and found myself heartbroken and weeping for him, for his loved ones, for us as a people, for myself as a mother asking myself “what kind of world did I actually bring my son into?” I was filled with overwhelming grief, anger and fear for us as a people. That feeling of I HAVE HAD ENOUGH was not only lingering but it was becoming all consuming! Being that resiliency is in our DNA (even during a pandemic), I was quickly moved to the “what can I do” phase. Giving a platform to the voices disproportionately unheard and often left out was what I heard. It is what led me to the idea of capturing “In Their Own Words” the thoughts, philosophies and guiding principles of many of the Black Men that I know, love, value, and respect.
Thank you to ALL of the MEN who participated and so eloquently shared the truth of who they are! To all of the wives, children, families and loved ones of our participants THANK YOU for holding them down with your love, prayers and respect! Most importantly, Thank You GOD for guiding me, giving me the vision and endurance to take on and deliver this project.
I am most proud to share this Love Letter and hope that it is well received. A special Thank You to Michael Kernan my partner who took my vision to reality on film. You are enormously gifted and I am honored to work with you. I pray that all those involved are proud of what we created TOGETHER!
This work is dedicated to my Dad, Frank Weatherspoon, my husband, Wilton Bell, my son, Grayson Bell, and my brothers, Barry, Greg, & Gary.
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