At-Large Position 4

Council Member Amanda Edwards Challenges Houstonians to “Be the Solution” with New Community Empowerment Event Series
Apr. 22 film screening and summit to focus on youth and young adult community engagement

April 12, 2017 -- Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards will challenge youth and young adults to “be the solution” to the issues that matter most to them with the launch of Council Member Edwards’ Community Empowerment Signature Series (the “Signature Series”) on Saturday, April 22, 10:30 a.m. at the Texas Southern University College of Education Auditorium, 3100 Cleburne, Houston, TX 77004.

“Be The Solution: Empowerment Film & Summit,” will feature a screening of the documentary film, “The Strange Demise of Jim Crow,” which reveals the under-told story of the peaceful desegregation of Houston. Following the film, panels comprised of youth and young adult leaders, as well as some of Houston’s most influential community leaders, will examine how strategies from the Civil Rights Era may be relevant to solving today’s issues. With this event, Council Member Edwards will educate youth and young adults about the long-term impact of strategic and peaceful engagement, challenge them to commit to being part of the solution, and help facilitate post-event activities to enact solutions discussed at the summit.

Panelists include Dr. Thomas Cole, creator and co-producer of the film; Ada Edwards, community organizer; Judson Robinson, III, president and chief executive officer of the Houston Area Urban League; Dr. Christine LeVeaux-Haley, professor and assistant dean for academic programs at the Honors College at the University of Houston; Jerry Ford, Jr.; radio/television personality; and Daniel Vasquez, chair of the Harris County Tejano Democrats. Youth Pastor Ray Bady of Windsor Village UMC will co-moderate the discussion with Council Member Edwards. The event is free and open to the public. Visit https://atlarge4.eventbrite.com to register.

About the Signature Series
The original concept of the Signature Series arose from a desire to equip senior citizens and their caretakers with vital information to assist with issues surrounding aging. Over time, however, the idea evolved to become more comprehensive in order to respond to shifts in the cultural and political climate of the country.

“When discussing the concept of the Signature Series with my mother, I wanted to be able to provide seniors and their caretakers with the same information that would have been helpful to her as she took care of my grandmother at her later stages, and to find out what my mother would like to know now as a senior,” says Edwards. “However, over the past year, I have observed an emotional, divided nation without clear answers. The concept of empowering both youth and seniors through the Signature Series evolved as a result of me listening to the public outcry stemming from our recent presidential election, police-community relations, and the immigration discourse, to name a few.”

The Signature Series will empower Houstonians by presenting tailored programming to (1) educate citizens with knowledge of key issues impacting communities; (2) equip citizens with effective methods and tools to create community-based solutions; (3) empower citizens to initiate positive change in their places of influence; and (4) encourage citizens to work together peacefully to find resolutions.

“We are empowering our residents by building the necessary human capital for our communities to thrive. By challenging residents to have a vision for the community, and to be the change they want to see in the world, we can achieve this goal,” says Edwards. “At a time where emotions run high regarding a variety of community issues, it is essential that strategic, purposeful, and peaceful engagement be at the forefront of methods used to effect change.”
The theme of the 2017 Signature Series is “Be The Solution,” and future events include the “Empowered You Senior Conference” and the “Youth & Family Immigration Town Hall.”

“We seek to move all of our Houston communities forward, and in doing so we recognize the potential that all community members (ranging from our youth population to our senior citizens) have to positively impact their respective communities as well as their circumstances. In both instances, providing access to knowledge is key, and creating a proactive plan of action with that resident as a part of the solution is essential. To effect long-term change, a community must define the problem, identify the goals related the problem, and commit to “be the solution,” rather than a spectator in the face of those community issues,” said Edwards.

About Council Member Amanda Edwards
Council Member Edwards holds the Houston City Council At-Large 4 position. The mission of her office is to lead all of Houston forward to be the place where the Gulf Coast and the world’s future meet. For more information, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/council/4.