Jan 20, 2014|
Angela talks with Shareef Cousin of Beacon Industries about the importance of giving young black men strong mentors to help them achieve their life goals, and gets testimonials from a number of high school students his organization mentors. Students on the panel: Ray-el Perkins, Rashid Banks, Damataz Slemings, and Kenneth White, all seniors at Landry/Walker High School in New Orleans.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
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Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Well be very honest it takes a lot at this stage of life to really be impressed with some. But a young man I met not long ago was someone who was making an impression on so many people. Shareef coups and went to Angola when he was sixteen years old. Spent eleven years there and was released when it was proven he had not committed the murder he had been accused. It is such -- heartbreak of the story on so many levels a miscarriage of justice a young adulthood stolen. A travesty by anyone's definition. If that it happened TU being accused of murder you didn't commit spending eleven developing years of your life in Angola. Would you be bitter would you be angry. Would you be defeated. Even if you were released. The word sure refused -- I asked those questions was he was devastated. Totally understandable. But the true story of Shareef collusion is that he didn't allow the miscarriage of justice. The loss to use the travesty. To defeat him. Or to define him. He went on to Morehouse College he has formed his own company beacon industries. And he has committed his life to helping others. Primarily young black man who need direction and encouragement. As we all concern ourselves with what's been too often identified as the origins of crime. Fatherless men who come from poverty. -- -- and is doing something about it. Today we talked with demand who made a decision to look beyond this past. To create a productive meaningful life for himself and for others. And we'll meet the young men whose lives may well be changed. Because of Shareef collisions heart. So joining us is Shareef and four participants of this organization. Rail Perkins senior Landry walker high school. -- knows about lost. His brother and father were murdered one month apart. He has lost a friend and an uncle to murderous well. His brother father and uncles funerals were on the same day. The contest Fleming's is eighteen and a senior Landry walker he's being raised by his mother. His father has been in and out of prison his entire life. He has lost numerous friends to murder. Were shot banks also eighteen and a senior Landry walker high school he says his father was lost to the streets. Addicted to crack. And has never been in this life. We shot works to help his mother and brother and sisters. And Kevin White eighteen in the senior Landry walker high school. A starting football player who like his friends here has lost friends and family to murder. He says he has had no positive role models in his life. I want to thank each and every one of you for being here I. Thank you 19 meant Shareef my mind was I can't tell you the respect I have for this man. And continued to -- when he told me about you all possible and we have to get you here so this is really a story of a decision you've made. To choose another pain in your life and I think a lot of people wanna hear that. I'm gonna start with Shareef. When you desperate yes yes I -- about how you began. To help these young man. Well first of woe win when I think about young black men. Who don't have me. Positive male rule modest in their lives I see myself. Like as soon and I assume I was a -- -- -- my father. My mother had multiple children. And she did the best she can do what she. And a lot of times. We'll lose in a lot of our young black men to murder to prison to a life of indecisiveness. And a lot of times that we do is. Stepped into their lives. I think you know what I see UN myself. In I'm going to help you. To be better than -- was and so for me it's you know it doesn't take a lot. You know it takes a little time a little money but it takes persistence in it take do is being patient. And these young men. There inspiration to me. You know just being imprisoned have my life as it as a kid I lost Donald so much. And to do is give banking and help these young men to achieve what it is -- do wanna do with -- lives. For me this therapeutic. So as it has. Use your lines right to value I'm so sorry that this isn't television today because I would love for people to look at Q. As one of our producers said it looks like GQ is walking in the room. Dress to the nine. -- in time you just look wonderful. And it makes it may -- your feeling wonderful very you do OK let let me start with you where was your life going before you met him. Well shall meet befall our members -- recalls and I was struggling and trying to figure out what I'll actually do when I graduated from our school. So one of the main principle that we practice that beacon industries and exodus prince -- number one ironically is the find specific purpose. So. Our our CEO and our teachers. Know post that we found out what would this that we actually wanna do what I life after we graduate. All even right now we want to so that they could help us in. Help give us access to whoever they may be. That will be in that failed to help us get that because nine times out of ten. They miss a reef off are the -- Mr. frank he they would know somebody who. Who was in that feel that can help us and have even if they don't which is alongside that they wouldn't know somebody who know somebody that can help us. They would really best to know farm access. Our network like most -- Indy we don't need a -- -- Mr. Sherif and mr. -- gay was dead when we had it. That's just a positive list Austin we need. A male figure in -- life you know so hard nationalist street. -- used to street keep us on writes Rachel is right from wrong. You know besides my mother's teaching me things and you know I was you know my phone that could have been -- -- to me. And I held me on my life he was and now I'm thinking mr. Shareef and mr. frank. Foreigners for -- pants gave me and a classmate. Opportunity. You know to reach our full potential life. Eric has many people many children at our age Derrick -- Not -- -- They agreed advantages like have the offer I mean. Everybody says back on -- well was my next step and life. And here -- industries mr. series that offer it here again it was a great idea on what can we do next. Well it's like. Garlic emissary from Massey he's he's he's personally my aspiration because he had been doing not so much with the situation he was and basically had the same page. And in -- it gives me that was because I went to a rough situation I was. Just that down when I lost my father and sirens -- gave up and instill some -- I have thought about oh no like I was already at a loss. And I I was sorry defeated but then I look at a situation where he has and how he's helped me and others obtain. You know what is what is what we call success now say is is no excuse for no reason for me to give up too. So we all feel motivated just from that. It is coming from. -- I'm sure. And the thing. Background as we -- enough when no farther on up on the streets in the sand and seen him you know. When he been through prison and now and see he's still doing a good job he's still positive no matter way he's always positive edges of a motivation for me. To keep doing the same thing to don't give up keep striving. On which he was leaving Sunday you have. Well what your friends what do they think about -- -- are you. A little different centuries match Shareef yeah there are directed -- I've actually chains like now as -- -- 101 of our principles is developing maintain a positive attitude. And that was since I got in his class what we've got in his -- We see that things just and I. I don't even for -- anymore I just keep a positive attitude. On -- I theater cleared. Motivate people. So when that correctly from the do they believe like you believed. Some of whom believe they believe when these he has come in -- like GQ. I don't write the -- what we have to understand is that is is not just. I mean we we work has selected and that. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- We autumn already set and our minds that it is more like. It's mandatory that we would do the same the next grew. No we don't -- mementos. Maybe not so far down probably actually someone in right now one as we tell our Franzen who want that may be on the it's kind of we -- in all right -- -- -- -- -- and I have a friend who has no mud and no fog and he's only nineteen. He's trying to -- itself to kinda. He also using me as a motivational tools to help them get this -- And I'm headed our compete at the Hilton. Right my -- before because I'm very thankful -- before mr. series because most black young Mandell unaware. Of the things did of their potential done away with they can do. The fact is they don't know how to do it which how to go about dawn part in this series have put in our hands have taught us the steps. Have silliness Wii's where we can make out so they're successful. I'll tell you what I'm hearing news it is never ever to Italy to never never never actually. As I want everybody stay with this we're gonna continue this. Wonderful conversation with these great young men right after this I'm Angela under the that he will. Shareef -- and opened on his own company has called beacon industries and at the heart of it is helping young black men become everything they can be. And we have four of them here's our special guest rail Perkins who's a senior Landry walker high school. The Monty has Fleming. Were shot to banks and Kenneth white and we've really been listening to them as well talk about. What this program has done in a relatively short period of time because you what you said about six weeks and into a twelve week program I kind of like -- reef to talk about the structure. Of the program. Yeah you is it a twelve week intensive. Program. We -- three times a week. For -- it was a day. And at the heart of the program is one we -- their perception is is everything. So as the physical requirement. Every young man comes to class and business attire you with a time. In -- who did we provide. And first of all what that does is that gives that person self confidence. It gives me confidence when I would assume. He gives me a different it makes a person look at me differently one. And so at the heart of this program we at least twelve assists that's principles. And NB writing these principles. I have studied men like Napoleon hill. Mr. Carnegie. Amidst all to McDonnell. Mr. bill -- mr. Ronnie burns and do studying these successful meant what I've learned is that. The principles of this thing. Developing a purpose. Building partnerships. Developing -- pleasant personality. Know how to go the extra mile. The -- inning keeping me positive attitude. Develop in discipline. Develop and enthusiasm. Examine how you think. -- that is somewhat of principles that we teach them on a weekly basis. And a lot of times you know we get. A lot of life skills. You know a lot of salt steals a lot of courts do. But a lot of times we don't give. Personality development. And you know we tell a person you have to have discipline or you have to maintain a positive attitude but these are habits that has to be learned. You know these are not here read -- -- to -- given -- birdies learned habit. And a lot of times we're not taught how to develop. These being. More importantly. It is yes you can be taught when you get a job -- have to show up on time yes you have to be polite to people associate. But if you don't. How do you help them develop enthusiasm. How do you help them develop a positive attitude went in some of their -- it has been very during negative. Well and wanted to things. We really stress is that. You have control over your mind. You can take -- to what it means that you design choice who the choice program right and that thing behind that is. Whatever comes out of your moral. Is going to become reality. In one example I use with the young -- all the time is have you ever thought about a person. And twenty minutes later they call you or I would so you know what I wonder what were shot is doing. And then someone else comes up -- start start talking to -- about -- the thing is you have the ability to. Control that. And so if I am meant to -- -- -- shot he responds. Then I have to maintain productivity. Because what ever I think. We have become it will come into reality that the lower simply -- Whatever I think whatever I say is going to come back so I need to stay positive you know of -- wanna be successful. Speak into existence. Of marijuana if I wanna become a lawyer speak -- into existence. What are you guys are thinking when he first came up with that -- ever even thought in those terms. You know and that really is. When he went after -- When I first discovered -- principles and the the choice program I was like -- -- you know. These things in life can change in my life and about filing these principles are indeed becomes sixth successful. You know so. Let me -- liked it to each of you. Before you go under this program. What were your dreams what did you think you might want to do your role in high school all seniors yes so you know you're not twelve. What are you what -- thinking I wanna be wiped. I always wanted to be a business and of the principles and the curriculum and a program. Was laid out their funding so it on for me to the way to go get it. This program help me and that it teach you the right tools you need to do business and -- Same. Always had a few of them agree lawyer I'm but I never knew the steps to take to become an audio and avenues that I had to. Do so many years and I think pilots and gain after the pilot that to get -- internship eradicated that they meet the right people. And series recently talked like he taught me the lessons that I needed. And this program open we mentioned the toys program which actually means to change how outside. Information could truly truly is everything. And you sit down and I really think about it. Every little thing you do every little thing you see you really affectionate everyday life prospects would -- do. If you do something to get tomorrow he may affect you the next three years dot com are. So is this eat at a. Think future it got to think right bigger picture than. This moment and that's -- effort -- with a program. We are doing these and -- -- things happen to status of fulfillment for defused it we mean people who will help us in the future. You've fought become we make in between and that -- -- and -- It off on its might about a that one little mistake -- one action detained and type -- Mosul this program it. Army is some first it's is somewhat of -- -- to be a summit do in this positive. So I was on ball when he came when the first Kenyan Tim and I won the first in my head I was on board has -- a promise and and that that Tom. Basically I wasn't doing much but focusing on school but are still full with no school and still learn how to be successful because -- on this. Arc -- and see it happen and I always had ambitions of studying and all and once our -- has program. By our CRC how my mentors howdy do. And it is it puts me to a motivational speaking so Arafat and I'm I want upon on those same footsteps to. This just to do good to be successful in and help others attain the same success that I have. I think the most important thing I'm hearing is. If you believe you can be success yes there's an awful lot of people who don't believe there's programs that your opponent. You always hear if you believe it if you can believe you can do it by I. As a child and you hit that you know I actually said non at when maybe I can be -- -- -- you know. Is that how you really wanna be passionate but if you really took the time out and I'm gonna go here here here. And I'm gonna do it this way and that way. This is really up to you my life is really up to you. That's the beautiful part of it. That is the beautiful part of that we're gonna take another break with editor of the newsroom but stay with -- as we continue our conversation. With some really wonderful guys. Our guest today is Shareef -- and who has started an incredible business called. A beacon industries where he is taking. Young black men and getting them on the path that they really want to be on and I think that's what we're hearing from them. Four remarkable young man. We have a caller let's take that. -- happened right. Absolutely. Flabbergasted. That this gentleman has been able to. See what's necessary but my question to I guess and and -- especially. There's twelve years of education I'm unsure who the atonement where they come and attend -- schools and when they graduated from public prime you know whenever. -- twelve years of education what exactly is your program giving these gentlemen and that our public schools system for instance is missing. And twelve. Years of education for our students an -- to come out of school and absolutely have no self esteem or no nothing no direction as to where it goes to it's almost like they're being deep programs. From then match you know it's natural instincts. And we have to find people like you to the program and bring them back to their natural instinctive. Wait what exactly what that -- missing in high school. That you can get them that was just what are you don't mess what did you on this and -- school over united -- that he is giving you. That's a great question and I thank you very much for calling itself who wants to answer all. Hi how are -- going -- who. -- -- and mr. -- banks and with the program is giving you that school was and that is giving you life lessons. You know things that you can you face when you get out of high school you know pain that you can do no matter if you wanna which you wanted which you wanna be in life. You know it teach you would to do how to maintain a positive attitude stay focused. You know things that I hope you. On becoming a better person but there was nothing like that in the schools. I mean they haven't a school that's what actually went -- of -- to. But -- this program -- it basically specifically. Targets. These these principles that we are part of this program -- -- specific purpose. Gone X tomorrow build a partisan developing that you can learn and not just schools would. Anywhere but it target these important principles that can a lot of -- be overlooked. And manages -- As you know we have someone here who's interacting with us you know. Who who knows that's a relief to us who's from the same background as us you know who's teaching who's showing us that as an out and the ups and downs. Real world stuff yeah. The schoolteachers Hazmat -- to science and history. It doesn't teases us wherever we go home apparently fees and stuff we do. Is program helped give us the motivation to do what we're going. But we begin industries is more of enhance enhancement to help better the lives of young black men. And my -- keeps stress and appoint young black man is not just the young black -- but we just have it wears a moral. Of a struggle. And it helps the struggle. It did it -- says be helpless qualified to be where everyone else in the world is they help us. Reach our local I was realize what our dream really and truly is. Right because it's so much negative -- with -- young Brittany. We trying to look at the most positive sides of the -- -- -- -- what can. What would you if you had a magic wand or if you were president. Our mayor what would you do to help. Young black men who are in trouble I'm heading for I would mostly. In quoted this curriculum to every high school that dated. This is a great -- written it teach you all askew you need to make. Second out here more people involved. And a community we need we actually need more people involved in the community. I mean I would definitely expand this this way this entire way that bank and not just in this state but across the content across the United States and then even probable across the world because. I mean of mole people thought like this just imagine what happened that we have -- story because lands mister franks out who wanna help the U. And not even just you but anybody who needs. When you have friends that are on a bad track doing drugs doing all kinds of things do you ever try to say. This isn't the the way to go hell yes of course of course I have many friends actually. There was a time I had to actually walk away from different on on wrong pat I try my best to go to events in the follow me but. By as a grown up in this neighborhood that was going out and it's actually. Pretty tough to convince someone hosts. Do what's right because they're so used to doing what's wrong and watch -- -- it was right be able to look at things differently to CN light and certain things. Not not even just a friend being on drugs -- going ran the wrong path you can you can also have a family figure you know. My fault has been on drugs and you know my life and my life and -- is. You know have to walk away from me you know he's he hasn't been a foreign media to show me. And is it out but you know every -- pray that my father. Will become a strong man and hopefully aren't we -- he would do better. I mean. We have the displays the price we the farm beacon industries as a comprehensive organize -- -- Young males who have a slight descent that succeed in life. So. Basically we know we know we basically have set -- -- zone help another people succeed. What them OP would we bring in like our friends because our house. A lot of friends who are gonna wrong -- You know but even down ninety young man out of the they have that ambition could they tell me. They look up to -- like they -- I'll go -- be somebody and tell them don't just have to be -- it could be you think. I have a friend who allows both it is followed. The he had the ambition to become sent him but I don't think he has the motivation. That they think this program allow you to motivation to go -- do -- -- If somebody is is discouraged. Because they've had some bad breaks they've lost parents -- they've in there in a world of drugs that don't wanna be in what do you say to them. And you -- don't give up -- looking forward you go because. Does does. Murder and killing everything has gone on to cities just a stumbling block in right. As always wanted to obstacle it has always going to be something that you witnessed on it trying to say no you cannot do it don't look at -- you have in your choice to make it. To make you know life is -- ties to go around. Don't -- I was paying the fake -- don't. Stay on a positive -- keep a positive attitude. Were you always positive. No I wasn't always positive by joining his class have shown me that when -- positive being positive positive things come back to you Mario. I mean that this is off facts we we wouldn't speak not and we will as you can not and that isn't cool and you know that's that's that's what we -- my arc arc and say because -- At a time arc arc of animals negative person and the situation. Which you know being positive in the situation they are grown just because we meet the program what you gonna learn how to better hand and. We'll be right back continuing our conversation about beacon industries and the people it's helping right after that's. We are back with some members of beacon industries which was founded by Shareef -- -- Against Shareef -- in as the remarkable young man who spent eleven years in Angola for crime he didn't do came out not embittered. And came out with a purpose and that is to create what he's done which is wonderful organization that's helping a lot of young men. Before we get to Shareef and and how you processes because I've just been stunned to learn this is all out of pocket for him. He's -- and the suits he's putting it altogether so but let's go back to the young man first. Give me some examples of action -- technique. For your life. I'm gonna take my give him back to the young. Brothers that I have in my neighborhood -- I see every day. When I believe Osama -- -- -- to the -- -- when I get -- there are the kids actually outside -- -- one doing the right thing. When set didn't do so easily can happen Qichen put in a wrong situation at the wrong at the wrong time is so easy to get caught up -- -- wrong thing. When actually I wanna help. Then realize they can be so much better it ages. Put their lives on the right track and I know the kid you wanna be open the outcome -- is having fun but I just wish for the better. Track and there's a lot of pressure a lot of pressure to go the other way. Yes and fidelity is stepping up and becoming a good agreed leader. Because we need we need a lot of more leaders. And and the communities not just to communities whose life you know people family they need a leader someone showing someone. The right things to do you know right from wrong and stepping up and reaching your full potential. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- All right we do remotely as anybody can walk hot somebody all listen. Everybody has ever Biden is -- really take somebody enough heart and in some bravery to reduce and out and talk. You know and speak in that you speak in the true. So now everybody all most people some people even there was one person. Somebody called catch somebody don't cats which -- saying. And hopefully what we hope and is that we ought to -- last week as we we don't we plan on doing a lot of things. Because it -- all put our death. No not this time the Texans. Know so we can thank -- pain the next day you know what I meant to alarm brand somebody and you know what that though we had yesterday who has made that are gathered. Right. Thing you want to maintain this image. As no probably young black man being in this -- For days we under the new -- with it we did what does that look up and found Obama footsteps. That is a great statement and on that great statement we're gonna take another break but we'll be right back. I wanna thank rail Perkins. The Dumont has Fleming were shot to banks and Kenneth -- your outstanding and I wish nothing but great things for you think Shareef -- This program. Is. Need help you need money. Yes everything. We do with these programs. -- in we were part time at we PO which is -- all homes and sometimes. -- full penalty. We invested into the lives of these young men. And no one principal -- Guys who live by. In my church. Once more you is dead dog we read that someone somewhere. He used to have politics influenced in their ability to helpless. On that note if anybody wants to help they can go to. A website. Every -- beacon industries dot org and we have we fallen number five hole for. Two to 309848.