I have lived most of my life in Baton Rouge and I have been a state legislator, a nonprofit executive and a pastor. I created MetroMorphosis to transform urban communities from within by connecting people and organizations in ways that allow them to co-create a Baton Rouge in which all of its citizens feel it is a vibrant, thriving place to live, work and succeed.
Foundational to this work is my fervent belief that inner-city neighborhoods are teeming with assets and resources that can be activated or repurposed. My oft-repeated mantra: “The resources necessary to transform urban communities cannot be imported exclusively, but must begin with identifying and nurturing what already exists.”
The problem I’m trying to solve
For almost every challenge here in Baton Rouge — for instance, the low rate that African Americans boys graduate from high school — there is a corresponding government or nonprofit entity, yet these challenges continue. The systems and structures that were designed to enhance their lives are not as effective as they could or should be. That’s what keeps me up at night. Doing more of the same is not going to create change. The issue’s not money. It’s how we allocate it and how we hold people accountable for what we do with it.