Da’Cipher Banquet: 360 Degrees of Fun


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By Robert Lilly | October 1, 2011

It is with great pleasure that we offer our deepest gratitude to all of those who came out to support our 1st Annual Da’Cipher Banquet. Our youth ministry has desired for the past four years to host an event that would given honor and praise to God first and all of His humble servants, secondly, who have remained consistent in aiding this amazing work to form and advance. This event was held on Sept. 16, a Friday and it was attended by upwards to 150 people, a diverse cross-section of the Abilene community. We were honored to have students from Abilene Christian University, Office of Multi-Cultural Enrichment and Cisco Junior College, who wanted to learn more about what it is we do to impact the lives of our Abilenian youth who have mothers or fathers serving time in Texas prisons, both Federal, state and county.{{more}}The evening did get off to a late start, but we were able to salvage the remaining 2 hours. We had Mr. Tim Yandel from Big Brothers and Big Sisters speak and get really person about his life and his service to a big from the Amachi program, a program similar to Da’Cipher in both nature and aim. Dr. Heath Burns also graced the stage, despite his illness, and spoke passionately to the youth and all those who work with them. He encouraged us to not set our sights low, but to aim as high as we can dream, regardless of our Spoken Word Artist Be Wise of Dallas Texas who performed for The banquet, listens closely to Mayor Frank Jackson address the audience. Photo by Sienna Millercircumstances. He shared with us the story of his abusive father and how this could have impacted his life but he chose to forge forward despite his negative role in his life. Prior to our main speaker we had both Dezyne and B. join us from Fortworth, TX. They shared rhyme and poetry, music and rhythm and the kids ate it up. We were totally entertained as Dezyne performed songs from his new album entitled Rebel Manifesto. He spoke such words as, “Cops see me and my crew and call us criminal; never! We are from Egypt and Timbuctuu!” The highlight of the evening was the speech Mayor Frank Jackson of Prairie View, Texas. He began his speech with the story of the eagle that found himself in the chicken coop but who had lost the knowledge of who he was. He told us that was who we, black people were like. We had been made to see ourselves as little chicks, when in fact we had the wingspan of the mighty eagle. The main point of his message was that what is happening with ourPrarie view Mayor Frank Jackson was the Keynote Speaker to the Da’Cipher Banquet Audience. Photo by Sienna Miller children and community is not an accident, there are historical factors that should be recalled and tallied. He said that White Supremacy and America in general has capitalized on the facts of our peoples spotted history of bondage and this should never be discounted. He said, “If you broke it intentionally, you must fix it intentionally,” referring all those who purport to work with the African American youth represented by the likes our work in Da’Cipher. The evening was topped of with a fantastic meal, catered by Joe Allen’s BBQ. We want to thank them for the great discount they gave us the help pushed our success further toward the goal we sought to achieve. If we have missed thanking anyone we apologize, it is just that there are so many who have made what we have done, thus far, possible. We’d like to offer a special thanks to the Whitener Foundation and Lauren Corporation for the care and attention to our needs. God Bless you all and we look forward to seeing you next year.