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By Brother Bey , Fraternal Order of X-Offenders | April 1, 2010

Peace and Blessings to the F.O.X.O. Abilene Texas Family. First and foremost, Brother Ray and myself must thank our Creator for the opportunity to have shared our hearts, minds and spirits with you and your native son, Brother Rob, whom we have known for more than three years. Having developed a true brotherhood, on many occasions, we have been in the process of reversing roles as teachers and students for one another, strategizing to de-power adversities that negatively influence too many of our communities and families. However, FOXO believe that our adversities do not make us, they only show us what we are really made of.{{more}}Community of UnityThe results of FOXO’s and Brother Rob’s collective passion and purpose lead to Brother Rob introducing us to his fiancé, Sienna Miller, the executive administrator of the Da’Cipher 360 Youth Ministry. We were then blessed to be introduced to Mr. and Mrs. Miller, the proud founders of West Texas Tribune Newspaper. Subsequently, we were offered the opportunity to be a guest columnist since May 2008. We are pleased to be informed by Mr. Miller that our article is one of the most popular, anticipated articles in his monthly newspaper based upon the wisdom, knowledge and understanding of problems, causes and solutions within America. We understand that pathologies have been institutionalized, meaning that they are capitalistic industries. FOXO’s indebtedness is much wider than words can ever specify to all of the stakeholders who supported Brother Rob and the Da’Cipher’s mission to sponsor the presence of Brother Ray and myself . We were afforded the opportunity to present to various stakeholders in the West Abilene, Texas Community, including a diverse population in a men’s prison. We also were particularly proud to be motivated and stimulated by the presence of conscious, committed, civil-minded and community oriented young people who had the courage to speak up and speak out.Self-Development: The Basis of Community DevelopmentPlease acknowledge our Abilene, Texas Family that this article is not written from an academia research or statistical intellectual perspective. These words are our assessment from our hearts to the many minds of: Da’Cipher; Teens Speak Out; West Texas Tribune; City Councilman Anthony Williams; State Representative Susan King; Professor Dr. Jerry Taylor and Abilene Christian University undergraduate and graduate students of Divinity; Brothers James, Darell Jordan, Ron Ballard, and Sister Gloria Smith members of North Tenth & Treadaway Church of Christ, who worked diligently to have FOXO share our present models of our DVD trainings with the North Tenth & Treadaway Church of Christ Family; Adults in the Community and Youths who are agents of change, collectively making history through teamwork. We would be remised if we did not acknowledge the root of our communities who are our elders because when we lose an elder we lose a library of our history. FOXO’s Leadership Assessment At The Da’Cipher 360 Ministry We became a part of the community of self development with the participants from 6 years old to 85 years young. The spirit of the Da’Cipher 360 is a connector and conductor of intergenerational qualities such as honesty, integrity, personal and collective inspirational awareness. The mindset of the elders and young people reminded me of the universal philosophy “let this circle be unbroken” which emphasized a community of unity. Everyone appeared to be in tune and in touch at the Da’Cipher’s 360 Youth Ministry. Participants accentuated their strengths and weaknesses within their circle of influences. The group realized and actualized the strength in their common struggles when they acknowledge that everyone is a stakeholder and an equal partner in motivating other people to promote the quality of life fueled by a passion for excellence and justice. “Peace is not merely the absence of tension, but the presence of justice.” There Is No Big I’s or Little U’s in TeamworkFOXO’s and Abilene’s teamwork demonstrated the ability to work together towards a common vision and to direct our individual accomplishments towards inter-state, organizational objectives. Teamwork is the fuel that allows us so-called common, ordinary people to achieve uncommon extra-ordinary accomplishments. Youth Solutions to Adult Social PathologiesPeer Solutions involves the knowledge that youth and human development begins with self-development by promoting activities that links families, communities, schools, private and public resources to advocate peace and prevent harm by decreasing risk factors while increasing protective factors to enhance the quality of life for all people. Teens Speaks OutThese youths address the root of adverse conditions and the effects they have on themselves, families, schools, communities, gangs ,crime, drugs and systemic violence, lack of economic development, child abuse, homelessness, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs , teen pregnancy, risky sexual behaviors, physical, mental, community health ,A.I.D.S., juvenile delinquency, disparate male incarceration, etc. All of these issues may be resolved through peer-education and advocacy for social change. Community DevelopmentThe most effective and successful method to address the negative social conditions is by engaging the community in all stages of the prevention process which includes design, development, implementation and evaluation. It is the belief of Teens Speak Out, Da’Cipher, FOXO and others that people are up on things when they are in on things. We develop a sense of ownership that motivates our desire to seek effective outcomes regardless of the individual’s personal income. When those who are led begins to lead, then the traditional leadership will follow. FOXO AcknowledgementsSpecial acknowledgements to our Abilene Texas Family are as follows:Sheredan Fortay- Spoken word poetry on the radio programDr. Tanya Brice, Ph.D of Social WorkKavian McMillon-theology graduate student instrumental in the development of a prison ministryKatherine “Kat” Salvatierra-Poet and caretaker of younger sistersDr. Jerry Taylor-Minister and devoted member of the Abilene CommunityElroy Johnson-International Marketing Business MajorYerimiyah Hawkins “Remi”-Member of the House of Yahweh channels his spiritual convictions into the work of serving the community, operates DaCiphers’ camera and responsible for filming FOXO’s visit Robert Gales- Da’Cipher Advocate and Leader in the Ex-offender CommunityMr. and Mrs. Miller- Pillar in the community and Owners of West Texas TribuneDennis Parks-Speaker at the programLaDon- a nine years old, articulate and inquisitive participant in the program who wants to be a veterinarian. She also is very supportive who encouraged me when she overheard me being critical of myself.Tchermiyah Hawkins-18 years old managing director and counselor of Teens Speak OutAsayah Hawkins-Father and Spiritual Guide of Tchermiyah FOXO’s Executive SummaryApproximately four years ago, I received an email from a person named Robert Lily. At that time, this person stated to me that he had been privy to view the FOXO’s webpage and concluded that the work we were doing in Baltimore City was relevant to the needs of the ex-offenders’ population, primarily in West Abilene, Texas. My immediate response to Rob was that his email to me was impersonal and was a security risk based upon my prior training in the school of hard knocks. Street-ology taught us that you do not give your trust, that people must earn your trust. Subsequently, I emailed this stranger and invited him to call my personal number so that we could listen to his spirit. It was mandatory that we talked so that we could feel him as opposed to just reading his impersonal emails. I had no idea at that time that Robert Lily would hold us hostage on the telephone for more than four hours picking my brain for means and ways to achieve his mission to build something out of nothing. However, I was feeling this brother’s desire to be informed, transformed by the re-newness of the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that we imparted to him as our long-distance little brother in the struggle to evolve from the perceived state of emancipation to the reality of liberation from the shackles of self mental incarceration. Please be advised Abilene Texas that we were motivated and stimulated by your native son’s commitment to be educated and liberated from his traditional recidivist thinking patterns. Our experiences were the ties that bind us together to incorporate regular dialogue, reflections and ultimately actions which have resulted into a mentor, mentee brotherhood that is etched in truth that must always be our primary guide in life. Trust us Abilene Texas Family, if FOXO had an army of people with the work ethic of our little big brother Rob in Baltimore we would take control of the whole state of Maryland to insure and secure the well-being of life by promoting P.E.A.C.E.” Proper Education Always Corrects Errors.” Thank you Brother Rob for treating Brother Ray and myself [Brother Bey] with royalty via the help of all your Da’Cipher supporters, who did an extraordinary ministry, in marketing our Abilene Texas Tour and fellowship.The People’s Servant Brother Bey