At Issue: Jahmal Cole, Founder Of My Hood, My Block, My City, Gives Cultural Opportunities To Inner City Youth

Jahmal Cole
Photo credit (Colin Boyle/My Block, My Hood, My City)
By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- My Block, My Hood, My City President Jahmal Cole wants South Side teens to experience more than their neighborhood and expand their horizons.

The organization's field trip exposes kids to cultural areas of the city like Devon Avenue, Greektown, Little Italy, Chinatown and more.

we have been taking kids to Washington D.C, to Mackinac in Michigan, Alabama," Cole said. "A lot of these kids have never waved for a taxi before, they have never been on an elevator before, they definitely have never been on a plane before but we can't afford to take them to China so we take them to Chinatown."

Another major aspect of My Block, My Hood, My City's program is building trust for teens, which can be difficult for those who are surrounded by violence and live in underserved South and West communities. 

"It's hard to have trust when you have to order your breakfast through bullet-proof window," the founder said. "It's hard to have trust when there are helicopters flying above your house."

Although the field trips have stopped due to the pandemic, the organization is still active in the community. Most recently, Cole and volunteers have assisted senior communities on the South Side by donating food, PPE and water to combat the pandemic's effects, food shortages and the summer heat. 

My Block, My Hood, My City also hosted Black Lives Matter marches and helped looted businesses get back on their feet. 

Jahmal Cole is the guest on our At Issue and you can hear more about his organization's programs, its partnerships with Chicago Public Schools and how the teenagers are giving new meaning to "Defund the Police" by helping with the training of new officers on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and p.m.