In an open letter to the public, Vernon Lockhart wrote the following: AS A BLACK MAN who grew up in one of the toughest areas of St. Louis, I didn’t think I would live to see 21. The neighborhood I grew up in wasn’t much different than the one many Black youths who live in impoverished urban neighborhoods in the U.S. are navigating. Even with everything I saw happening around me, I was still able to tap into the creativity within me. I have my Baby Girl “Mama” to thank for that. As a talented design hopeful herself, she encouraged me to explore my talent. She always told me, “Baby, you can be and do anything you want.” And I believed her. That belief is probably what saved my life. Fast forward to 2020. In a design career that has spanned decades, I consider myself fortunate.
THIS LIFE LESSON TAUGHT ME THAT WE ALL HAVE THE HUMAN RIGHT TO BE CREATIVE! MORE THAN EVER WE NEED TO CREATE RESOURCES AND SPACES TO NURTURE OUR YOUTH!
I challenge you—in your own community—to see how you can invest in ALL youth who may just need someone to show them that there is a way out. That their dreams do matter.
In the latest Design Of episode, we talk about what Vernon’s family and community did to help him get to where he is at, and what we can all do to live out our unique hero to make a difference.