ABOVE: Dwight Boykins, Sabrina Cuby-King, Principal at Phyllis Wheatley High School, Houston
Police Chief Troy Finner and Lincoln “Red” Pradia
“Changing 1 Life at a Time” Basketball Tournament connects inner city communities across Houston with First Responders for a day of fun and fellowship
On Saturday, March 25th, Former City Councilmember Dwight Boykins hosted a one-day event, focusing on relationship building between inner city community residents and first responders by using the game of basketball as the catalyst.
In partnership with Houston Independent School District (HISD) and Aldine Independent School District, the games were held at, Worthing Early College, Stephen F. Austin, Jack Yates, Phillis Wheatley, Sam Houston, and Dwight D. Eisenhower High Schools.
Changing 1 Life at a Time was named after Lenora “Doll” Carter, who at the tender age of 29, became the CEO of Forward Times Publishing Company, and Publisher and Editor of the Houston Forward Times newspaper, the South’s largest independently owned and published African American newspaper, until her untimely death in April 2010. Forward Times Publishing Company. was founded in January 1960 by her late husband, Julius, who groomed her in the capacity of General Manager and Advertising Director, to eventually be able to succeed him. After Julius’ death in 1971, “Doll” Carter took over the company and it grew tremendously under her leadership.
“The goal of the tournament is to build relationships between first responders and kids in the community,” said Dwight Boykins. “We don’t want kids to be afraid of law enforcement and first responders. We’ve got to bridge the gap and open the lines of communication.”
The partnership not only includes basketball, but First Responders will agree to mentor identified kids. The kids and the First Responders will attend sporting events where complimentary tickets will be provided. The kids will also tour local college campuses and increase their exposure to higher education. First Responder Partners included: African American Police Officers League (AAPOL), Houston Professional Firefighters Association (HPFFA), Houston Professional Black Firefighters Association (HPBFAA), Harris County Sheriff, Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) Police Department, Houston Police Officers Union, Harris County Constable Precinct 7 May Walker, Aldine Independent School District (AISD) Police Department, Houston Independent School District (HISD) Police Department, Houston Community College Police Department, Texas Southern University Police Department, University of Houston Police Department, Harris County Deputies Organization and Harris County Constable Precinct 3 Sherman Eagleton, and Houston Christian University Police Department.