The Blueprint

August 2018 Edition

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"I would like to thank all of our partners that have continued to support our MBK Houston movement for over 4 years. Keeping everyone engaged is like a dance, sometimes you have to change the music but you got to keep moving."

-Noel Pinnock

In Memoriam of Donald Ray Perkins, Jr.

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District K, Chief of Staff


Donald Ray Perkins Jr., aged 46, a resident of Pearland, Texas, departed this earthly life on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm.

He was preceded in death by his beloved father, Donald Ray Perkins Sr., his paternal grandparents, Earl and Ethel Perkins, and his maternal grandparents, Carroll and Audrey Lyons.

He leaves to cherish his memories; mother, Brenda Perkins Farris and stepfather, Charles Farris of Baton Rouge, LA. One sister, Chelsea Nicole Farris of Houston, TX, and one niece whom he loved dearly Gabrielle Nicole Mongo of Houston, TX along with a host of relatives and friends.

Donald developed a love for maps as a child. He graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a degree in Urban and Regional Planning. He moved to Houston and began a life long career with the City of Houston. He later received his master's degree from Texas Southern University in Transportation Planning and Management.
Donald started his career with the City of Houston in 1995 as an Associate Planner in the Planning & Development Department. Donald had a love for trees and his communities. He loved working with neighborhoods, planning events and making sure every person he met was well taken care of.

Visitation took place on Friday, August 24, 2018 at Sugar Land Mortuary. The Celebration of Life service took place on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at The Fountain of Praise Church.

Published in Houston Chronicle on Aug. 23, 2018

MBK Houston Executive Leadership Meeting Recap

Our quarterly MBK ELT Meeting took place on August 27, 2018. Please check out our deck below in case you missed it!
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Cities United Convening 2018

The Houston Health Department, My Brother’s Keeper Houston Initiative, attended Cities United’s 5th Annual Convening in Knoxville, Tennessee on August 22-24, 2018. The convening consisted of workshops focused on developing a city-wide youth violence prevention strategic plan and plenary sessions on sustainability and elevating youth voice. Mayors, City Leads, and Community Partners were afforded the opportunity to hear the voices of young leaders on the importance of having a support system.

Houston’s City Lead, Karlton Harris, was invited by Cities United to serve as a panelist to discuss Houston’s vision for Black men and boys, Houston’s top 2 goals and current accomplishments of Houston’s work. Melissa Bing, Houston’s Youth Violence Strategic Plan Lead, was invited to be a panelist to discuss how to construct a strategic plan by identifying evidence-based practices and strategies. Houston was highlighted as the city leading the way with the creation and implementation of its strategic plan. The Showcase of Plans will take place in Louisville, Kentucky on November 27-28, 2018. Cities United provided all the cities great resources to help prevent youth violence amongst brown and black young men.

Cities United Upcoming Events

  • Roadmap Academy Showcase of Plans: November 27-28, 2018 Louisville, Kentucky
  • 2019 6th Annual Convening: August 21-23, 2019 Hampton, Virginia

Photos Courtesy of Karlton Harris

In The News & Updates

Visions for the Obama Presidential Center

Watch President Obama share his vision for the Obama Presidential Center during a surprise visit with supporters and stakeholder—a vision for a public space that will honor history, help revitalize the South Side, and connect people throughout the community.

Harvey One Year Later

One year ago this week we were in the midst of a massive public health response to the catastrophic flooding and resulting damage from Hurricane Harvey.

Mental Health America Call for Proposals Coming Sept 20

MHA’s 2019 Annual Conference Dueling Diagnoses: Mental Health and Chronic Conditions in Children and Adults will be looking to those who simply have questions they want answered about how to offer more comprehensive services to people who need them. An invitation is open to those who have figured out ways to break down the barriers between physical, developmental, and mental health conditions and move children and/or adults along pathways to recovery and or success.

MHA will be encouraging those who have innovative thoughts and ideas about how we best serve the whole person to share them and will be looking for programmatic initiatives that are succeeding by addressing the whole person, to share insights about programs that work. MHA will be valuing both “single condition” initiatives and multi-condition initiatives, so long as they demonstrate effective outreach, or raiser meaningful challenges, in integrating health, behavioral health, and other services.

What unique perspectives do you want to share with over 900 attendees from across the advocacy, policy and health care community? What great ideas do you or your organization have? Consider submitting a proposal - MHA's Call for Proposals will be available starting September 20, so look for that day’s News from National for more details.

Save the date for MHA’s 2019 Annual Conference, held June 13-15, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC with Pre-Con day for Affiliates on June 12.

Building a Community of Practice

Rice Business Interviews MBK Houston

Jericho Leftwich, Public Health Investigator Supervisor, represented MBK Houston at the Black Heritage Music Festival and was featured on their Facebook Live.

Sewa International: ASPIRE Program

"Sewa International provides after-school tutoring and homework help for refugee and immigrant youth in underserved communities through its ASPIRE (Assuring Student Progress in Remedial Education) program. Our mission is to address education gaps that so many children face due to cultural and language barriers. The focus is on overall development of the children, nurturing in them the knowledge and qualities required for social and academic success, such as self-regulation, empathy, competence in core subjects, critical thinking and creativity.

At present, Sewa serves over 100 students across three after school programs in Southwest Houston, all at no cost to the students and their families, and plans to open a fourth in Gulfton in the next few months. As a nonprofit organization, Sewa relies heavily on volunteers to provide assistance in the ASPIRE centers as tutors, activity organizers and role models. Outside of the classroom space, volunteers allow the ASPIRE program to plan field trips during the school year and summer events while the students are on break. Sewa is always building new relationships with partner organizations in order to provide the best possible program to its students."

Go Healthy Houston 2018 Farmer's Markets
Fifth Ward Multiservice Center Farmer's Market Photos Courtesy of Roderick Peoples

Throwback Thursday: Mister Roger Testifies before the senate subcommittee

On May 1, 1969, Fred Rogers, host of the (then) recently nationally syndicated children's television series, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (named Misterogers' Neighborhood at the time), testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce Subcommittee on Communications to defend $20 million in federal funding proposed for the newly formed non-profit Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which was at risk of being reduced to $10 million. Subcommittee chairman, Senator John Pastore (D-RI), unfamiliar with Fred Rogers, is initially abrasive toward him. Over the course of Rogers' 6 minutes of testimony, Pastore's demeanor gradually transitions to one of awe and admiration as Rogers speaks.

Postive Youth Development

Bi-annual Adolescent Health Stakeholders Meeting

Our Adolescent Health team hosted the Bi-Annual Adolescent Health Stakeholders meeting on Tuesday, August 21st. Health professionals and youth-serving organizations were invited to engage in strategic dialogue on methods to promote youth-friendly services that will improve adolescent healthcare utilization. Adolescents are not utilizing the healthcare system for a variety of reasons, including financial and social factors. Adolescent healthcare is a growing public health concern, and with partnering community organizations and new initiatives from the Houston Health Department, we hope to improve the healthcare outcomes of youth across Houston. The next Adolescent Health Stakeholders meeting will take place in the Spring of 2019.

Dr. Juan Olivares Jr., MD, Director of Pediatrics at Airline Children's Clinic gave a presentation on the Texas Youth Friendliness Initiative, which is a 18-month long multi-disciplinary approach to improve adolescent well-being across Texas.

Coalition of Urban Resource Experts (C.U.R.E.)

In an effort to address the mental/emotional health of our families and community our MBK ReDirect Team were happy to introduce CURE (Coalition of Urban Resource Experts). On August 25, 2018, CURE facilitated our resiliency circle at the Kashmere Multipurpose Center and helped to provide a safe space for healing communities and relationships. Participants were able to gain some resiliency, stress management and behavioral health resources.

Start with Hello Week

Already, 2,253 schools and youth organizations have signed up to begin the year with Start With Hello Week, Sept. 24-28 – a week to help create a safe, welcoming school environment for every student. This free program can help reduce bullying and build a positive school culture in even more districts across the country – including yours. Will you sign up to bring Start With Hello Week to your school, too?


Community members who would like to donate new or gently used ties may drop them off at the reception desk at the Gordon M. Anderson Leadership Center, 16717 Ella Blvd. and then follow the project #tietuesdayspring on

For more information, call Carroll at 281-891-6019.

MBK Houston Milestone Snapshots

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Houston Basics Update

The Houston’s Children’s Museum, working in partnership with MBK Houston, was awarded a $300,000 to support the Houston Basics roll-out in the Near Northside and Gulfton Communities.

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Join us for a 30 minute Early Childhood Development Focus Group!

We will soon be rolling out a campaign targeted towards parents and guardians of children age 0-5 years old, called HOUSTON BASICS and we need YOUR help.

The Basics are five evidence-based parenting and care-giving principles that encompass much of what experts find is important for children from birth to age three. Science shows that 80% of brain growth happens by the age of three. The Basics are five fun, simple, and powerful ways to help all our children aged 0-3 grow to be happy and smart.

Got Questions?

Please contact Sharifa Charles at

Or Lisa Williams

Back to School Fests

It's that time of the year! Everyone is trying to get back into the swing of things and already back to school. August is usually our busiest month of the year because of various events that help to bring resources and support families who need help getting their children ready for school. Just this month we have participated in these events:

  • Mayor Turner's Back2School Fest at George R Brown
  • HISD's Back to School Extravaganza at Delmar Stadium
  • Meet the Teacher and Community Partnerse at Bruce Elementary
  • HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) Awareness Community Event at Lilly Grove Baptist Church
  • Back to School Event at Kashmere Multiservice Center

These events are a great way to coral resources in one place, so help can be a one-stop service to families in need. We have seen back pack give-aways filled with school supplies, immunizations, free haircuts, instructions on how to properly use a car seat and even a non-profit issuing new Nike shoes. Our families definitely loved contributing to our Positivity Board!

Check out some of the photos below:

Back to School Safety by Crimestoppers Houston

School is back in session! As we adjust to our new routines and school activities, please don't forget to remain safety-minded and to have important preventive conversations with your kids. How do we recommend you best prepare to keep you and your family safe?

  1. Review these Back-to-School Safety Tips for important information about your child travelling to and from school, after school care, leaving children home alone, and how to talk to your children about avoiding and/or handling dangerous situations.
  2. Know your school's plans and policies in case of emergency situations such as hazardous weather, fires, bomb threats, and active shooters. If you don't know, ask.
  3. Talk to your child about safety! Make it an ongoing and open conversation at home. You will never regret having that one conversation that could save your child's life.
  4. Learn more about our FREE Safe School Program. It keeps students safe by:
  • Providing a safe and anonymous way to report crime and potential dangers on campus through our anonymous Tip Line
  • Creating a proactive dialogue with students, parents, school staff and school-based law enforcement about personal and school safety through a number of crime prevention presentations

    Download our mobile app "Crime Stoppers of Houston" on your child's phone.

    Download Back-to-school Safety Tips

    Courtesy of Crime Stoppers of Houston

    Download 2018 Back to School Toolkit

    Courtesy of Mental Health America

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    University of Houston Student Teachers Volunteer to Read

    UH Central will have its student teachers be weekly readers at McGowen Elementary, Ross Elementary, Benbrook Elementary and Martinez Elementary through the Read Houston Read Program, starting this school year.

    -->Check out Read Houston Read

    Read Aloud 15 Minutes

    Every child. Every parent. Every day.
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    The Urban Enrichment institute


    For more than 34 years, the Urban Enrichment Institute (UEI) has continuously demonstrated its ability to render transformational impact on thousands of Houston’s most underserved young men. The UEI is a community-based, youth development and empowerment program whose mission is to empower boys to become responsible men and productive members of their families and community. The UEI’s holistic approach to youth development and mentorship has removed barriers and inspired the lives of over 3,000 inner-city young men.

    Friday, Sep. 21st, 11:30am-1pm

    1811 Briar Oaks Lane

    Houston, TX

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    Become a TX Certified Community Health Worker: Classes Begin Sept 8, 2018

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    Opportunities for Young Adults

    Workforce Solutions wants to provide the youth of Houston and surrounding areas with opportunities to earn while they also learn how to successfully navigate the job search journey from beginning to end.

    They can help you:
    • Find employment opportunities in the local area
    • Complete a job application
    • Work / Study Assistance *

    * Must meet additional guidelines to qualify.

    For more information: Workforce Solutions

    Obama Foundation Spring 2019 Internship

    We want to make sure you are aware that applications have just opened for the Obama Foundation spring 2019 internship program. We ask that you share this opportunity with eligible candidates within your network. Please note that we are expecting many applications and will not be able to give any special preference to any organization or individuals.

    • The Obama Foundation is looking to hire a diverse cohort of passionate, mission-oriented, and qualified interns to serve in our Chicago and D.C. offices. This internship is open to current undergraduate and graduate students who are eligible to work in the United States

    • The Spring 2019 internship will run for 18 weeks beginning on January 7, 2019 and ending on May 10, 2019. Interns will be required to work 40 hours a week in either our Chicago or Washington, D.C. office.

    The application will close on Wednesday, September 12 at 5 p.m. CST. If you have any other questions, please head to or reach out to

    Houston Happenings: Hire Houston Youth Spotlight
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    Senate Bill 30: Community Safety Education Act

    TAPS Academy Training will take place tomorrow at the South Central HPD Station with Asa Singleton as a special guest. We have developed for prospective logos that will be displayed for officers to vote on their favorite and help bring suggestions to our SB 30 Community Safety Education Act Houston logo.

    Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

    CPTED (pronounced sep-ted) is the use of environment to reduce crime and fear in the communities, and improve quality of life. CPTED has four concepts which can be used everywhere, including schools, communities, apartments, and neighborhoods:

    1. Natural Access
    2. Natural Surveillance
    3. Territorial Behavior
    4. Maintenance

    Youth LEAD

    County Commissioner Rodney Ellis, who is supporting the implementation of the, first in the country, Youth Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program at Attucks Middle School, has opened the discussion up to a community with regards to implementing the Adult LEAD program in the county. A community meeting was held on August 21, 2018 in his office a contingency of attorneys, law enforcement officials, activists, government agencies, faith-based organizations, NAACP-Houston, and community-based interests learned more about the program and several more gatherings will be scheduled to deepen the discussion to move the effort forward. MBK Houston has prompted this discussion and is leading the way to provide alternatives to incarceration.

    Logic model for Youth LEAD program is being developed. 25 - 30 participants attended the training session presented by the LEAD National Support Bureau. The attendees were from the following agencies/programs/schools: Harris County Protective Services, Harris County Juvenile Probation, MBK Houston, AAMA Charter School, HISD, HISD-PD, Houston revision, and the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program. The launch event on September 25th is being planned by HISD Office of Social and Emotional Learning. The program includes comments from HISD, MBK, Commissioner Ellis, HHD, and Houston-Revision

    HISD Police Chief agreed to assign two officers at Attucks Middle School to ensure success of the program. Officers will attend training on August 20, 2018.

    A Safer Community for Charter Schools

    MBK Houston, Houston Police Department, Yes Prep, Harmony, and KIPP had a great meeting on August 29, 2018 to discuss working together towards a safer community for our children and eliminate safety concerns within the charter schools.

    Judge temporarily blocks 3D gun blueprints

    Sandy Hook Promise Message from Mark Barden:

    Thanks to the tens of thousands of supporters who took swift action, a federal judge has temporarily banned distributing blueprints for 3D-printed guns online. The move came after attorneys general from eight states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit earlier this week against the Trump administration to stop the blueprints from being published nationwide.

    This was an important first step, but our work isn't done. Defense Distributed is still pushing hard to make the blueprints widely available, and this ruling could be lifted at any moment. If we don't keep the pressure on, virtually anyone could make a gun – like the AR-15-style rifle that killed my sweet little Daniel – right in their home without ever undergoing a background check.

    We urgently need 25,000 signatures asking state attorneys general to continue taking action to keep guns out of dangerous hands. Will you sign our petition right now to help protect children from gun violence?

    Click here to sign our petition urging state attorneys general to keep fighting to ensure that dangerous weapons like 3D-printed guns don't get into the wrong hands.

    Nobody who can't legally buy a gun should be able to print one at home. We must make sure state attorneys general keep the pressure on, and I simply can't do it without your help.

    Thank you,

    Mark Barden (Daniel's father)

    Upcoming Events

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    SoulCycle Charity Ride

    Tuesday, Sep. 11th, 10:15-11:15am

    1343 South Voss Road

    Houston, TX

    Safety Series at the Park: Human Trafficking

    Thursday, Sep. 13th, 6-7pm

    4400 Bellaire Boulevard

    Bellaire, TX

    National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims

    Sunday, Sep. 23rd, 6-8pm

    Crime Stoppers of Houston, Houston, TX, USA

    Houston, TX

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    OFATX: The Healing Project

    Thursday, Sep. 20th, 6:30pm

    2612 Scott Street

    Houston, TX

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    2018 Houston Stand Down

    Friday, Oct. 5th, 10am-4pm

    5225 Calhoun Street

    Stand down is military terminology referring tot he brief period of time a soldier leaves an active combat area in order to rest and regain strength. Houston Stand Down is open to ALL Homeless Veterans, male and female, including those at risk of living homeless, who have served the Armed Forces of the United States.

    Free Meals, Free Clothing, Showers, Haircuts, Medical Screenings, VA Benefits, Vocational Training, Mental Health Resources, Employment Resources, Education Resources, Dentistry Resources, Legal Advice, Sobriety Resources, Housing, Credit Counseling

    Hosted by the City of Houston Veteran Affairs Office and the Department of Veteran Affairs

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    AAMA Sanchez Carter School Fall Festival

    Saturday, Oct. 13th, 9am-1pm

    6001 Gulf Freeway

    Houston, TX

    • Outdoor Festival on the Courtyard Square
    • Free Admission to the public. Entertainment, kid’s games and food

    2018 Illumine Gala Benefiting AAMA

    Friday, Oct. 19th, 6:30-11:30pm

    2001 Post Oak Boulevard

    Houston, TX

    The program will honor Mayor Sylvester Turner and recognize posthumously beloved friend and AAMA board member Raul Dominguez. This black-tie preferred event will include dinner, Live and Silent auctions, and dancing to band Grupo KaChe. Honorary Chairs are Philamena and Arthur Baird, and Gala Co-Chairs are Christina Morales, Gilda Ramirez and Terry Morales. To join AAMA, please click on this link to our website, email or call 713-929-2322.

    Follow Us @MBKhouston for more updates

    The Houston Health Department's Bureau of Youth and Adolescent Health is here to serve youth, adolescents, parents, communities, and businesses in the greater Houston area.
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    MBK Houston has been impacting more than 17,000 youth since 2015