Alex Peay, 28, Philadelphia
Founder & President, Rising Sons
"I first understood what it meant to be Black in America when the cops told me I fit the description," said Alex Peay, founder of Rising Sons, a Philly organization that works to improve dropout rates, decrease poverty and reduce crime.
By age 28, Peay had been arrested twice for situations that he describes as "false," leading Peay to understand first-hand why young Black men need extra support. Since then, the activist has worked to increase opportunities for guys to have a positive impact on the community and to help build better relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Peay created Rising Sons when he was just 19, establishing himself as a strong community leader and a reasonable thinker when it comes to issues of police brutality. "Not all cops are bad and not all Black people are robbing people," Peay said. "We have to show more of that, but with everything going on around the country it is tough."
Peay added that his focus is on creating sustainable community programming that teaches financial empowerment and self-sufficiency. "We have to think about ways we are reducing the issues that are affecting us," Peay said. "I'm not relying on the system to change anything. If it doesn't want to work for me, that's fine. I'll have to do it myself and teach others ways they can do it along with me."
DEFINE YOURSELF IN THREE HASHTAGS #Selfmotivated #reliancebuildscharacter #ourcommunitiesourresponsibility
LATE NIGHTS OR EARLY MORNINGS? Late nights
FAVORITE SONG TO PLAY AT FULL VOLUME "U Don't Know" by Jay-Z
MOST PEOPLE PROBABLY DON'T KNOW THAT I LOVE old school music BUT I HATE when people take the elevator one floor up or down. Smh