Jermaine Wilson founded the Unity in the Community Movement to boost dialogue and bonds in the Leavenworth area.

Jermaine Wilson founded the Unity in the Community Movement to boost dialogue and bonds in the Leavenworth area.
Wilson is a government contractor worker, a college student and a mentor for Lansing Correctional Facility and Leavenworth juveniles.
In this Q5 he speaks about his vision to help his community.

1. Jermaine, how did Unity in the Community Movement come about and what is the aim of the organization?
I saw there was a need in our community, kids were committing crimes and using drugs, parents were neglecting their children and the amount of homeless people increased in numbers throughout the city of Leavenworth.
When I looked at the news, all I was seeing and hearing was crime.  I saw there was a division being created  between the blacks, whites, and the police department through the media because of the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases. Because of those situations different organizations were created like “Black Lives Matter,” “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter.”
As a human being I believe no man should be judged based upon the color of their skin nor should they be judged based upon their occupation.
Because God created us all equally. With all these different organizations that were created, I noticed it just caused more division among the people throughout the world. I saw the division in my own community and I wanted to make a difference.
I didn't want my children to be raised in a community that was divided.
I wanted my children to see that we are all equal no matter the race, occupation, or gender.
The aim of the organization is unifying the people in the community and all the different organizations coming together for  common goals, like  promoting peace, mentoring youth, feeding the homeless, providing jobs, as well as  bridging the gap between law enforcement and the people in the community.

2. What has happened in your life that has convinced you to take a different path and work to make a difference in your community?
When I was locked up in prison I was sentenced to three years. My son was 8-months old at the time.  I knew if I didn't change my life, there wasn't going to be any hope for my son's future. I gave my life to Jesus Christ while I was in prison. When I accepted Jesus Christ and asked the Lord to forgive me of my sins I felt a type of peace I never felt before. I started studying the Bible and learned the life that I'm living is not about me.  God tells us to love thy neighbor as we love thyself. I asked God to help me understand my purpose in life and he revealed it to me. My purpose is to teach people in my community not to make the same mistakes I made, prevent kids from going to prison and encourage those who have  made mistakes to continue to move forward in a positive way and not dwell on the past mistakes.

3. As a government contractor worker, a college student and a mentor for Lansing Correctional Facility and Leavenworth juveniles, what are the most important things you learned while in prison that have molded the person you are today?
I learned from the mistakes I made in my life. Time is valuable and you don't want to  waste time trying to make up for lost time.  Set goals and accomplish those goals. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't be successful. Always pay it forward and I learned nothing is impossible.

4. What are the keys to ensuring that our community remains unaffected by the violence seen in many cities around the country and what  are some effective ways to increase the dialogue and respect between local law enforcement and the people of our community?
Some keys to ensuring that our community remains unaffected by violence are:  We have to make sure youth have positive ways to spend their spare time; create things to do for the youth during the summer; and create more community events (free movie night, talent shows, and award ceremonies for high school students.
In order for the community to bridge a  gap between community members and law enforcement we have to build a partnership with the  police department. Focus on solving problems instead of reacting to crises.
Recreational events that involve law enforcement, youth versus police department (basketball tournaments, volunteering programs) it will give kids a positive outlook on the police department.
They will see they're involved with the community.
As a child I use to think the police were the coolest people because they passed out baseball cards. Once a month there should be a community awareness meeting. This meeting will give the police department and the community an opportunity to communicate.

5. What advice do you give the young people who you mentor on the importance of turning their lives around as you did?
Don’t allow your past to determine your future. If you believe in success than you can achieve success. Always remember to give back.
— Rimsie McConiga