A Message of Hope: Andre Norman | OYNB 096

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Thanks to the tragic killing of a black man by a white police officer in Minnesota, the world is experiencing a period of unrest – and perhaps of enlightenment as well. People around the world are questioning their own beliefs about race and the way that their institutions handle racial issues and conflict. The conversations that have sprung up from this incident and the subsequent outcry of protests and demonstrations are often difficult, but they’re necessary. Today’s guest, Andre Norman, has his own story to tell and an important perspective to contribute.

Andre Norman’s story isn’t what most people would expect. Andre grew up in poverty, underachieved in school, and started down a path of criminality in middle school. As a young man, Andre was sentenced to over a hundred years in prison, and there he became known as one of the top gang leaders in his state. It looked as though that was going to be his life for the rest of his life, however long that happened to be. But then something changed.

“I got a whole building full of people with the same capacity, have the same skill set, but the world doesn't see them as valuable.”

Andre describes his moment of epiphany as God speaking to him. It was just a brief statement, but it was long enough for Andre to reconsider what he was doing, and it sparked a change. Instead of fighting other prisoners, Andre began fighting to get out and to become successful. He set goals for himself. He was going to get out. He was going to go to Harvard. He was going to be a success. And he didn’t just set goals, he made a plan to achieve those goals. He got his GED. He attended counseling and anger management. He spent time in the law library of the prison, learning the law.

And Andre’s plans were successful. He worked long and hard on himself, and 14 years later, he was let out of prison. He became a Harvard fellow and an international speaker. He’s known as the Ambassador of Hope. He’s negotiated with riot leaders in prisons. He teaches other prisoners how they can turn their lives around. He works with families who have experienced tragedy, such as the father of Michael Brown from Ferguson, Missouri.

In today’s episode, Andre shares his story in his own words, and talks about the meaning of privilege and the effects of racism on Black people and Black communities. Andre also talks about his work with people who are struggling with addictions and other difficulties. Andre’s message is uniquely suited for this moment in history, so listen in to hear it in his own words.

LINKS & RESOURCES

OYNB LINKS

OYNB Website: https://www.oneyearnobeer.com/

OYNB Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Oneyearnobeer/

OYNB Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/199505820380513/

OYNB Twitter: https://twitter.com/oynbuk/

OYNB Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/oneyearnobeer/

ANDRE NORMAN’S LINKS

Andre Norman’s Website: https://andrenorman.com/

Andre on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrenorman21

Andre on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrenorman/

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