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Monday, March 10, 2014

An Open Letter to President Obama About The “My Brother’s Keeper” Program

Orrin Hudson

By Orrin Hudson, founder of “Be Someone”

Nationwide — Good day, Mr. President, I have an invitation and a challenge to offer you!

But first, let me applaud you for your “My Brother’s Keeper” program that pledges to spend several million private dollars over the next five years in search of solutions to the problems young black men face with a wide range of issues such as broken homes, education, discipline issues, parenting and run-ins with the criminal justice system.

Mr. President, what you are proposing is something I do every day. It is my mission in life! I’m driven to reach young black men before it is too late. Like you, I had my own issues growing up that almost sent me down the wrong path. If it were not for special people – like you – who took a personal interest in me, I surely would not be writing you today.

I was an inner-city youngster who didn’t think much of school. Frankly, I felt it was a waste of my time. It had no relevance in my world. I hung out with the wrong crowd. They were cool dudes and I wanted to be just like them. I ignored my studies and figured I could do just fine on the street. I was destined for trouble. It was just a matter of time. Sound familiar?

One of my teachers, who could have pushed me aside as just another lost youngster, saw potential in me I never even knew was there. He took a personal interest in me and taught me a game… a game that changed my life and a game I am using to change other lives today. What is that game? A game I know you are familiar with, Mr. President, chess!

I will never forget this teacher and will be forever indebted to him. Through the game of chess, he taught me to think. He taught me that there is a consequence for every move whether it be on the chess table or in life. It began to hit me. I have choices in my life and I must make the right moves.

Mr. President, I went on to be an Alabama state trooper. I made something of myself and I considered myself successful but I knew something was missing. I saw news reports of a horrific crime in Queens New York committed by a few young black males. At that moment, I realized my calling… I had to do all I could to turn other young black males around before their lives and destinies were lost.

I went on to found an organization called Be Someone Inc. headquartered in Stone Mountain, Georgia. I have literally traveled the world using chess to reach young lives. I have been recognized and honored by countless individuals and organizations around the world for the impact I have made and continue to make. But that is not what drives me.

What does motivate me is saving lives, the lives of young black youngsters who are potential success stories if they just had the right chance, the right motivation and the right person to show them they can be somebody! That’s where you and I come in Mr. President. We have work to do and I want to call you a partner!

Now, here’s that invitation I mentioned earlier. If you promise not to show me up, I have been invited to Washington DC by the FBI to receive a national award on April 4, 2014 and would love to drop by the White House for a friendly chess match. We can underline the importance of thinking before you make a move. We can emphasize there is a consequence for every action. Think of the lives we can reach with that message!

Mr. President, I feel so strongly about “My Brother’s Keeper” and its potential that I am offering to come to the White House with my chess table and some of the youngsters I have taught to make the right move. Call me!


Orrin C. Hudson
Executive Director
Be Someone Inc.

Orrin Hudson is the founder of Be Someone organization in Atlanta, Georgia. He helps inner-city youth make better decisions in life by teaching them the game of chess. He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, People Magazine, and more. For more details, call (770) 465-6445 or visit www.BeSomeone.org