A message from Carol Manigault
|April 14, 2007: This Year's Program and Jazz Concert are
being held on the Lodi campus of Felician
Hello, dear friends. It is hard to believe that this year makes four years that Jelani has been gone. The loving support that we have received from so many of you since the untimely death of our son is largely what continues to sustain us. Jelani had such a sparkle to him. He often expressed that he wished to do good in this world. As you know, he was in the process of relocating back to the New York area after receiving his degree from U. Maryland, in order to pursue a career in the creative end of advertising. He had become a multi-media artist and photographer; and no doubt he would have been busy right now creating advertisements for various media, had he lived.
It is so strange sometimes how things work out in this life. His essence lives on; and by virtue of that, he is indeed doing much good in this world. The story in The Jelani Tree book, written in his honor by Caroline Brewer, is reaching more and more people, young and old. It is a book that highlights the qualities that people identified in abundance about him. The readers are being encouraged to see those same qualities in themselves and in others, and to let their God-given talents blossom, as did Jelani’s and his dear friends’. (Copies of the book can be ordered by going to www.jelani.org .)The JELANI Institute – The Justice Equity Love and Awareness Now Institute – was established a year after he passed, to honor his memory and to find a way to put a stop to the senseless and needless killing of otherwise perfectly innocent people who, for one reason or another, find themselves in the midst of an anxiety attack or other emotional crisis.
We feel that THIS IS OUR BREAK-THROUGH YEAR. We are bringing Major Samuel Cochran of the Memphis PD, co-founder of the Crisis Intervention Team program, to Northern New Jersey. In towns around the country where Major Cochran has implemented this program, police shootings in cases of emotional distress have been virtually ELIMINATED! The necessary ingredient has been and continues to be proper and adequate TRAINING and an increased level of caring, in order to be able to “see the individual”, recognize what he/she is experiencing, and DIFFUSE THE SITUATION instead of escalating it.
You are all lovingly invited to this year’s Jelani Institute Program and Day of Remembrance. It will be held this Saturday, April 14th, at Felician College’s Lodi campus cafeteria. It will consist of a Community Forum on Crisis Intervention and an Awards Dinner and Jazz Concert Fund Raiser. Major Cochran’s presentation, as part of the Community Forum, will begin at approximately 2:30. A buffet dinner will then be served at approximately 4:30, at which there will be (1) a brief audio/video remembrance of our guy; (2) the issuance of our very first JELANI Institute award of excellence for development of talents in young people, to be awarded to Mr. Robert Hankle (Jelani’s high school jazz band director) -- an outstanding trombonist and the instrumental music director at Teaneck High School; and (3) a fabulous jazz concert, featuring a roster of renowned jazz musicians, including several multi-Grammy award winners, who are all donating their time and talents for this important benefit concert. The bill includes the legendary Ed Pazant (jazz sax and flute), Jeannette Curtis-Rideau (jazz poet), Mark Gross (alto and soprano sax), Bob Crenshaw (bass) with Jelani’s cousin Monique Manigault as vocalist; Jelani’s cousin Russell Sledge (bass); and a special treat -- several of Mr. Hankle’s former students who were in jazz band with Jelani and are now professional jazz musicians – including the phenomenal Fred Hendricks and Ben Hankle (trumpeters)
What better way to spend your Saturday afternoon and early evening! The institute really needs your support at this critical time.
Bring the kids. There is infant care, as well as exciting age-appropriate Jelani Tree activities for pre-schoolers up to young adults, and a jazz workshop for those who are interested.
WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING YOU JOIN US THIS SATURDAY!
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