2013 BMe Leader Anton Moore will stand center court this Friday as the Philadelphia 76ers presents him with the “Heroes Among Us” Award.
What started as genuine mission four years ago to bring unity to the violent streets of the nation’s fifth largest city, has emerged as an award-winning nonprofit organization that now serves countless of South Philadelphia residents through a portfolio of community initiatives, such as a free Thanksgiving buffet for the homeless, and a celebrity-packed summer concert block party.
The man behind the mission, Anton Moore, 27, was recognized earlier this year as a BMe Leader, and was awarded a BMe Community Impact Grant to assist in the production of Peace Week, a series of youth-led events aimed at promoting non-violence. Moore, now looking to engage into the hands-on field of mentoring, is preparing to accept another award, this one at center court, during a NBA game.
This Friday, November 7th 2013, at the renowned Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia, Unity in the Community President Anton Moore will be declared a hero by the Philadelphia 76ers. Moore will be presented with the coveted “Heroes Among Us” award during their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to children and the South Philadelphia community.
“I’m still in shock,” he admits. “I’ve always dreamed of being center court at a big basketball game, but didn’t think I’d be standing there as a hometown hero. These are the kind moments you dream about, but never think will actually come true. I’m humbled by this honor and it makes me want to work even harder to make a difference,” says Moore.
In an exclusive interview with Techbook Online, the millennial mover-and-shaker, who appeared recently in an article on the Huffington Post, sharing his thought-leadership on how to influence local policy to make city resources more accessible to taxpayers who wish to leverage place for impact, says he started his organization due to a dire need for leadership and unity in his community.
“I grew up in a dog-eat-dog environment. I didn’t like it, and wanted to get back to the basis of knowing your neighbors and caring about their lives as much as your own. I believe that when we’re able to engage people and become familiar with their stories and their aspirations, we’re less likely to kill them, or stand by as others make the attempt,” explains Moore.
Proud to say that drug dealers and the perceived “thugs” on the streets respect him and seek him out for guidance and conversation, Moore says the black males that are often looked down upon by society and harassed by police, are his brothers, his cousins, his nephews, and all-around good guys.
“Part of the reason law enforcement officers are unable to effectively tackle violence in our neighborhoods is because they address our young brothers as monsters. We, collectively, both the police and the community, need to come at our brothers and sisters with a sincere heart to help, not pointing the finger, telling them they’re bad people. We have to open our hearts and sometimes our lives, to least of them, in order to make change and have a real impact. We simply can’t say we want peace and unity and now be unwilling to show love and acceptance.”
The Sixers “Heroes Among Us” program awards people in the greater Philadelphia-area who have made exceptional and overwhelming contributions to better the lives of children in the community. Each recipient of the award will receive half of the proceeds from the Sixers Strong 50/50 Raffle to donate to the charity of their choice (recognizable 501 (c) 3). This award is given in the spirit of the beloved Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who founded Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise funds and awareness to end childhood cancer.
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