Masahiro Moro, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations said, “We felt My Block, My Hood, My City, as well as the other wonderful organizations, established a clear goal for how their organization would continue to improve the lives of others — something important to continuing their support of their local community.”
My Block founder Jahmal Cole smiled and waved to cameras during his brief cameo, before the network launched into a video depicting the work My Block, My Hood, My City is doing.
The organization's mission is "to empower (under-resourced) youth to reach their greatest potential by expanding their worldview through explorations in their own backyard."
Chicago remains one of the nation's most segregated cities, with many people identifying with their neighborhoods instead of Chicago. Cole aims to uncover the neighborhoods that many inner-city teens see as off-limits or unnavigable, in an effort to show them that they can belong in spaces outside of where they call home.
"It's important to expose these teenagers to different cultures or professions and different ideas," Cole said in Mazda's video montage.
"They need access to different things outside of their community. Five minutes away can change their whole reality.
We all grew up in poverty, but if there's one thing I'm trying to teach them is to not have a poverty of imagination."