by Timothy Rutt
Shackelford will be honored by Fifth District Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich in recognition of his dedication and influential work for Mentoring and Partnership for Youth Development (MPYD) and the community. Each county supervisor has chosen a member of their district who embodies the spirit of Dr. King's dream.
The event will take place during a concert at Disney Hall by the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA).
“It is an honor to be the recipient of this award," Shackelford said in a statement. " I can remember when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched in my hometown, Grenada, Mississippi in 1966. I had just moved to California. It was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, and I was heartbroken that I could not be there. I remember segregation and the limited opportunities for people of color. It is why I’m so passionate for our young men. I want them to dream and breakthrough the prejudices that they face daily. I’m grateful that Supervisor Antonovich, who has been a long time supporter of MPYD, has acknowledged our passion and service to the community’s youth, so they can continue the dream that was started by Dr. King.”
Shackelford, affectionately known as “Shack” by family, friends and coworkers, is known for his untiring volunteer work and efforts to improve the quality of life for young men in the Altadena and Pasadena areas. In 2002, Shackelford responded to a call from the John Muir High School principal, Dr. Eddie Newman to help support struggling, at-risk male students. He helped organize and co-founded the nonprofit male mentoring program MPYD. Its mission is to provide support and mentorship to young men ages 13-18 through academic achievement, social skills development, family relations enhancement, and future educational and employment resource referrals.
Shackelford continues to volunteer full time and works with a paid staff serving on the campus of John Muir High School. The mentoring program offers additional services that include academic monitoring, after school tutoring, job readiness classes, daily motivational lunch discussion groups, field trips, community volunteer opportunities, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) based after-school enrichment programs, and a four day summer camp. MPYD also works with current seniors and their parents to help seniors graduate high school, enroll in college, complete financial aid and scholarship applications and/or develop a life plan. MPYD has successfully served over 3,500 John Muir High School male students.
Dr. King’s most famous words were uttered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. The Monday concert will consist of three pieces of music – "I Was Glad," by C. Hubert Parry – this is a setting of Psalm 122 of the Old Testament; "I Have a Dream," by Charles Dickerson, a choral and orchestral setting of Dr. King’s speech; and Beethovan's Ninth Symphony,recognized all over the world as the music that celebrates brotherhood.
The musicians for this concert will be an orchestra, a chorus, and a quartet of soloists for the Beethoven. The orchestra will be the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, an orchestra that is comprised of approximately 100 young people from around the County of Los Angeles. Its members are primarily African American; but the orchestra is truly diverse – perhaps the most diverse orchestra in the world. The young people who comprise the orchestra will be joined by their mentors. The chorus will be comprised of 200 singers from around the county. The concert starts at 7:30 PM Monday, Aug. 26, at Disney Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
If you would like to attend the free event or need additional information, please contact Ayesha Birks at (626)396-5600 ext.82009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.