Changing lives by tumbling

Posted: January 27, 2013 by Keith Townsend in Uncategorized

The Jesse White Tumblers have been a staple of Chicago for a long time.  They are one of the most successful outreach groups in the black community in Chicago.  The focus of the team is to create opportunities through gymnastics for at risk youth. I was pretty surprised by the numbers Illinois Secretary of State check off during an appearance of his Jesse White Tumblers at a performance at a group meeting for my job the other day.  His Tumbler’s have –

  • Been around for 53 years
  • Have had 1500 kids come through program
  • Have 7 teams that will have performed 70 performances by end of the 1st month of the year
  • Performed across the nation and globe

More importantly, a number I was encouraged to hear was that of the 1500 youth to come through the program only a 110 have gotten in trouble with law enforcement.  That was a pretty staggering number to hear when some sources say 1 in 4 black men will be incarcerated in their life time.  I have to admit that at times I’ve just gotten too comfortable with the work that this organization has done.  It’s similar to everything in life.  I’ve just seen them too many times.  But it has been a few years since I last seen them perform and the freshness of seeing them has reminded me of just how amazing the group is in both talent and mission.


Seeing them again has encouraged me to step up my volunteer efforts and reach out to the youth of the city.  I’m so grateful for these private organizations and look forward to sending financial support to the building of the Jesse White Community Center.

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