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Bridge Builders Breakfast

Feb 2013The ASU Center for Leadership and Public Policy began as a concept long before it started operating in 1999. A group of visionary leaders at ASU recognized that many of Alabama’s greatest challenges had lingered for decades. These individuals believed that creative new approaches from innovative thinkers could provide workable solutions to meet the state’s unmet challenges. One way the Center helps to meet the state’s unmet challenges is through its Bridge Builders Breakfast Series. Leaders from government, education, law, and other fields engage in honest, productive dialog with citizens who are committed to affecting positive change in their communities. These breakfasts provide unprecedented opportunities to bridge the gaps that exist in the forms of social, racial and economic isolation. Working for social justice and economic empowerment, these non-partisan events seek common ground and promote uncommon vision.

More than 300 busy people attend this free series. Reservations are not needed. The breakfasts usually take place in the RSA Activity Center at 201 Dexter Avenue. This downtown location is convenient for those who work in the Capitol Complex. The location is also good for those who work in other areas of the city because Interstates 65 and 85 are just moments away from the RSA Activity Center. Breakfast times are convenient, also, usually starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending by 8:45 a.m

Previous Bridge Builders Breakfast speakers have included Montgomery County District Attorney Ellen Brooks; Morris Dees, Founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center; prominent Montgomery trial lawyer and former Alabama Lt. Governor, Jere Beasley; Alabama Governor Robert Bentley; former speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives and director of the Alabama Development Office, Seth Hammett; former U.S. Congressman Bobby Bright; former Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington; State Sen. Quinton T. Ross Jr.; RSA director David Bronner; U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell; and former Atlanta mayor, Congressman, U.N. Ambassador and civil rights icon Andrew J. Young.

For more information, contact Myles Mayberry at ASU's Center for Leadership and Public Policy at 334-229-6024 or at mmayberry@alasu.edu.

Last Bridge Builders Breakfast: Joseph P. Borg, Alabama’s “Top Securities Cop” talked about protecting seniors from financial exploitation on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at the RSA Activity Center

Each year, hundreds of thousands of seniors are abused, neglected and exploited. Many of these victims are frail, vulnerable and dependent upon others to meet their most basic needs.Joseph Borg photo2

Joseph Borg, director of the Alabama Securities Commission, spoke frankly about the issue of elder abuse during Alabama State University’s Bridge Builders Breakfast on Wednesday, June 24. In front of a standing-room only crowd at the RSA Activity Center, Borg explained that battling elder abuse must be a community-wide effort.

“When it comes to the elderly, there is this silence,” Borg said. “Elder abuse is exploding. It is a high-temptation crime, especially ones committed by family members in the house. Elders are sometimes prisoners in the house.”

Borg went on to explain that abusers of older adults are both women and men, and may be family members, friends or “trusted others.” He said that one major factor of how we measure a community is by the way we care for our young, the defenseless and our elderly.

“We need to send a message today to seniors that we respect and honor you,” Borg said. “We commit to seek justice for you. I can think of no greater cause than to protect those that are helpless. I encourage you to get involved. Join us. It is going to take a community.”

Maggie Davis, a representative from Velox Integration Services, said Borg’s remarks inspired her to take action.

“I do want to get involved with this cause,” Davis said. “Our company Velox Integration Services supplies home medical equipment, but we take it a step further -- we actually go into the clients’ homes to do the modifications that might be required after an event or after they leave the rehab center. So we will be one of those companies that put our eyes on these elderly people, and so I want to know how to get involved and know the right channels to address issues if we run into any situations in any homes. I am inspired and not only empowered by the words, but ready to take action.”

ASU President Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd said it is the responsibility of the community to protect those who are vulnerable.

“We will disable the code of silence, and we will not be silent about these issues in our community,” Boyd said. “We will stand up and take charge and make sure we protect our children and our elderly.”

This installment of the Bridge Builders Breakfast series was sponsored by ASU’s Center for Leadership and Public Policy, in coordination with the Alabama Department of Senior Services.

Author: Timothy C. Ervin

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