For My People Empowerment was established out of a fear of what was happening in our nation. September 11, 2001 was a wake-up call for a number of New York residents and the country as a hold. New Yorkers live in a complacent city were we never thought that we would have planes plowing into buildings wanting to hurt and kill Americans.
Brenda M. Francis, President and Founder of the organization began her quest to give back to the city that has offered so much. She began her quest as a consultant for a community base organization that was providing financial and relief assistance to over 1000 victims of the September 11th World Trade Center terrorist attack. Not only did Ms. Francis have that need to give back to her community/City her son Bryant Dukes at age nine wanted to have a part in this recovery.
It was not until the lights went out across the Northeast section of the United States that we realized that our city and communities were not prepared. Commuters in New York City and elsewhere had to sleep on steps, hitchhike or walk home as trains were rendered powerless and gas pumps stopped working. As food spoiled in refrigerators and freezers thawed, jugs of water sold out as supply plants lost their ability to supply consumers. Minds were set to wandering about terrorism fears less than two years after 9/11.
Starting with their own home working their way from neighbors to buildings to blocks they began to spread the word about being prepared for emergencies. They took a number of courses in order to gain the necessary knowledge to perform the task that they would face. Although Bryant was too young to officially obtain certification he was still committed and traveled everywhere with his mother to every class and training course. It was then that The Empowerment Institute recognized how serious and committed Bryant was, that he was with presented certification at age 11 by Joseph Bruno, Commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management.
Continuing their knowledge they took a course entitled “Creating vigilant, prepared and resilient communities for homeland security given by the Western Community Policing Institute which was sponsored by the Office of Emergency Management. Still wanting to learn more Brenda took the training course in order to become a member of “CERT” Community Emergency Response Team after this 10 week course Ms. Francis became the Team Chief of the Bronx 12 CERT Team where she served for 3 years.
February 7, 2008 For My People Empowerment, Inc. was incorporated as a not for profit corporation, and received federal exemption not long after. For My People Empowerment is a volunteer base emergency preparedness program that provides a leadership training program for the New York community to understand how easy and important it is to be ready and prepared for any type of emergency that one might encounter these emergency include blackouts, terrorist incident and natural disasters and thanks to the volunteers who assist us, communities are able to plan and be prepared with the knowledge needed to know what to do, how to be prepared for the possibility of blackouts, terrorist incidents and natural disasters.
We have established information meetings in order to prepared individuals and empower their communities to be prepared. On Bryant’s eighteenth birthday he was appointed as the Executive Director of For My People Empowerment, Inc. We give much thanks to David Gershon of The Empowerment Institute for all the information and knowledge we have gained over the years in order to move forward and start our organization.