A man on a mission. What better way to describe a person who, against all odds has risen from less than stellar conditions and situations. How many possess the drive and passion to go after their dreams and make strides toward greatness?
Introducing Alphonso Amos, the Program Director for StreetWise Partners, a nonprofit organization that specializes in adult mentorship and workforce development. He is also a community activist and organizer. Amos, his wife, and their two daughters are residents of Port Huron.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Amos moved to the area at a young age and attributes his tough upbringing to the path he chose later in life. “As early as seven years old, [I was] starting to engage in what I now know is nonprofit work or social justice work, […] dealing with family members who had drug problems or drug addictions and pretty much being a drug counselor at seven.”
Being an African American, Amos has always had a passion to represent and advocate for those who fall through the cracks or are left out of certain arenas. This passion led to Amos becoming a member of the Port Huron City Council from 2015 to 2016. He was also former President of the NAACP Port Huron branch and currently serves as their Co-Youth Advisor.
“Looking around Port Huron after I returned [home], I noticed there weren't a lot of people who looked like me in any positions outside of the church or local nonprofit,” Amos says .
Interestingly enough, his achievements were almost never realized due to an incident that would put Amos’s life in jeopardy. On his way home from a local nightclub back in 2009, gunfire erupted and Amos was struck with a bullet that he still carries near his heart to this very day.
“That moment was a pivotal moment in my life. It really gave me a new awareness of understanding the plight of gun violence,” says Amos.
Currently, Amos is involved in the upcoming online event Michigan’s Criminal Justice Reform Fireside Chat
with the state’s Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, discussing criminal justice reform on Monday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. Presented by Black Lives Matter Port Huron with the support of the Port Huron branch of the NAACP, the discussion will make listeners aware of criminal justice bills that were recently signed into law. Topics include subjects such as bail reform, trends in jail population, reducing drivers license suspensions, and automatic expungement.
“Folks need to know that they can now get more than one crime off of their record expunged and that crime can be a felony; before it just used to be a misdemeanor,” Amos says. “Folks will no longer have their driver's license suspended for not being able to pay things such as a traffic ticket.”
Amos works tirelessly with multiple organizations and nonprofits; and not just in our community, but others as well. Driven by passion and the desire to serve, Amos is aware that if he stops or falters, others may go without.
“[It’s about] understanding the disadvantages that Black and Brown people have, or the disparities that we have, and not just complaining about them, but becoming a part of the solution,” Amos says.
This is a man on a mission to bring change and reform to his community and people of color one individual at a time.
Registration for Michigan’s Criminal Justice Reform Fireside Chat is available online HERE.