Pittsburgh pastor Grayson honored by Obama as one of Champions of Change
The Rev. Glenn Garrett Grayson says he is humbled to be honored by the White House but admits that the accolades come at a price no parent ever wants to pay.
“It's bittersweet and very overwhelming,” said Grayson, one of nine grassroots leaders who will be honored on Thursday as part of President Obama's Champions of Change program for taking critical steps to reduce gun violence in their communities.
Grayson, 54, pastor of Wesley Center A.M.E. Zion Church in the Hill District, founded the Center that C.A.R.E.S. (Children/Adults Recreational and Educational Services), an after-school tutorial and enrichment program, in 2000.
Ten years later, his son, Jeron Xavier Grayson, 18, a student at Hampton University in Virginia, was shot and killed while visiting friends at a house party near California University of Pennsylvania.
“Part of me realizes I was doing this type of work before his death, but I will say it took it to another level,” Grayson said Monday once the White House announced that he and the others will be honored in an event that will be live-streamed at 10 a.m. Thursday on the White House's website, www.whitehouse.gov/live.
“My son's memory drives me,” said Grayson a few hours before receiving — along with Buhl Foundation President Frederick W. Thieman and Tim Stevens, founder of the Black Political Empowerment Project — the Good Government Award from the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh.
“When my son came home from school the day he died, he said to me, ‘Dad, I know what I want to do. I want to take the C.A.R.E.S. Center and make it global.' I didn't really understand the statement when he made it, but now I think it was so profound,” Grayson said.
The Jeron Xavier Grayson Community Center, which will offer programs to help young people avoid gangs and gun violence, is scheduled open this summer on Enoch Street in the Crawford-Roberts area of the Hill District.
“In spite of my loss, the pieces are coming together to save other people,” Grayson said.
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hydro Green Energy wants to build hydroelectric plant on Monongahela River
- 1 intruder killed, other shot and wounded in Carrick home invasion
- I-79 resurfacing to start in Robinson, Wexford areas
- Castle Shannon mayor honored by statewide association
- False arrest lawsuit against Pittsburgh police settled for $115,000
- Black leaders back developer’s offer, say it could save August Wilson Center
- McCandless residents voice opposition to Wal-Mart plan
- TSA fee increase this week arrives with load of complaints
- Pittsburgh Cultural Trust leads applicants seeking increase in RAD money
- Moon Area board reconfigures elementary buildings, votes again to close school and explore merging with Cornell
- Georgia Senate runoff runs neck-and-neck