Rockford man on a mission to help young African Americans ‘change the narrative’

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Antonio Turner has a mission behind what he calls “Conscious Coaching.”

He created the program four years ago, to bring opportunities for young African Americans living in the South and West sides of Rockford.

“They have the equal opportunity to be anything they want to be, but not everyone has the chance,” Turner said. “I want to look for the background story, for people to understand why things are the way they are, then create opportunities to help them change that, so the condition is not prolonged, and is not generational.”

His organization provides health and education programs, along with career and personal development, so people can “change their narrative.”

“If I can show you how to navigate and help you put yourself in a position to be successful, and to better your life, then it becomes easier, because you see me as a person who reflects who you are, and now it becomes attainable for you,” he said.

Eventually, Turner hopes to create resource houses.

“You have to give the people a sense of self-worth, and that’s what I’d like to see in resource houses, that focus on education, housing, and even political matters,” he said.

Conscious Coaching also holds events, like Rockford’s first black graduation, this past may, which celebrated recent graduates while giving kids a tangible goal to reach.

“We never hear the narrative about ‘there are more African American males in college than there are in jail.’ We never see that narrative. That’s the purpose of even doing the black graduation,” he said.

Conscious Coaching is hosting a “truck or treat” event at Andrews Park on Sherman Avenue on Tuesday, October 29th, and is looking for volunteers to help hand out candy.


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