Fraser, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, will be returning home for the Rise2Greatness event, which will consist of an interview and Q&A session in front of an audience of young people 25 years old and younger.
Tonia Grady, entrepreneur, single mom and owner of a video and media production company, single-handedly organized this event because of her drive and passion in wanting to help the young people of our society succeed.
“I am very passionate about our youths,” stated Grady. “I feel like our young people 25 and under are lost and don’t have the direction that they need. They are looking for something to inspire them, something to connect to, and I don’t believe they have an urgency about succeeding in life. I am very passionate about trying to help them and connect them to the things that will help them succeed, because they are our most prized resource.”
Grady added, “I was at a private function where Dr. Fraser was speaking and it was to a room of about 50 or so people and pretty much 75 percent of the room was affluent, well-to-do people. They were inspired by Dr. Fraser, and I was there and I was spellbound. I was knocked off my feet by the way in which he spoke. It was the level of passion that he spoke with, and it just knocks you out because it is so direct. After he finished speaking, I honestly thought, ‘This was a great moment.’”
Being inspired by this moment and knowing of Fraser’s leadership and lifetime commitment to education, diversity and economic development, Grady approached Fraser and challenged him to return to his hometown, hoping he could awaken the spirit of our most prized possession—the youth.
“I went to Dr. Fraser and told him what was really on my heart,” stated Grady. “I said to him that I felt like the message you were preaching is better being said to a group of youths in Brooklyn. I asked him if I can make it happen, if I can make you come to a state of the art facility and interview you in front of a room full of young people and have you inspire them and talk to them, because I believe his words are magical in a way.
“It is something about his delivery. Dr. Fraser has a way that connects to your core because he speaks directly to you. I feel like he could rally up our young people. There was another audience that could benefit from his wisdom and his special tenacity to get people riled up. And I feel like, why not the youth?”
“The youth of our community are lost and are in need of guidance. They lack leadership, mentorship, parenting, modeling at home and in the community,” stated Fraser. “We are responsible, period. No one else will save us but us.”
Grady added, “This man made a life that is almost iconic out of nothing. I feel like the young people in Brooklyn will be able to connect to his message because he’s from where they’re from. There’s something about someone speaking to you when they know where you live, they know the streets you’re talking about and they know the problems that you have. There is a special connection.”
Fraser is hoping to get his message across to the youths, which is, “You can, must and will succeed in spite of the odds and circumstances, some being substandard education, racism and white supremacy.”
The event is from noon to 3 p.m. and is free to people of the community and anyone else interested in attending on a first-come, first-serve basis. Grady plans to invite youth organizations and fatherless groups and encourage all of our leaders and VIPs to support this event.
“Any parent or caregiver administrator should jump at the chance to have any young person motivated by Dr. Fraser,” stated Grady. “It is a matter of taking an opportunity. My vision is that I believe he can come and speak life into these young people. I’m talking a room full of maybe under 300 young people. He is passionate about holding them accountable. He said that’s what he feels is missing.”
For more information, email Gradygirltg@hotmail.com or visit Gradygirl.com.
This event will also be a national and international event streamed live. “This event can be major. This vision can happen so much more effectively if we all fall in line.”