First, I want I want to say Josh Young has been such an inspiring part of the black community in Alton and I thank him for that. The Alton community has built me into the man I am today and I want to thank Alton for being Alton. I am 100 percent an Alton native and I can truly say that media in this country has been demonizing people at death for years and it is flat out wrong.

We should be laying our people to rest, with peace. Sending our loved ones to the grave with their failures being blasted all over media, would make any parent, friend, colleague, partner feel like the individual's life meant nothing but the failures that they had in their life. Alton is growing, Alton is making strides in the right direction. It is time we lay our dead to rest without persecution, no matter what they did. It is time to make a change starting at the local level, which means the people of Alton, IL.

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Secondly, The Alton 100 is not about color. The Alton 100 is about laying the people of Alton to rest, so the families can celebrate their life. We must stand with love because hate is too much of a burden to bear. Hate is reporting the failures of the dead individuals. Love promotes peace, love promotes happiness, love is where reporters should be writing from. I think the Riverbender writes with love and I hope this is something that shows that. The Alton 100 is about letting our loved ones rest in peace.

We all want our loved ones laid to rest with peace. As, Altonians we love, we don't hate. Today we start to paint a picture of prosperity. We start to paint a picture of togetherness. Alton is winning! I mean can you believe all of the awesome stuff that is happening in Alton right now? Now, all we need to do is get rid of the things of Alton's past that have plagued our community.

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Today we start the conversation by saying Alton will no longer accept Racism. Alton will no longer accept bigotry. Alton will no longer be stuck in the past. Alton no longer will be stuck in an economic downturn. Today is the day. It is your day, it is my day, it is our happy day. We lay our loved ones to rest with the happiness that they brought to the people around them.

Lastly, here is something that should be in Keron Hickman your family loved you and still does love you. They will always love you. Rest in peace young brother.

Thank you,

Bryon Dawayne Pierson Jr.
Social Entrepreneur
CEO/Founder The Serenity Strategy Network

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