Journalist of the Year Portfolio

Dwaine Caraway Transcript

Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway Transcriptions

What do you see as our generation’s civic responsibility?

In your junior and senior year, in today’s modern activism, is early involvement. You don’t have to wait until you’re 30 and 40 years old before you start sitting at the table, making decisions that will impact the country and city for the next 40 or 50 years.

You can do that now.

There are current rules, policies on the books today that were written back in 1910, 1920, maybe some as old as the 1800s that we find ourselves still following today. What is different today and yesterday — technology is different. Attitudes, opportunities are different.

You could not video, do a webcam or podcast back in the day, now you can.

Different rules and different circumstances apply to the times of change, and today’s activism is totally different because without technology, if someone has an issue or find themselves caught up in the middle of a situation — today that can instantly happen.

Yesterday, it could not.

We have to be prepared and more prepared on what can take place versus protecting the things that, for lack of a better word, not used anymore — outdated.

Even if we can’t get legislative work done, what can a non-voter tangibly do to make social change?

Well, I’m a little older than you, that doesn’t change anything.

Earlier involvement is what I encourage for young people to get involved in. 

If every student that walks across the St. Mark’s stage after you receive your diploma, and at the foot of the stage, there’s a pre-prepared voter registration card awaiting your signature — that’s the true beginning of involvement, changing, restructuring, and being in a position to help shape the role of the government and policies of what’s happening.

The younger guys are more on top of it nowadays.

When I was growing up, I didn’t have facebook. We couldn’t communicate as you all can communicate today. 

There’s a difference today than there was yesterday. We didn’t get involved at ages 18 and 19 years old.

Today’s technology dictates a different level of behavior.

What are some big issues that the African-American community are facing, and how are you able to be an activist for that issue?

Getting people jobs, encouraging more entrepreneurship and economic development, keeping communities safe and not being so susceptible about gun violence.

And it’s not just African-Americans, but gun violence. This gun violence thing has really got up under my skin. And that’s not targeted towards black people exclusively, nor white.