Friday, October 02, 2009

East Hillside Neighborhood Hero Archie Davis

By Brendan Hanschen, on behalf of East Hillside Community Club

Archie Davis is a friendly, familiar face to many in Duluth’s core neighborhoods. Not only does he citizen patrol East Hillside and Central Hillside, he takes it upon himself to patrol where he is needed, even out to Morgan Park!

He has been active in community programs such as Take Action!, an after-school program at the Grant Community Recreation Center; the African American Men’s Group; CHUM; HIV 101 Peer Education; school PTAs; the Sports Court Area Citizen Patrol; the Duluth Amateur Youth Basketball Association; and the East Hillside Community Club.

Archie grew up in Chicago and lived in Milwaukee before moving to Duluth in 1995. His commitment to the community is incredibly deep. It grew out of a concern for children with absent parents and the problems that often followed. Mentoring youth for over 20 years, Archie goes out of his way on a regular basis to help anyone who needs help whether it is referring people dealing with slumlords to organizations that can help, acting as a peer educator for AIDS Information Duluth, working with homeowners in foreclosure or helping youth find and keep employment.

In his work with Take Action!, Archie coaches youth in identifying ways to improve their community, country, or world, and supports them in planning and taking action to do so. Among other projects, a “Pick up After Your Pet” campaign was the result in 2009, helping to reduce pollution in water runoff. Through his work, Archie is helping to form the next generation of volunteers and employees in our community. In the words of Elizabeth Thiede, a Youth Employment Services GED Teacher, “Archie’s message is contrary to what most of our at-risk youth hear from their social workers and peers. Archie focuses on helping youth realize their potential through hard work and perseverance. He pushes youth to defy the odds against them.”