James Shabazz dedicated his life to his community and the people who lived in the community. As the manager of the apartment unit, he developed relationships with the tenants and youth. He realized there was a need for the neighbors to get to know one another, needs and services for youth as well as safety concerns. James reached out to the tenants and had potlucks, implemented recreation activities to develop relationships with neighbors.
He brought the community residents together with law enforcement, fire professionals, and community resources. The police officers developed and continue to develop positive relationships and discussed their role in the community – to serve and protect. Firefighters discussed safety protocols and taught how to extinguish different types of fires; such as grease fires vs electrical fires. The highway patrol officers spoke about safe driving, the importance of wearing a seat belt, how to properly install a child seat, the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, and the consequences of unsafe driving.
James Shabazz was hard-working with a heart and passion for helping youth and those in the community. He’d always talk to the youth about the importance of getting an education, self-education and getting along with others.
As he continued to work within his community, he became more and more aware of the challenges the neighborhood faced. The immediate concern was the injuries and fatalities the community experienced due to speeding vehicles on the residual street. He reached out to local churches and city officials for resources and support. Because of his passion and concern for safety in his community, James Shabazz was instrumental in the installation of a stop light at the corner of Center Parkway and Arroyo Vista Drive. Consequently, other organizations began investing in the community – the Health Education Council through its HEAL Zone initiative and the Crocker Art Museum looked for ways to encourage more art in the underrepresented community.
As a result of his love and vision for his community, James Shabazz founded “Safety Day”. Safety Day is an annual community event that brings the community together, provides health and safety awareness issues, and provides recreational activities for youth.