Earnest Hart, Jr. Discusses Crime & Violence with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens

Earnest Hart, Jr., and Gov. Eric Greitens.

July 18, 2017, Jefferson City, Missouri…Former world kickboxing champion Earnest Hart, Jr., who grew up in dangerous St. Louis housing projects, met with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens on July 5 to discuss ways to reduce crime and violence in metro St. Louis. The 45-minute personal meeting occurred in the governor’s office at the Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City.

“I am very proud to have met Governor Greitens and learned that he welcomed our conversation about the importance of building character, boosting self confidence and building self respect among at-risk youth in troubled neighborhoods,” Hart said.

Hart grew up with guns and knives in his family’s St. Louis apartment and learned to dive into a bathtub for protection when shooting started on the street outside.

As a teenager he was taunted by gangs until, with the help of instructors and mentors, he mastered karate, kickboxing, boxing, judo and jujitsu.

Hart’s commitment to self-discipline, self-control and being guided by mentors helped build his self confidence and ultimately escape the dangerous streets of his childhood.

In his 20s he became a global martial arts champion who toured the world, appeared in Hollywood movies — performing and working with famous actors and professional athletes.

They include George Clooney. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ozzie Smith, to name a few.

Today as a consultant, Earnest leads mentoring and training sessions for kids and adults — sharing his hard-earned lessons and non-violent methods to help kids and adults develop self-confidence, self-respect and respect for others, and have better life experiences

Earnest understands the risk factors for kids in today’s world — and kids’ vulnerability if they lack positive role models. He believes that St. Louis’ increasing violence and crime rate — from muggings to murders to assaults, robberies and theft — is rooted in systematic problems.

The contributing factors are proliferating availability of guns on streets; lack of quality public education; evident racism; lack of positive role models; lack of inspired mentoring programs for inner-city youth; and poor relations with police authorities, especially since the Ferguson incident.

Earnest believes police need better training in conflict resolution; interpersonal communications; cultural sensitivity; self-defense methods; and incident avoidance techniques that do not require use of guns.

He believes children and teens at risk will greatly benefit from more mentoring programs and constructive activity options to build their self-confidence and self-respect — and develop new, meaningful and positive perspectives on life.

“We need more African-American role models who do positive things, and who do it because they really want to make a positive difference,” he said.

“Many black kids see violence, death and drugs in their neighborhoods and can’t see a way out. Many kids are raised in a single-parent household, mostly by their mothers who struggle just to put food on the table.”

“In recent years things have been getting worse — youth crime and violence — and I believe much of that is because kids don’t have positive role models, don’t have good mentors to talk to or relate to — no two-way communications or good advice. And the result is they get into trouble on the streets.”

Mentoring sessions with Earnest feature what kids aren’t getting — two-way communication, advice on ways to protect themselves and avoid trouble, and guidelines for developing self respect and respect for others — plus advice that encourages non-violence and personal growth.

The sessions help improve kids’ lives and self esteem — help them make positive decisions. And critically important: To respect others.

It’s winning advice from a world champion who knows how to help kids become champions of their own.

Earnest has brought his character-building message and inspiring life lessons to public schools, private schools, colleges, universities, businesses, corporations and additional organizations.

Now, he has brought it to Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who told Earnest he respects his approach to help at-risk kids.

“Governor Greitens said he respected what I do and that we need to do more to help the kids and help our state. It was a very productive meeting. He said he would be in St. Louis in a month or so for events in Ferguson. I look forward to seeing him again.”

For more information about Earnest Hart, Jr., contact Jeff Dunlap at 314 409 5203 or email jmdpr2@gmail.com.