At 18, Diontae “Tay” Reed seems happy, with a playful sense of humor and a lot to be proud of – good grades, a diploma from Ballard High School, a future full of possibilities including college. He’s come a long way from age 13 when he was shot in the back, underwent surgery and spent 11 days in the hospital. … While in the hospital recovering from surgery and a collapsed lung, he was angry but told relatives and friends who visited him that he didn’t want any more violence, no retaliation. … He participated in the Christopher 2X “Hood2Hood” anti-violence campaign, preaching non-violence door-to-door and in neighborhoods and remains active in anti-violence and community service programs. … Now he’s the first person in his family to have graduated from high school” (excerpt from the report Violence-Impact on Children Learning).
Christopher 2X has been an advocate for peace and justice for two decades. He is often contacted to help resolve high-profile incidents involving race and violence in the community. He knows that early childhood education is a vital key to ending gun violence long term.
In 2018, Christopher 2X was urged by Charles Adkins, tax attorney and retired Special Agent of the U.S. Treasury Department, to expand his impact in Louisville. This led to the formation of Christopher 2X Game Changers, a 501c3 non-profit organization, that involves parents and community partners to advance early childhood education so all children can have a safe environment to learn and succeed. Christopher 2X is Executive Director of Game Changers which has a diverse, Board of Directors.
Christopher 2X holds an honorary Doctorate of Public Service degree from Spalding University. He was awarded the Joan E. Thomas, M.D. Lifetime Achievement Award for Peacemaking by The Center for Women and Families in 2018. Christopher 2X frequently speaks to organizations and students about the devasting results of violence and the importance of education, especially early childhood education.
“Children suffer if they get hit by a bullet, witness a shooting, lose someone close or live on edge because the crack of gunshots is as common as the chirping of a songbird. They often can’t focus or learn in school. Some can’t sleep and have nightmares. Some withdraw, others act out or retaliate and resort to violence themselves. ... Education, starting in early childhood, is the key to ending gun violence and its devastating impact on kids’ learning” ~ Christopher 2X
Christopher 2X was inspired and supported by philanthropist and entertainment mogul Master P, aka Percy Miller, to start Balling for a Cause in 2017. With the theme “Let the Kids Grow. Early Childhood Education Movement”, the program involves children in public service, recreational activities, and mentoring about life choices.
Participants, from ages 9-16, meet with Christopher 2X at Spalding University gym and become ambassadors to other Christopher 2X Game Changers programs through outreach and community service. To reinforce the importance of education, participants must maintain a C or above grade average in school. They distribute flyers, such as Reading At Home Strategies, to promote enrollment in preschool programs and encourage parental involvement. The ambassadors have distributed more than 300 backpacks and school supplies to impacted children. Participants also support child development centers that serve low income communities to increase enrollment and provide volunteers, books, and materials.
Dr. Wayne Lewis, Kentucky’s former Education Commissioner has been engaged to share his own inspiring journey from impoverished childhood to a Ph.D. educator. Christopher 2X also partners with former Jefferson County Public School educator, Steve Clayton, who launched a rolling educational video game truck business called Rolling for a Cause, Early Childhood Education Movement.