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Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for Vice-President in 2012, quietly visited Indianapolis’ Martindale-Brightwood a couple of weeks ago to learn first hand about the problems and hopes of African-Americans and African-American men. Rep. Ryan, who’s authored GOP budget plans that some say would harm poor and working class families, especially African-Americans,  visited Emmanauel Missionary Baptist Church and took a look at the church’s “boot camp” program.  The Rev. Dr. Darryl Webster, Pastor of Emmanuel MB Church appeared on Amos & Abdul, the special Friday edition of Afternoons with Amos to talk about the visit and Rep. Ryan’s reaction to what he saw.

Rev. Webster was joined in the interview by Dr. Robert Woodson, a nationally known neighborhood organizer and leader of grassroots community movements. Rev. Webster told Amos & Abdul that Rep. Ryan was impressed with what he saw.  Said Rev. Webster “Ryan said he gets it now”. Woodson said that Rep. Ryan wanted to see first hand grassroots efforts in the Black community and learn first hand the problems and opportunities, without the glare of media or publicity. Called The Men Connection, the “boot camp” is an eight year old ministry of Emmanuel MBC that meets twice a month that brings Black men together in specialized discipleship training for life. In the sessions which runs at 5:45 in the morning, the participants nurture their spiritual lives, work through complex issues through small group discussions and fellowship. Rep. Ryan was accompanied on his visit by Dr. Robert Woodson, President of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise.

Woodson has been working with Indianapolis neighborhoods like Martindale-Brightwood and Haughville for more than twenty years. He came to Indianapolis at the invitation of Mayor Steve Goldsmith to help grass roots neighborhood leaders take ownership of their areas and help rebuild. Rev. Webster and Dr. Woodson took questions about the visit and the church’s “boot camp” ministry from Amos and Abdul and listeners.  Along with a general discussion of how to improve African-American neighborhoods and communities.  Click the Arrow to Hear the Full Interview with Webster and Woodson about Rep. Ryan’s unheralded visit to Indy’s Black community. Runs 38 Minutes ©2013 WTLC/Radio One.