Derek Brown Giving Back to the North Lawndale Community

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Derek Brown was born and raised in the North Lawndale community. He runs a boxing program called Boxing Out Negativity. Brown wants to give back to the community because while growing up, he did not have any of the programs or opportunities the young people in his community have today.

Boxing Out Negativity is a teen boxing/mentoring program, which is a unique program striving to make youth ready for the real world. Brown feels that this program is not about just punches; in fact, they do not want their students to be just boxers. The techniques they learn are only tools to find the true meaning of boxing.

Participants in the program will learn many techniques, like using the opponent’s power against himself, as well as punches. Putting aside the physical aspect of boxing, there is also the mental aspect of the program.

What makes Boxing Out Negativity different from other programs or activities, is that they place emphasis on the mental aspect of boxing, as well as the physical aspect. They believe that with mental training, their students can achieve anything they want (like a high level of physical development and fitness, or academic achievement such as a PhD). Physical training alone, cannot prepare their youth for all aspects of life. Instead, Boxing Out Negativity is training their youth that boxing is an art, and as an art, it has beauties which they always talk about.

Brown teaches only ages 8 to 18 because at the age of 8 one can keep up with everything, and at that age one knows how to run, ride a bike, etc… He stops at the age of 18 because a long time ago he had some 18-year-old fighters and some grown men. It was hard to train them all, even as he was able to teach them how to fight. When they got better at fighting they left and became golden glove champions.

Derek Brown gets donations for Boxing Out Negativity from all over. One hundred percent of donations go straight to the program in order to buy equipment, pay for transportation, food, and other educational costs. Brown recently  incorporated his program, which means that now his program is a business or as he explained, it is also a corporation. He has a 501C3 which is an exemption from the government and because of this, now Boxing Out Negativity can receive funding from the government thanks to his exemption status. The program is also allowed to receive funding from private corporations.

Brown wants to start looking for a bigger and better gym. He wants to not only have a boxing gym but also a group home for homeless kids and teens. He said he just wants to keep them educated and just help them to grow to be better children and make better people for our community.

Derek Brown is a big help to the North Lawndale community, and he is making the neighborhood feel like home sweet home again.

Written by Yana Lavow
Edited by Kimberley Spinney


North Lawndale Boxing League: Boxing Out Negativity

Interview: Derek Brown – July 26, 2018

Image Courtesy of Boxing Out Negativity – Used with permission


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