Since 2015, they’ve been the sound of the first day of school in Hartford. Calling All Brothers, a collective of mostly African American community leaders and professionals, has stood outside of the capital city’s schools to welcome kids back in spectacular fashion with cheers, high fives and firm handshakes to get them excited about learning.
With concerns about COVID-19 and the delta variant stopping an in-person welcome this year, they took the greeting online, shooting a video with the same spirited welcome message.
Pastor AJ Johnson is one of Calling All Brothers’ founders, and says despite the pandemic, the group still wanted to send a special message to the city’s kids.
“What we said was let’s just make a video that gives the energy of what we expect and how we would be there and show up for them,” said Johnson.
The 2021 greeting filled with community leaders including Hartford’s mayor, attorneys, members of the police department, radio personalities and more speaking directly to kids to say no matter the odds, you can achieve your dreams.
They’re words of affirmation backed by the support of a group of men standing up for the next generation of their community, wishing Connecticut’s kids nothing but the very best.
“Go be the best that you can be and make us proud,” said Johnson.
Calling All Brothers also recorded welcome back messages for CT teachers.