This week’s Leadership Tidbits with Coach Tee Wilson features special guest Nason Buchanan. Nason’s purpose and goal has long centered on empowering youth and their families and he has since become a dedicated and influential man of service in Los Angeles. 

Here are some game-changing facts about him…

Since early 2011, Buchanan has worked with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD). The GRYD Program is a comprehensive gang reduction program and aims to effectively reduce gang crime and violence in specific geographic areas (GRYD Zones) through the application of evidence-based gang prevention, intervention, and reentry strategies. Beginning as a Regional Manager during Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s administration, he covered multiple GRYD Zones in Los Angeles South Bureau while collaborating with a range of stakeholders including intervention agencies, LAPD divisions, community organizations, community members, schools, faith-based institutions, and juvenile justice agencies. Since Mayor Eric Garcetti took office in 2013, Buchanan has continued to lead within the GRYD office facilitating various initiatives for Proactive Peacekeeping including the city’s Gun Buy Back program, President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and the Prevention Strategy within the South Los Angeles GRYD Zones while also increasing organizations’ partnerships and alliances citywide. He also led the Mayor’s Office GRYD Domestic Violence and Gang Nexus initiative across the city and continues to work with other community stakeholders to shape important education awareness campaigns, trainings, and crucial organizational collaborations. Buchanan has also spearheaded, developed and executed multiple programs that have significantly contributed to the success of the GRYD office as well as the city as a whole.

In addition to leading numerous programs and initiatives throughout the city, Buchanan has also been invited to a variety of speaking engagements, community forums, and conferences—locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition to this work, he is the founder of DMTL nonprofit organization—the initials bare the names of immediate family members that he lost to a violent crime in 2002. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated and serves on the Board of Directors for Brother II Brother Mentorship Organization and Sunburst Youth Academy Foundation.

Once we dove into the interview, Mr. Buchanan was not shy about sharing his personal experiences and growth to leadership. He shared with us nuggets of wisdom his mother told him as a kid. She used to say “Use your head for more than a hat rack.” Mr. Buchanan also shed some light about what has been going on in South LA and that working there has been an eye opener. The simple fact that there’s so many people losing their lives, and  getting shot on a daily basis just because of the communities that they live in or because they  fit a certain description. 

One pearl of wisdom Mr. Buchanan wanted to leave the listeners with is that a closed mouth does not get fed. Also, “Once you convince yourself that you’re great then you can convince others that you’re great.If you don’t believe in yourself, people can see it, people can feel it, and people can hear it in your voice.”

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