With appearances on BET's Rapcity, and numerous DJ gigs for celebrities such as 50 Cent, Michael Jordan and Jamie Foxx, it may be hard to believe David "DJ O.G. ONE" Jackson's day job is mentoring students at Jefferson High School. After all, what else is a world-famous DJ going to do to fill the day?
"The reasons for doing what I do is for the work I do with kids," Jackson/O.G. ONE says sitting in his classroom at Jefferson.
Rubbing shoulders with Jay Z, P.Diddy and NBA players at celebrity-filled events gives Jackson an undeniable influence over the high school students he mentors in his role as an SEI coordinator at the school. He's been doing this full time for the last five years.
"Kids are heavily influenced by the entertainment industry," he said, making it even more important that the messages about life on the street are balanced out with positive messages of giving back to the community. But his efforts to bring about change in the music industry, especially the local music industry, aren't solely based on the message coming out of the speakers, they're based on action. Jackson was the founder of the "Rose City Roundtable" – a collective that aimed to bring Portland's music artist's together to bring positive expression to the city. This spring, Jackson is hoping community goodwill can bring help to low-income families.
Jackson and local artist Kenny Mack of Making It Happen Records, are holding the inaugural "Good Look" Clothing Drive, with a target date set for May 9. The clothing drive aims to collect clothes for 30 to 40 families – or more if they're able to collect enough clothes – to be presented during a banquet with music and other entertainment.
Using his numerous contacts with social service agencies, Jackson sent out the word that he was looking for families in need of clothing. Unlike many essential goods, quality of clothing has a direct impact on children's self-esteem and self-image, says Jackson.
"When you get good clothes, it makes you feel good," said Jackson, who grew up in Watts wearing hand-me-downs and "$1.99 shoes from K-mart."
The cost of clothes for a family making minimum wage can also be a huge burden on a family's budget, and providing clothes for children can be a huge relief for low-income parent(s).
If you have clothes you'd like to donate, drop off sites include: Terrell Brandon's Barbershop, 1330 N.E. Alberta St.; both Popeye's Chicken locations; The Huddle Sports Bar, 825 N. Killingsworth St.; and other locations soon to be announced.
More information will be available on DJ O.G. One's Web site: www.myspace.com/djogone.