By Edward Henderson
One of the most rewarding jobs I ever had was working with the YWCA as a coordinator in their after school program. The kids challenged me to be transparent and assertive every day. Especially with the ones who gave me the most headaches discipline wise. Physical altercations between the youth were one of the most common areas I had to intervene in. Their favorite excuse to give when asked why they started fighting was, ‘my mother told me if someone hits me, I have to hit them back.’ These statements were substantiated with pride by parents during meetings. San Diego native Dalesean Lynch received similar instructions from his mother regarding fighting as a child and it almost led to his incarceration. Today, Lynch has launched Amir Alliance for Success, a business encouraging people to walk away from volatile situations and the mindsets that fuel them.
Last year, during a night out in the Gaslamp District with family and friends, Lynch’s brother was involved in a scuffle that escalated quickly. Lynch jumped into the fight and delivered significant physical damage to his opponent including a fractured eye and seizure. The authorities got involved and Lynch was facing 17 years imprisonment.
“I won that fight, but I almost lost my job and my family,” Lynch said. “My mother always told me when somebody hits me, I should hit them back. I never thought about the things I could possibly loose.”
Lynch graduated from Lincoln High School and coaches basketball there today. He also mentors 4th and 5th graders. Because of character witnesses from his community contacts, he was given probation, anger management and a fine instead of prison time. Lynch decided to do something positive with his second chance at life and started to brainstorm ideas on how to accomplish it. In conversations with friends, Lynch would constantly lament getting involved with the fight. He came up with the phrase ‘Walk Away, No Drama Today’ and it later became the launching point for his business.
T-shirts with the ‘Walk Away, No Drama Today’ phrase are sold by Amir Alliance and they also plan to facilitate workshops on conflict resolution.
“It’s about changing thinking patterns,” Lynch said. “It starts at home. A lot of our kids in our community are taught the same way I was. My whole goal is to promote positive lifestyle changes and inspire leadership within children, youth and families.”
While Amir Alliance is a for-profit entity, it has the soul of a non-profit. Money raised from t-shirt sales have funded six Lincoln High School seniors’ tickets to grad night who couldn’t afford it and a Lupus awareness walk.
Satimah Abdullah is a silent partner with the business and grandmother to his son Amir, who the alliance is named after. Abdullah served as a mentor for Lynch during his hardships and was inspired by his drive to make change. His passion prompted her to get involved with the work he was doing.
“Dalesean is where he is today because of all the alliances who stepped up, advocated for him and really mentored him through everything,” Abdullah said.
The greatest challenge Lynch has faced promoting his message has been from individuals who question if walking away from a fight is a valid option and what he would tell his own children if they were being bullied.
“I wouldn’t allow my children to get bullied,” Lynch said. “Most arguments start with an argument. Once you notice you have a chance to walk away. If you keep going back to your pride and ego, those feelings aren’t going to let you go away. I remind them they always have a choice.”
Looking ahead, Lynch wants to take the business worldwide and create a facility where workshops can be run. To learn more about the Amir Alliance for Success, visit their website at amirallianceforsuccess.com.