Ezra’s dad, Pastor Ezra Tillman Jr., of First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, told WNEM he supports his son’s passion “because you can’t make passion.” “It is something that is within,” he said. “And so, we’re proud to see that he’s another extension that will make a great contribution to our world,”
The school in Grand Blanc Township is located about 10 miles southeast of Flint, and the Tillman family has dedicated itself to improving conditions for Black residents disproportionally affected by the Flint water crisis. Mayor Sheldon Neeley awarded Tillman Jr. a key to the city last May after he founded the Revive Community Health Center to address health disparities facing people of color, according to MLive.com.
The church also forged a partnership with 501CThree, a nonprofit founded by actor Jaden Smith, to equip the city with its first portable system to filter water, the news site reported. “This is a great honor. I am humbled by it and grateful,” Tillman Jr. told MLive.com. “It’s nice knowing your impact goes beyond what you think. I do anticipate doing greater things in the future, we are far from finished.”
That much seems like a certainty, especially in reference to Ezra Tillman III. “I really thank my parents here for letting me have this opportunity to show other people and our school more about black history and African Americans, and I’m just very proud,” he told WNEM.