His vocation is as a minister, but William James’ avocation is to find solutions to the problems that concern his parishioners. He has used his social ethics academic background to write two books, both of which are on best-seller lists on amazon.com. Single Mothers Raising Sons in a Fatherless Home is a collection of narratives about individual boys at various stages of their development and the challenges faced by their single moms at those times. A discussion follows each narrative, with strategies for guiding boys toward productive adulthood. “A boy needs a mentor or a role model,” Dr. James explains, “because there are some things a boy cannot discuss with his mother. A single mom can raise a healthy young man, but it helps to have a male friend or relative give him the attention he deserves and the guidance and self-identity only a man can offer.” James’s second book Urban Gardening: How to Grow Food Opportunities and Hope with Hydroponics is a look at a Toledo program that develops hydroponic gardens in abandoned buildings. “We partner with local community groups to grow the vegetables and work with stores and back-end buyers to sell our produce. The food is all natural with no genetic manipulation or preservatives, and is the perfect part of healthy diets, so necessary in populations with such high obesity and diabetes rates.
James and his group are working with Toledo Public Schools to encourage students to consider career paths related to agriculture. More on his book, and the subject of the book, at www.sustainablelocalfoods.com.