Five students being mentored through the Pine Bluff Pen or Pencil Initiative will travel Aug. 25-27 to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 50th anniversary March on Washington Memorial Youth Mentoring Summit.
William Fells III, Demetris Johnson, Jordan Sims, Moriah Houston and Tatianna Montgomery are students.
“This is a huge event of great significant, as well as an outstanding opportunity for these Pine Bluff youngsters to be involved in this historical event,” said the Rev. Jesse C. Turner, Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc. executive director. “ICVR’s five mentees will represent Pine Bluff and the state of Arkansas; the Honorable Mark Pryor serves as an honorary committee member for the event.”
Sponsors include the National Alliance of Faith and Justice, the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation African American Experience Fund, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the U.S. Department of Justice Pen or Pencil Initiative. The summit will solicit input from young people to help develop messages that resonate with their peers with the aim of enhancing academic outcomes and reducing risk behavior.
The summit is part of a five-day celebration of events (www.mlkdream50.com) with the theme, “Our World, His Dream: Freedom — Make it Happen,” led by the coalition of national legacy organizations who were originally involved to honor the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as well as this official youth event presented by the National Park Service.
ICVR collaborates with the Pine Bluff and Dollarway school districts, the Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County and the Pine Bluff Police Department to implement Pen or Pencil in Pine Bluff.