The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s (UAPB) Agriculture Department, Black Male Achievers and Essence of a Woman (campus organizations) joined author Jason Irby on September 14, 2014 at the offices of Senator Stephanie Flowers to give presentations and discussions and address the subject of stopping violence.
Irby, the author of Love Within Life: So, You Want To Stop Violence, hosted the latest book event to encourage the youth to make wise choices. Irby also continued to urge the sports leagues to uphold personal conduct standards and reject rap and hip-hop songs that are violent, inappropriate and contradict the leagues personal conduct policies.
UAPB’s mentoring organizations Black Male Achievers (BMA) and Essence of a Woman (EOAW) were an impressive presence. They displayed the beauty and energy of youth along with wisdom and integrity of future leaders.
Alexander Watkins of (BMA) explained to the audience that young people do not want to be looked upon as violent. He stated that their mentoring group’s mission is to serve the community while being a positive influence to the youth.
Both BMA and EOAW visit local schools to give presentations to the students. The women in EOAW spoke and reinforced the message presented by Watkins.
Dr. Henry English of UAPB’s Agriculture Department presented an informational exhibit that promoted a career in agriculture as an alternative to violence. Dr. English stated that today’s agriculture provides a high tech and comparable salary which are far different from the previous image of picking and chopping cotton.
Deloris Burkett King, a retired teacher in the Jefferson County-Wabbaseka School Districts, now conducts workshops that teach the youth develop self-esteem.
Nyeshia Aldridge, CEO of the Jefferson County Boys and Girls Club, informed the audience that the Boys and Girls Club offers a facility with programs that emphasize character and leadership development in a safe environment.
Shannice Eans of The Raw Fitness Boot Camp said the state of wellness is related to one’s physical and mental health. Stress however affects all aspects of wellness. Reduce the levels of stress by increasing the level of wellness in the community and decreasing the violence in that community.
Senator Flowers ended the event by advising the participants and organizations to reach out to each other and decision makers to help solve the issues surrounding violence. She invited everyone to engage in the conversation by offering suggestions and comments.