On October 25, 2014, Irby will host an event along with Arkansas State Senator Stephanie Flowers in observance of National Domestic Violence Month. The event will be held at the offices of Senator Flowers located at 217 Main Street in Pine Bluff, Arkansas beginning at 2:30pm.
Guest speakers and presenters will include Dorcas VanGilst, Director of Women’s Ministries at the Dorcas House for Women and Children, Reverent Edna Morgan of Healing Place Ministries, Nyeshia Aldridge of the Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County, and Robert Sturd, former Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department police officer. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Essence of a Woman youth mentoring organization, Shannice Ears of Fitness Boot Camp, Angela Johnson, Vice President of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s (UALR) Ethics Bowl Team, and Jasmine Barnett with the Pine Bluff Neighborhood Watch will also be in attendance.
At the two previous book releases and awareness events, Irby was joined by many community leaders and organizations. The first event was held June 14, 2014 at the William F. Laman Library Argenta Branch in downtown North Little Rock, Arkansas.
The second event was held on September 20th at the office of Senator Stephanie Flowers in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Guest speakers and presenters among both events included:
- Nationally recognized resource officer Tommy Norman of the North Little Rock Police Department,
- North Little Rock Fire Department firemen Williams and Black,
- Pam Sell of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD),
- Gisele Hudson of the Arkansas Health Department,
- Darrel Evans of Seconds Protectors,
- Trumpet in Zion Children’s Ministry Staff,
- Motivational and self-esteem speaker Deloris Burkett-King,
- Sherry LaGrone of Jefferson County Comprehensive Care,
- UAPB’s Black Male Achievers and Essence of A Woman youth mentoring organizations,
- Arkansas State Senator Stephanie Flowers.
Other supporters included the Pulaski County’s Youth Accident Prevention Program and the Veterans Affairs Nutrition and Dietitian Department. Irby sponsored and hosted the event to acknowledge violence issues and promote his new book.
Irby’s new book, Love Within Life: So, You Want To Stop Violence? inspired Irby to create the Awareness, Wellness and Choices Fair which addressed violence issues including domestic violence, child abuse, bullying, peer pressure, and other inappropriate behaviors.
At the events, Irby presented concerns about messages in an overwhelming number of rap and hip-hop songs that promote violence and inappropriate behaviors. Irby urged the sports leagues and related sports entertainment to reject the use of rap and hip-hop music that promote inappropriate behavior.
“The sports leagues and sporting entertainment often use music to promote and cross-promote events. Sports and music are two of the most influential sources for our youth’s behavior. The violence and inappropriate messages expressed in the specific songs contradict the conduct and ethical policies that govern the sports leagues and we have experienced recent examples of those violations,” Irby said.
At the Awareness, Wellness and Choices Fairs, Irby sent emails to the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as part of his presentation.
“For the sake of our youth and our future, it is my wish that people will choose wellness over violence,” expresses Irby. More awareness and book release presentations are planned by Irby to address violence awareness and wellness.