2015 has been a rewarding and wonderfully incredible year. So many great events and activities took place. The year began with a “stop violence” feature of me in the January issue at SEALife Magazine. The article on pages 16 and 17 reported my efforts to address violence as well as reviewing my book Love Within Life, influences in my life while growing up, and future goals toward Awareness, Wellness and Choices forums
One of my happiest moments of 2015 was re-introducing my dad to our historical family’s equipment from the 1940s that’s now in a local museum (my mom and dad were so surprised). My dad used the horse-drawn disk at the tender age of seven years old.
Hosting forums like Distinguished Arkansas Women of History, Awareness, Wellness and Choices Forum, and The End of Year Review were privileges to enjoy the presence and mingle with great people from the community with common goals to make better communities and opportunities.
I had a great time participating in two media productions, “Boys of Summer” Documentary and “Little Rock Zoo” Commercial.
There were great opportunities that allowed me to speak to groups of grades school and college students. Talking about life and choices in life left great impressions on both the youth and students
Most of the spring and summer were spent implementing a farming and conservation initiative. The three- phase project which included hardwood trees, native grasses, and a shallow water area was completed in September. The area is now ready to begin projects that help students development and learning.
Even though the conservation project was a 2015 priority I had great opportunities in traveling to Atlanta, GA to host and attend a book signing. I traveled to Jackson, TN to attend a book reading/signing by author Chris Abani along with Perry Burroughs. In Shreveport, LA, I co-hosted the book and business seminar at VFW Post 4588. I participated with the Boys and Girls Club “Youth Workshop” in Pine Bluff, AR. I participated with several community organizations around the state including A-State Corvette Association.
I received prestigious recognitions this year for my community efforts. I was awarded Civic Recognition in the categories of Kindness and Compassion. I felt so humbled and honored when I was shown the writings in the pages of Arkansas’ Capitol Historian David Ware’s book, IT’S OFFICIAL, about Arkansas History. I was recognized for founding and establishing the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial.
Several initiatives were begun including partnerships with other organizations and businesses. The Jason IRBY INNOVATION Foundation was initiated in November with the purpose of supporting community opportunity, and creativity. This joint effort is shared between my two sons, dad and others.
There are other initiatives that began in November and will follow through into 2016. Details are currently being completed.
I have spearheaded along with partnering with officials of the Arkansas Secretary of State Office and Arkansas State Fair, a contest to establish an original Arkansas named dish. The dish will be named after the state of Arkansas or a city, township, etc. Details are currently being worked out. The grand prize and finale will be held at the 2016 Arkansas State Fair. A press release will be announced soon.
I have also formed a partnership with historians, UALR’s Institute on Ethnicity and Race and the College of Social Sciences and Communications to bring an Arkansas heritage celebration of Black History Month for February.
Again, this has been an incredible year and I thank you all for your support. Believe me, it all seems worth the effort when I receive your outreach, response and when I receive letters from those who are as young as 7 year-old Allie and 5 year-old Austin Wright.
I am continually given the encouragement and courage to continue moving forward.