Black Votes Matter Institute of Community Engagement
Background: The seed for the Black Votes Matter Youth initiative is as a response to the lack of knowledge of the black history and the civil rights movement. In order for our youth to become effective leaders, they must learn and have respect for their own history. The Black Votes Matter Tour was designed to address this void. Students are chosen from nominations made by various grassroots organizations serving youth, such as the HOPE Center, Avenue Scholars, 100 Black Men, Urban League, Big Brothers Big Sisters and more. In addition to individual donations, we received significant grants from The Sherwood Foundation, The Weitz Family Foundation, Omaha Community Foundation African American Unity Fund, and Barbara Weitz. Our proceeds employ North Omaha vendors and service providers. Since its original design, the Tour has been continually enhanced including the pre and post tour experiences, the addition of tour content, the tracking of outcomes and enhancements and maximizing potential student outcomes. This comprehensive report will address the efficacy of the Black Votes Matter tour and ask for your continued support.
The 2019 Tour: The 2019 tour ended Saturday, June 22nd, 2019, after a whirlwind Black History Tour through Memphis, Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery, and Atlanta. This year’s tour included 100 people, 65 being high school students, mostly from Omaha Public Schools. There were two full chartered buses as well as a trailing van. As is customary we included a nurse, chaperones, daily reflections, and journaling. This year’s participants experienced non-violent methods of the 60’s, such as the lunch counter sit-in protest in Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights museum, and learned and discussed as many as 198 other non-violent methods to add to their tool kit. The youth 1 and adults are prepared for the next dialogue on human rights while we continue to advocate for economic empowerment through the Black Votes Matter Institute of Community Engagement.
Love, Preston Jr., "2019 Black Votes Matter Tour: Comprehensive Report with Data Detail Breakout" (2019). Black Studies Faculty Publications. 11.
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