Still out there on the battlefield, as the battle to stem the disturbing trend (or reality) of students who are dropping out of high school. Just as it is done in multiple areas of the state, including last June's summit in Atlanta, the Georgia District of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is pressing on in their partnership with other organizations in providing improved access to resources as it relates to areas of concern and disconnect regarding those who decide to discontinue their education.
Little do they know that doing so often times can lead to alternatives that are far from workable, including getting caught up in the prison to pipeline system.
This Saturday, August 24th, in conjunction with the Georgia Legal Services Program, the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, and the Southern Center for Human Rights, from 10am to 1pm, the ongoing Keep Youth in School series, the statewide initiative for high school dropout prevention, is taking place. Held at Berean Christian Church (in Snellville), the focus is providing students, parents, and other concerned individuals in the community sharing and exchanging of data regarding the issues and factors that contribute to the dropout rate. Sharing and exchanging of effective strategies, improved awareness of student and parent rights related to discipline and other interrelated maters are among the topics up for discussion.
Rob Rhodes (Director of Projects from the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice) is speaking on the topic of the school to prison pipeline issue; Georgia Legal Services Program attorney (and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.) Ira Foster is addressing the topic of knowledge of one's legal rights. Melanie Velez (attorney from the Southern Center of Human Rights) is providing insight regarding one's rights as it relates to juvenile court and detention practices.
With a 70% likelihood of a young man who drops out of school eventually landing in the jail or prison system, there is a need to be as proactive as possible in empowering the community, along with improving measures to "buck" this growing trend and reality. The workshop is free and open to the public; those who are interested in learning more information may call 770-851-9376.
The symposium isn't just reflective of the larger fraternity's 106 year history and legacy of leadership and service, or a mandated program. It is identifying an area of concern with our communities and doing their part, combined with the efforts of others, to help better problem-solve in making the places in which we live, work, and play better for all. With as many entities as possible committed to doing their part, great things can happen.
And, we can transcend all...