Urban League hosts Weekend of Hope

(l to r): Meghan Curran, Tenn. Dept. of Education; Erin Lynch, Ed.D., Austin Peay State University; Ken Green, Tenn. Dept. of Education; Kevin Huffman, Commissioner, Tenn. Dept. of Education.     photo: Cass Teague

(l to r): Meghan Curran, Tenn. Dept. of Education; Erin Lynch, Ed.D., Austin Peay State University; Ken Green, Tenn. Dept. of Education; Kevin Huffman, Commissioner, Tenn. Dept. of Education. photo: Cass Teague

The Tennessee Urban League Affiliates (TULA), an unincorporated association of the National Urban League, recently held a full weekend of events from July 31-August 3 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The goal of the ‘Nashville Children’s Sabbath: A Weekend of Hope’ was to unite communities and faith congregations in improving children’s lives. The program was designed to echo the belief of the Children’s Defense Fund that every child should have a ‘Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start.’

The weekend began on July 31 with an Ecumenical service with special guest Tennessee Department of Children’s Service Commissioner James M. Henry. It was held in the Fisk University Appleton Room of Jubilee Hall with the theme ‘Precious in God’s Sight: Answering the Call to Cherish and Protect Every Child.’

Immediately following the breakfast service, a Citywide Conference and luncheon was held in Fisk University’s Park-Johnson Hall. The keynote speaker was David Johns, the executive director of White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.

(l to r): Robert Robinson, Nekeia Booker, Patricia Stokes, Briana Johnson, Charles Fields, and Erin Lynch.    photo: Cass Teague

(l to r): Robert Robinson, Nekeia Booker, Patricia Stokes, Briana Johnson, Charles Fields, and Erin Lynch. photo: Cass Teague

On August 1, the Weekend of Hope resumed at the Regions Bank Downtown Branch building at 150 4th Ave. N., with a ‘Lunch and Learn’ program featuring Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman.

Later that evening two special family dinner programs, sponsored by Tyson Foods, were held at The Village Church, 211 N. 11th Street, in East Nashville, and St. Luke’s Primitive Baptist Church at 135 Lewis Street in South Nashville. The concept was ‘Let’s Talk’ for the Family Supper.

“Let’s talk about family. Let’s talk about our children and our dreams for our children. Let’s talk about the challenges that seem to stand in our way. Let’s talk about how we (individual families and the community) can work together to ensure our children’s success.”

On August 2, the Love’s Healthy Start Festival presented by Tyson Foods in partnership with the Know Hunger Nashville Project was held in Hadley Park, 1037 28th Avenue.

The weekend concluded on Sunday with a day of worship and prayer calling on the community to nurture and protect children at churches throughout the city.

The Tennessee Urban League Affiliates (TULA) is an unincorporated association of the National Urban League affiliates within the state of Tennessee in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis. All are state registered non-profit corporations, providing workforce development to adults and youths in their respective communities.

TULA, in partnership with the National Urban League, is a partner in the Equity and Excellence Program (EEP). The EEP targets five focus areas: Common Core state standards; equitable and improved access to high-quality curricula and effective teachers; comprehensive, aligned and transparent education and employment data systems; equity and excellence at scale; and out of school time learning (emphasis on expanded day and effective summer learning).