EBR Students Get a First Hand Look at Presidential Politics in Iowa
- Dec 20, 07
Jasmine Gray and Javier Dunn interview Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democratic Presidential candidate.
Two East Baton Rouge Parish School System students received a rare opportunity to speak one on one with a candidate for President. 16 year old Jasmine Gray and 17 year old Javier Dunn were among 18 students from across the country selected from 3,600 students to go to Des Moines, Iowa to attend a Presidential forum.
Lameka Davis, a civics teacher at Valley Park Alternative Center, organized the selection process for the high school students. Davis says all students participated in a writing activity were they developed a vision statement for their school, community and the world. “The students really enjoyed it, because it was a real interactive project. They actually got to have their voices heard,” Davis said. Valley Park high school students read all of the vision statements and selected the best entries among them. Jasmine and Javier were chosen to represent the school and Louisiana in Iowa.
The November 30-December 3, 2007, trip was paid for by the New York based Active Citizen Project. Two Presidential forums were held in Des Moines, Iowa over this weekend. All of the Democratic candidates for President attended the forums. Republican candidates were also invited.
Students from nine states were given special assignments while attending the forums. Jasmine and Javier received the coveted task of interviewing Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democratic candidate for President. This was the beginning of a learning experience for both students. “I didn’t know he was a candidate,” Javier said. The students were allowed to ask Rep. Kucinich any questions they had in mind. “We didn’t want to ask any common questions he would be prepared for,” Jasmine recalled. She even called in reinforcements for help. “I asked my dad for some questions, “she admitted.
Jasmine and Javier were also a part of Rep. Kucinich’s team for the day. They rode with him to the forum and both students were allowed back stage to watch the teams of the Presidential candidates do their jobs. The students also met and interviewed many business and political leaders such as Cathy Hughes, CEO of the TV-One cable network, Iowa State Representatives Ako Abdul-Samad and Wayne Ford, and Civil Rights Activist Joe Lowry of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
The Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum is the nation's oldest minority Presidential Forum. In attendance for the forum were Senator Hillary R. Clinton, Senator Chris Dodd, Senator John Edwards, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Senator Barack Obama and Governor Bill Richardson.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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