Despite, snow, ice Black Tie Guys travel Memphis for King Holiday

Despite, snow, ice Black Tie Guys travel Memphis for King Holiday

This weekend, 48 members of the youth mentoring program, the Black Tie Guys, are set to travel to Memphis, Tennessee, to participate in the National Martin Luther King Day celebration. The event, hosted at the National Civil Rights Museum, formerly known as the Lorraine Hotel, will mark the first visit of these Monroe youth.

The group will depart from Monroe on Sunday and is scheduled to return Monday night after engaging in various King Day activities at the historic museum.

The Lorraine Motel, a site of immense historical significance, is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was tragically assassinated. This visit aims to provide the Monroe youth with a comprehensive view of the Civil Rights Struggle through interactive exhibits that span from the era of slavery to the election of President Barack Obama.

In preparation for this trip, the participants have been meeting weekly, learning the details of Dr. King’s life and the broader narrative of African-Americans’ fight for freedom from slavery and equal access to public accommodations.

The Black Tie Guys program, renowned for its focus on inspiring young men to achieve excellence through travel and its unique structured program, is one of many male mentoring programs in Monroe working to inspire excellence in young men.

Participants learn about government, history, and leadership as the organization takes its members on educational travels across the United States and provides $5,000 or more in scholarships upon graduation and qualifying for enrollment in a four-year university.

Sponsored by Tab-N-Action, Inc., the initiative, formerly known as the “Top Gun Leadership Academy,” continues to operate under its new name while maintaining its core strategies and objectives.

Notably, the program has garnered national recognition. It was cited by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as one of the top 1000 youth programs in the country. Their extensive travels and experiences were also featured in a four-page color spread titled “Time Travelers” in the International Scouting Magazine.

The mentorship and guidance provided to the Black Tie Guys come from a dedicated team, including Rev. Damian Coleman, Rev. Nathanial Ward, Rev. James Garland Smith, Coach Drozon Quillen, Roger Thompson, and Michael and Patricia Johnson. Their commitment to nurturing future leaders is reflected in the program’s success and the impactful experiences it offers its young participants.

The Black Tie Guys are set to gain invaluable insights into the historical struggles and triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement, further shaping their understanding of leadership and social justice.

The program is funded by the Ouachita Parish Police Jury and the State of Louisiana through efforts of the local legislative delegation

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