Jegna holds empowerment event in Lima

LIMA — A Lima business has come alongside an organization working to give youth an alternative to violence.

The Jegna Corporation held the I’m at Promise weekend on Saturday in Lima. According to a recent press release, the event hoped to strengthen youth and families in the community while also bringing education and encouragement. In addition to the weekend events, the organization hosted a brunch on Thursday afternoon to bring the community together.

Emmanuel Curtis announced a new partnership with Cenovus Energy. The business donated a check for $25,000 for the group’s newest project.

“What is a product we can offer these young men so they see that they are more than violence,” Shawn Russell said. “I spoke with Emmunual and said, ‘Hey, let’s get a trade center together and provide financial literacy courses.’”

The organization hopes to provide courses and place them where young men can grow and learn.

“We bought a house and this is where we are today,” Russell said. “Sometimes we get frustrated but we have to stay the course.”

“It is just the beginning,” Cenovus Senior Communications Advisor Heather Rutz said. “We cannot wait to see where this project goes. We are just really excited to get going on the project.”

Throughout the brunch, community leaders spoke on empowerment.

“(I want youth attending to have) the feeling of empowerment,” keynote speaker Baruti Kafele said. “I feel like I can do a little more with myself, but I also understand some of what I need to do my responsibility, I want them to know their obligation moving forward as a result of spending time in this space today.”

Speaker Dr. Chike Akua presented on the idea of the ‘cradle to prison’ pipeline, a concept outlining the social conditions that lead to higher incarceration in the Black community.

“I would want them to walk away knowing that they have tremendous power,” Akua said. “I also want them to know they can combat all of the ills that are coming at them. They have to get their education and be knowledgeable about their history, their culture, their power and their potential.”

For more information on the Jegna organization visit their Facebook page at Jegna Lima.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.