Community leaders mentor Fresno's young black men at city hall

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Sunday, November 13, 2022
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The ladies of San Joaquin Valley Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted an event around building mentorship for African American males by exposing them to profe

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Community leaders and one local organization came together to empower youth in Fresno.

Dozens of young men were able to exercise their voice at Fresno's City Hall.

The ladies of San Joaquin Valley Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted an event around building mentorship for African American males by exposing them to professional male leaders in the community.

The students were able to tour city hall for the first time ever and learn about local politics.

The young men even had a mock city Council meeting discussing students utilizing cell phones in the school.

Community leader Pastor DJ Criner says these types of events help expose Fresno youth to political participation at a young age.

"Part of the reason this is so vital for our community and for your kids Is a lot of these children have never seen City Hall, number one, number two, they've never understood or been taught or seen that their VOICE is just as vital as the voices that occupy City Hall on a regular basis," Criner said.

Attendee Daray Bland is a 10th grader at Sanger West High School. He says, "Today I learned how to make better decisions, and hearing other peoples voices.. like everybody else's opinions about things."

Other speakers included Central Valley Urban Institute's Executive Director Eric Payne, educator Dr. Darren Miller, Assistant City Manager Gregory Barfield, and the special guest was council president Nelson Esparza.

For more information about how to become a mentor or how to get your student can get involved in future programs, email sjvaeducationaldevelopment@gmail.com.