On Friday September 4th FFLIC held its’ second annual Back to School Block Party in Lake Charles. About 230 community members and FFLIC members were in attendance at the two day event. A large delegation of the New Orleans chapter attended as well. Participants took part in various community and skill building activities and workshops at the McMillian Center.
FFLIC has been working with kids and families at the McMillian Center to educate them on dismantling the school to prison pipeline, how to reform the juvenile justice system and ways of advocating for their families and communities. Families will be empowered if they can turn to each other in times of crisis and demand they receive fair treatment. Often families involved in with FFLIC are visctims of harsh punishment for minor infractions leading to ruined lives and over representation in the juvenile and adult justice and systems.
A popular feature at the Block Party was the FFLIC Wish Tree that helps provide school supplies. Families wrote down three supplies they needed and put the requests in an envelope and attached it to the tree. The night of the family focus night and sponsors pulled names from the tree the day of the block and help to provide these clothes and school supplies.
On the menu were hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks for the kids. Ms. Charmaine’s delicious jambalaya and red beans and rice were also served. She is a great cook! In promotion of healthy living, Ms. Lona Cross made her famous summertime drink. The secret recipe includes lemons and oranges. It was perfect treat for the hot September days in Lake Charles.
Various entertainers were showcased at the McMillian Center, including a DJ and a special guest, 10 year old Dajamnae Duhon who is a singer and poet. FFLIC kids rapped and danced for the event and did praise dancing. Charles Banks, a motivational speaker and the subject of an HBO documentary, “Gang Banging in Little Rock”, spoke about his involvement in gangs and tactics to resisting peer pressure. The kids were fascinated with him. The Brotha & Sista organization worked very closely with FFLIC to gather donations to give to children and providing entertainment for the younger kids.
FFLIC signed up many new members and all attendees are looking forward to next year’s Back to School Block Party where we will continue educating the public on the issues that affect our families and community.