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Rising Stars hopes to break barriers

Mentoring group Rising Stars for Christ will host its first annual Men’s Forum at Lipsey School Gymnasium at 2 p.m. April 30. The event is free to attend and refreshments will be served.

The theme for the event is breaking down barriers. Event coordinator Latasha Fields said the group hopes to stop violence before it starts by providing young men with positive role models.

“We are inviting young men ages 12 and older,” Fields said. “We believe that if we empower our young men, we can build a stronger community. If we build a stronger community, we can decrease the crime rate in our city.

“This event will allow young men to interact with successful men in the community who can lead them on the right path and give them the tools they need to be successful.”

Alexander Junior High Principal Patrick Hardy will host a panel including Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Garrick Combs, Rhema Word youth minister Alvin Giddens, Brookhaven School District Deputy Superintendent Rod Henderson, Anointed Nephrology owner James Hall and Easthaven Baptist Church member Roger Martin.

Fields said the panelists, all prevalent members of the community, have each overcome hardships in their life. The panel will share their story and also answer questions from attendees.

Rising Stars was originally founded to be a mentoring group for young women ages 12-22. Fields said she hopes this event will spark similar mentoring groups for young men. Parents attending the event will be able to leave their name if they’re interested in their child joining a mentoring group.

“This event is just the foundation for something greater,” Fields said. “We want our young men to know that there are other alternatives and people are here to help them.”

Fields said they are also looking for sponsors for the event. She can be reached at 601-757-7461.

“This is a men’s forum that you don’t want to miss,” Fields said.