A Walk for Change in Guilford County

Edited by Deja Mayfield

Jamille Whitlow, TheYard Editor

The Village Mentoring Inc. hosted a community walk in honor of Ahmaud Arbery and the lives of African-Americans that have passed. 

The community walk commenced on Saturday, Sept. 19th, in front of the Greensboro Four statue. 

Before the event began, Jordan Tate, N.C. A&T’s Mister Freshman, delivered a speech on racial injustice. The walk ended at the International Civil Rights Museum, where participants held a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, in honor of George Floyd. 

Throughout the event, the Village Mentoring Inc. had voter registration forms for participants to fill out. Brenda Caldwell, N.C. A&T’s SGA president, participated in the walk and assisted in spreading awareness about the importance of voting. 

The event’s guest speaker, Charles Bess, hosted a Q&A session with the crowd. Bess was recently honored at the International Civil Rights Museum, because he was the only African-American dishwasher at Woolworth’s Lunch Counter during the Greensboro Sit-In Movement.

The Village Mentoring Inc. was established in 2017 by N.C. A&T alumnus, Trevor Rudd. In a span of three years, this organization has worked with over 150 African-American male students in Guilford County. Rudd expressed his interest in starting a nonprofit organization when he was a student on campus. 

“I wanted this organization to support African-American male students. I wanted to create a program that would allow me to support young men on campus by offering them opportunities to expand their leadership,” Rudd said. 

This year, the organization’s vision is “Playing your Part.” The vision has three focus points: 

  • Supporting male students during the pandemic in grade schools
  • Voter registration
  • Supporting the black community by taking a stance on racial injustice and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement”

Due to social distancing restrictions, the Village Mentoring Inc. has created their own virtual academic program. This program allows students to have mentorship and academic support from the organization’s members. As a result, this resource has helped N.C. A&T male students when it comes to leadership, fellowship, and a brotherhood overall. 

Jalen Sims, a junior information technology student, developed the Ahmaud Arbery Community Walk. He wanted to bring emphasis to the Black Lives Matter movement since he felt that news coverage has plateaued since the summer. After joining this organization last year, and then being elected secretary this semester, he feels that being in the organization has improved his skills.

“Ultimately, it has helped me network with students at N.C. A&T and students outside of the university. Putting me in the forefront of this event is a great experience and it looks good on my resume,” Sims said. “It’s really like a brotherhood, and it’s very genuine” 

For more information about the Village Mentoring Inc., their site is here. Donations can be made via Paypal and to the organization’s Cash app, $thevillagementoring. All proceeds go to the Black Lives Matter movement and the Village Mentoring’s annual scholarship fund for African-American males.