On Tuesday October 3, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., attend the Man the Block Kick-Off block party at Richard Wright School for Journalism and Media Arts (770 M St. SE). The party kicks off the seventh year of the Man the Block program.
Man the Block is a Safe Passage program that was initiated by Richard Wright Public Charter School in 2011, the year the school was opened. Initially, teachers and staff stood outside the school to ensure students safety to and from bus and metro stops and on the streets.
The school invited the community, including neighbors and local businesspeople to stand with them to ensure safety, deflect harassment, and deter crime and violence, while building relationships and increasing mentorship opportunities within the community.
Helen Compton-Harris, a representative of the school, said that the program builds community and in so doing, builds the school as well. “When kids feel safe, they come to school which of course improves attendance,” she said.
The block party is simultaneously a celebration of the program and an invitation to community members to participate in the program. Compton-Harris says it is a community building event that builds a bridge between neighbors, business owners, the school and the students.
The event includes an appearance by Doug E. Fresh, the pioneer of American beat-box, words from student participants, entertainment and information about the program and how to participate.