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City of Moreno Valley to Host Memorial Day Remembrances

MORENO VALLEY, CA- On Monday, May 29, the City of Moreno Valley will host several Memorial Day events to honor the sacrifices of our military men and women who selflessly laid down their lives defending our freedoms.

The day of somber remembrance begins in the morning with the annual West Coast Thunder Memorial Day Bike Ride/Parade along Sunnymead Blvd. The City of Moreno Valley will hold a Memorial Day Ceremony beginning at 2 p.m at the City’s Veterans Memorial.  

“It is important for the community to come together to honor the sacrifices made by our service men and women, and their families,” said Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez. “As a nation and as a community, we must always remember the high price of freedom – and those who paid that very dear price.”

West Coast Thunder Motorcycle Parade  

After the flag unfurling parade passes Riverside National Cemetery, the West Coast Thunder Bike Run/Parade will exit the 60 Freeway at Frederick St./Pigeon Pass Rd. at 9:30 a.m., then continue eastbound along Sunnymead Boulevard, re-entering California State Route 60 at Heacock St.

Riders will continue to Soboba Casino’s outdoor arena for a musical tribute to those who have given their lives for their country. 

The parade will last approximately an hour. Moreno Valley Police will begin closing the necessary streets at 8 a.m. to assist with the safety of all pedestrians and vehicles during this event. For road closure details, please visit the City of Moreno Valley’s website   

For information about the West Coast Thunder Memorial Day Bike Run, please visit www.westcoastthunder.com.

City of Moreno Valley Memorial Day Ceremony

Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez will preside over the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial beginning at 2 p.m.

Major General Randall A. Ogden, Commander of the nation’s 4th Air Force, will deliver the keynote address.

Other special guests will include:

Mayor Pro Tem Victoria Baca

Council Member Jeffrey Giba

Council Member David Marquez

Blue Eagles Total Force Honor Guard

Moreno Valley Master Chorale

Valley View High School Vocalist Yensid Anderson

Vista Heights Middle School Student Speaker Morgan Lowry

 Light refreshments will be served and student artwork will be on display following the ceremony.  

Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive

The City of Moreno Valley is collecting donations of jars of peanut butter and jelly in support of a volunteer-led hospitality service for departing and returning war zone soldiers at March Air Reserve Base. Chunky peanut butter and strawberry and grape jelly are always in high demand. 

Please bring your donation of peanut butter and jelly to the Memorial Day ceremony to support our military members. 

Group of Black Men Rally to Support Students After Moreno Valley Teacher Makes Offensive Remarke

By Manny Otiko | California Black Media

After a teacher at a Moreno Valley elementary school allegedly referred to a student as a slave, a local group of black men decided to hold an impromptu “men’s mob,” on Monday, May 24, to show support for students and emphasize the importance of education.

Moreno Valley is located about an hour and a half east of Los Angeles in a region called the Inland Empire. The city is about 20 percent white, 30 percent Latino and 20 percent black.

The Men’s Mob gathered at Edgemont Elementary School and formed a welcoming line to encourage and support students. A women’s group held a similar event on Tuesday morning.

“The goal was to show the administration that we, as black men, support education,” said Jerry Green, a community advocate and member of the group.

The group was also joined by Moreno Valley School Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora and Moreno Valley School Board President Cleveland Johnson. Kedziora said he was appreciative of Green and his group. 

Kedziora said he attended the event to show students that adults care about them. He added that children absorb a lot of the negativity they see in the media, and it’s important for them to know that adults value their welfare.

“It (the men’s mob event) sends a valuable message to our community,” said Kedziora. “I wish it happened more often.”

According to Green, the teacher in question has been put on administrative leave while the issue is being investigated. The situation will also be addressed at a school board meeting on Wednesday.

“The district handled it correctly,” said Green.

A school district representative said he couldn’t comment on the situation while it was being investigated.

2nd Annual Kappa Youth Leadership & Development League End of Year Luncheon

Blake and Kappa (Photo Credit: Jason O'Brien)

Blake and Kappa (Photo Credit: Jason O’Brien)

By Angela M. Coggs

On Saturday, May 20, the Riverside Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. hosted the 2nd Annual Kappa Youth Leadership & Development League End of Year Luncheon at Castaways Restaurant in San Bernardino from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Each Kappa League member played an integral part of the program that included giving the invocation, making speeches, introducing peers and guest speakers as well as conducting the master of ceremony duties. The celebration set against the elegant, breathtaking backdrop provided an intimate affair high on the rolling hills of San Bernardino.

Deltas and KLers (Photo Credit: Jason O'Brien)

Deltas and KLers (Photo Credit: Jason O’Brien)

The Kappa League Program has a mission to provide educational college readiness opportunities for economically disadvantaged young men of color. The Riverside Alumni Chapter Kappa League focuses on training young men of color (but not exclusive to) 9th-12th grade for leadership, achievement and service in every field of human endeavor. The fundamental purpose of Kappa Alpha Psi is ACHIEVEMENT, it is therefore the Fraternity’s primary purpose to help these young men achieve worthy goals for themselves, and make constructive contributions to their community when they assume leadership roles.

This year marked Riverside Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi’s second year of conducting this leadership development program for high school young men.  After a successful inaugural year with eight participants with a primary focus of introducing them to our 6-phase program:

  1. Self-Identity? – Discipline, Assurance, Awareness, and Appearance
  2. Training – ?Academic, Career-Choice, Preparation, and Organization
  3. Competition? – Politics, Career Advancement, and Sports
  4. Social? – Religion, Arts, Entertainment, Conversation/Communication, and Etiquette/Manners
  5. Health Education – ?Physical Fitness, Sex Education, Drug Education, and Health and Safety.
  6. Financial Literacy – Budget and financial planning

“As Chairman of the 2016-2017 Kappa League program I am extremely proud of the accomplishments attained by our 16 young men. The end of the year luncheon at the Castaways restaurant gave us an opportunity to put on display some of the skills that our young men were exposed to and developed over this course of this year,” said Zack Stewart, Kappa League Chairman and member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. “It also gave us a chance to recognize the young men, their parents and those that played a role in making this year such a success.”

(Photo Credit: Jason O'Brien)

(Photo Credit: Jason O’Brien)

In addition to celebrating the young men as a group, the only two graduating seniors Jeremiah Evans (attending University of California, Riverside in the fall) and Cameron Miles Scruggs (attending University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the fall) both received a $1,000 scholarship.

Another organization that played an amazing part in ensuring the program’s success was Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence) Program is designed to refocus the efforts of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., with the support and action of other major organizations, on the plight of African-American males. EMBODI addresses issues related to STEM education, culture, self-efficacy, leadership, physical and mental health, healthy lifestyles choices, character, ethics, relationships, college readiness, fiscal management, civic engagement and service learning.

Cheryl Nichols and Estella Wells, of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., presented each of the young men who completed the yearlong program with a certificate of completion, a bow tie with “EMBODI” embroidered on it, and a book entitled, “101 Things Every Young Man of Color Should Know” by Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields. The book was given to inspire the young men on their continued journey in life.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Kirk Kirkwood, Ed.D., Vice President of Educational Services for College Bound. The mission of College Bound is to provide comprehensive programs and services that prepare students for admission into and graduation from accredited four-year institutions of higher education Kirkwood is also a successful graduate of the nonprofit he now helps to oversee. His inspirational message to the Kappa Leaguers about writing their story before someone else does resonated with everyone in the filled room.

Kirkwood invited the young men to write their three chapter “Book of Life” by unfolding stories of their life’s journey. Chapter 1- “We’ve Come A Long Way- History- Remember your history and what you’ve been able to accomplish thus far by the Grace of God. Keeping alive our rich ancestry history from Africa as the sons and daughters of Kings and Queens- Royalty.” Chapter 2- “We Shall Not Be Moved- Don’t be afraid and intimidated, listen to your parents, take care of your responsibilities and have an attitude of gratitude. Given the turmoil of today, making the world great again and stand fast on the guiding principles of the Lord.” Chapter 3- “The Best is yet to come”- These pages are blank but what you do today will effect what is written about you tomorrow. You are now in the process of writing your own story and accomplishing your goals. You are in control.”

Kappa League 2016-2017 members: Agyei Butler (President), Jailan Spencer Blackwell, Timothy Bolton, Jeremiah Evans, Julian Garrett, Blake Gilmore, Yonathan Habtemariam, Joshua Hudson, Matthew Ruan Issac, Ahmir Khalid King, Brian Palmer Jr., Keyvon Rankin, Stanun Rudley, Cameron Miles Scruggs, Deon L. Thomas III, Brandon A. Wells, and Christopher Williamson.

Dr. Kirk Kirkwood (Photo Credit: Jason O'Brien)

Dr. Kirk Kirkwood (Photo Credit: Jason O’Brien)

The event was well attended with guest including the Kappa Leaguers parents, grandparents, mentors and supportive community members. This year’s sponsors were Riverside Alumni Chapter Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Akil Manley and Wal-Mart. Partnerships and Special Thanks goes to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – EMBODI ProgramCheryl Nichols and Estella Wells, Abundant Living Family Church (AALFC) Sondra Mc Ginnis, University of California, Riverside- Dr. Kenneth E. Simmons, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Male Success Initiative- California State University, Fullerton, and Corbin J. Pickett- The Candid Professional.

“We are extremely proud of our Kappa Leaguers and expect them to continue pursuing achievement in every field of human endeavor,” said Stewart. 

The Riverside Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc. would like to invite interested young men grade 9th to 12 grade to join the current members of their Kappa Youth Leadership and Development League to learn more about their unique program and the achievements of their outstanding young men by visiting http://www.rackapsi.com. To become a sponsor, new member or to attain information about the program, please contact Zack Stewart at Stwe2z@aol.com.

Yonathan and Kappa (Photo Credit: Jason O'Brien)

Yonathan and Kappa (Photo Credit: Jason O’Brien)