Bethel AME Church youth empowerment recognition

by Mae Threadgill

During the past year marking the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, Destiney Peoples and Amanda Jack were recognized for being actively engaged in voter education.

Zoraina James, the long-time chairman of the Bethel AME Church Commission on Social Action, has headed a project that focuses upon youth empowerment through the ballot. The project prepares youth to register to vote when they reach voting age. They are prepared through education, familiarization with the voting process, voter registration projects and encouragement.

Destiney Peoples
Destiney Peoples
Amanda Jack
Amanda Jack

Two young college students, Amanda Jack and Destiney Peoples, both members of Bethel, were the first beneficiaries of this effort. They were eligible to vote for the first time in the November 2015 election; they registered and voted in that election.

These two young women, along with Jocelyn Iglehart, have committed themselves to helping to prepare people to vote in the June 2016 primaries. They will do so in honor of the efforts of their forefathers.

Amanda states that by voting you help make decisions about issues that affect your life. She thinks that everyone should vote and that voting is a way of honoring those people who fought and suffered to give us that right. Destiney is determined to help others her age and older feel comfortable about participating in exercising the right to vote.

These two young women, along with Jocelyn Iglehart, have committed themselves to helping to prepare people to vote in the June 2016 primaries. They will do so in honor of the efforts of their forefathers.

The youth empowerment project will no longer be under the Commission on Social Action, but it will continue.

This project was begun under the leadership of the former pastor, Rev. Philip R. Cousin Jr. The new pastor, Rev. Dr. Tyrone Hicks, is supportive of this voter education effort.

Mae Threadgill can be reached at mthread99@aol.com.