City P.R.I.D.E. (Positive Results in Dumas Everyday) has been working to improve Dumas by helping make it a more vibrant and thriving community. On May 19, Pastor Arthur Hunt, CEO of College of Aspiring Artists, led a public forum that focused on developing and enhancing opportunities for mentoring and supporting fragile families and increasing youth development activities in the city.
The UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity has been invited as a partner in this effort to address race relations issues and to encourage greater cooperation among stakeholders in achieving community goals. This is the second year of the Institute’s participation.
Dr. Michael R. Twyman, director of the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity joined community leaders by serving as a panelist for the recent public forum along with the Superintendent of Dumas Public Schools, Kelvin Gragg, Mayor of the City of Dumas, John Brigham, Executive Director of Dumas Chamber of Commerce, Judy Day, and Dr. Blanche Hunt, Associate Vice President of Community Relations of Arkansas Northeastern College.
Due to the success of the City P.R.I.D.E. initiative, this summer Dumas and surrounding area youth will be able to attend the Say Y.E.S.-Youth Empowerment Summer Camp, a day camp which will take place from June 19-July 31 and will include college prep sessions, recreational activities, and daily mentoring.
Keeping students engaged in academics and other enriching activities over the summer months makes sense. Young people who are idle over the summer are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, and according to Jeff Smith’s 2011 New York Times article titled “This is Your Brain on Summer,” those who do not continue to learn over the summer lose skills in math and reading—two of the most important building blocks for academic success
City P.R.I.D.E. is a faith-based initiative aimed at strengthening the community of Dumas and Desha County by helping youth and their families achieve better life outcomes.