Local youth groups attend religious summit

Published 6:19 pm Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On Monday, July 7th, three local youth groups arrived in Washington, D.C., to attend the 12th annual National Black Religious Summit on Sexuality “Dawn of a New Day.” The groups were able to attend this summit thanks in large part to the generosity of the community.

Bridgette Pitts, and her husband Deacon Earnest Pitts, of Picayune wanted to make sure that thank yous on behalf of Teen Talk, run by Nadine Noline; I Am, run by Janice Brown Richardson and Lifesavers, run by Melvin and Charlene Nixon came from the top of the organization: The National Black Church Initiative Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Bridgette Pitts is the local representative who recruits African American and Latino youth groups in Mississippi to participate in the biblically based “Keeping it Real and Breaking the Silence” program.

“Just thank you,” said Pitts. “I don’t know how to say thank you when I know our bus was over $10,000 and although the Religious Coalition gave us money on our bus, we would not have been able to to do this without the community rallying.” Many local businesses, organizations and churches really got behind the cause.

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“We were able to go there and have a good time,” said Pitts. “We went on a tour of Washington, D.C., we did the summit everyday and the kids were well-behaved and were able to learn a lot.” The summit was held at the Howard University School of Divinity, July 9 – 11. Participants took different workshops and classes which encourage making responsible sexually based choices.

Pitts said the local groups traveled with one group from Sumrall and one group from Richland to get to D.C. At the summit, there were groups from all over the country.

After relaxing and rejuvenating for a couple of weeks, Pitts said she will start making plans for next year. “We had a great time. This was the 12th summit and we are going to do it again. We are going to recruit more churches and get ready for next year.”