Males ages 10 and older flocked Saturday to the Liberty County Performing Arts Center in Flemington for an empowerment workshop, “Tied to Success.”
The event sponsored by the city of Hinesville; Jones, Osteen and Jones law firm; and Eleven Black Men of Liberty County drew 226 people, 61 percent of whom were 18 and older, according to workshop organizer Daisy Jones, program coordinator with Hinesville’s Community Development Department.
She said a lot of thought and effort went into organizing the event.
“It took 14 weeks to plan,” Jones said. “We began with a concept, identified our goals and outcomes, and then identified our speakers. The planning was extremely detailed because we wanted to present the best. We offer programs and public assistance, but we want to stress the importance of education, empowerment and personal responsibility. These are inextricably tied to any level of success. We want to teach people how to fish, inspire their commitment to the process and they can feed themselves.”
As the workshop got under way, Hinesville Assistant City Manager Kenneth Howard delivered opening remarks, followed by an invocation from Dr. Tim Byler, pastor of Connections Church. Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas welcomed attendees, who also heard a greeting from state Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway. Liberty County Commission Chairman Donald Lovette introduced the keynote speaker, Alderman Van R. Johnson II, Savannah mayor pro-tem. McKinley Sartin and JP provided music.
Participants then attended sessions on a variety of topics, including grooming, etiquette and manners, leadership, self-esteem, accountability, the importance of fathering, mentoring and coaching, and how to tie a necktie.
Larry Logan, deputy director of the Liberty County Emergency Management Agency, was pleased to see the workshop go off without a hitch.
“(It was) 100 percent successful,” he said. “Really, one of the most impacting events that has taken place in Liberty County in recent history.”
“‘Tied to Success’ was a tremendous success in terms of attendance, content and response. It was very inspiring and moving to see men in the community coming together for such an extremely important purpose,” she said.
Howard said, “Coming together as a community for youth is one of the most important things we can do on a continuing basis to help our youth. This event complements everything we do to raise up stable and contributing people who will become involved fathers, dedicated professionals and caring mentors and coaches to others.”
Jones said the idea for the workshop first was conceived when she realized the city offers programs and public assistance, but needed a way to stress the importance of education, empowerment and responsibility.
Logan thinks providing strong role models for young people will cultivate the next generation of leaders.
“It is important to have these events because our children need to see successful men to imitate, and there are local, successful men in our community who can give hope to children who otherwise may not have any hope of reaching their goals,” he said.