Saturday Town Hall event aims to ‘help Natchez be her best’
Published 5:14 pm Thursday, February 16, 2023
NATCHEZ — A local non-profit group is hosting a Miss-Lou Town Hall event this Saturday geared toward enriching the lives of young people in the community.
Joseph A.C. Smith, the founder of BlackNatchez.org, said the purpose of the Town Hall at 3 p.m. this Saturday at 6 Saint Catherine St. is to gather ideas from community members about how to “secure a bright future” for children, youth and young adults in the community.
“There is a lot of energy that gets focused on attracting tourists to the town and that is important, but we also need to envision what the town can be for our young children, college-age students and young adults looking to make this their home,” he said.
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Smith said he remembers being a high schooler writing to the mayor and the governor about there not being enough activities for young people to do in Natchez.
“The situation has gotten a lot graver since then,” he said.
Smith said he’s not interested in a group discussion about all the problems troubling youth in the community, only solutions.
“We want people to come up with ideas,” he said. “We are looking for solutions and are creating a forum to dream about what those solutions can be.”
To host this meeting, BlackNatchez.org is partnering with Southern Economic Advancement Project, a program geared toward helping southern communities strategize economic impact.
Smith called on individuals and organizations with “big and bold ideas” to come to share them with the group at “Doll Baby’s Praise and Dance Hall,” located at 6 Saint Catherine St.
“We at Black Natchez don’t see ourselves as the answer but see ourselves as part of a large collaboration of people helping Natchez be her best,” he said.
After the group discussions, a social hour will include free food, music and dancing, he said.
Founded in 2021, BlackNatchez.org strives to preserve and share the culture and history of African Americans in Southwest Mississippi through community development, educational programs, and preserving historic sites and points of interest.
Learn more about this group at BlackNatchez.org.