Although, May 19 is not an official holiday, organizers in Baton Rouge are inviting residents to a two-day celebration honoring civil rights activist Malcom X.
Called Malcolm X Day, the May 19-20, event is the brain child of Jasiri Basel of JB Digital Ventures and organized through a partnership with THE CEO MIND Foundation and East Baton Rouge Councilman Lamont Cole.
The event celebrates Malcolm X’s birth and work for national change.
“All citizens can celebrate which ever holiday we deem to celebrate; it is not necessary to be given permission to do so. Malcolm X Day is one of those days that definitely needs to be celebrated; his life, his thoughts, his change and his impact are things that we should pay tribute to despite what the ‘official’ calendar says,” said Basel.
“So, on this day May 19th, we celebrate intelligence, wisdom, unity, strength, and forward progress as a community. On this day we work toward making a real effort to do better , to have more impact and to improve the conditions of our community. We do so for our future and in honor of Malcolm X!”
Basel answered more questions about the Day.
Who are the supporters of Malcolm X Day?
Some key supporters of the event include: Jeremy Jackson of State Farm; State Representative C. Denise Marcelle; Ma’at Adorned
Ray Automotive; Attorney Jerrard Young; and James Gilmore, PhD., Assistant Chief Administrative Officer to the Mayor. Most importantly the Streetz and the people of Baton Rouge who want to see real positive change. These are not all of the supporters and the list is growing everyday. So we welcome all who support positive unity within our community to solve and change things , to reach out and connect.
How did the idea originate?
For the past couple of years I’ve thought about doing something to celebrate the hero Malcolm X , but usually due to me being too busy or out of the country, it didn’t take place. This year we decided to make the event a priority.
Why host a Malcolm X Day?
It’s needed to celebrate the life, accomplishments, and legacy of Malcolm X. It’s needed to communicate the message that we don’t have to be told who to celebrate and why. It’s need to unify our community for forward progress. It’s needed for our future.
What are all the activities for the two days?
Friday May 19th – Mixer and Listening Event at Club Culture, 450 Oklahoma Street, Baton Rouge. This is where we bring together members of our community who want to see progress for us as a people. There we will be a uniquely choose sound track that will be the focal point of the evenings event. Those in attendance will get to network with others of like minds as step forward in building something that has not been done before. There will be light refreshments served.
Saturday May 20th – Malcolm X Community Cookout. This event is about unifying our community and our people. A coming together to provide some simple steps that those in the community can do to help with progress for themselves. This event is about empowering our community. This event will make a statement that we will pick and celebrate our heroes and we don’t need permission or day designated by them to do so. We will provide food for the community, games for the kids, and will replay the sound track. (Other details are to come)
Are there any rainy day plans?
Yes, this event will take place despite the weather.
As of now what other groups or people involved in the activities?
We are attempting to get every organization that is doing work for positive change in the community involved. We have and are reaching out to every organization we can think of, and if by chance we haven’t reached them yet and they want to get involved, we are totally open to have them. So please reach out. Visit the site www.MalcolmsDay.org for more information. There are a lot of moving parts to an event of this nature, a lot of mental power, planning, manpower, and resources are needed. Those involved are doing their part in support.
Is this an annual event?
Yes, this is the first of an annual celebration that we expect to see become more impactful every year. We are planning with other partners to ensure that the holiday will be officially celebrated in several cities across the nation next year.
What do you expect to be the result?
Various leaders coming together to do work towards long term objectives that benefit the community and the youth. The community taking to take more responsibility for the outcomes that directly impact their kids, their community, and their lives.
Is this event connected to the Manhood 101 event and Saturday in the park that your organization hosts?
Yes, everything we do is connected in one way or another because all of our programs and outreach have a common goal of empowering, impacting, and providing real, tangible pathways to strengthen individuals and the community as a whole. The Malcolm X Day events are directly in alignment with that purpose.
Is registration required to participate?
It’s not specifically required, but it is suggested as it will help us prepare for the amount of people that will be attendance. Those who have registered may receive some surprises and benefits that those who have not might not. We ask that everyone check the site www.MalcolmsDay.org on a regular basis as it will stay updated with information regarding the event, pre contest, supporters, etc. Be sure to check out the FAQs on the website as well
Basel is founder of THE CEO MIND Foundation focuses on engagement, empowerment, education and pathways for individual and collective progress of the community. The foundation hosts manood courses, provides meals on Saturdays in the Gus Young community of Baton Rouge, through its Grill & Connect initiative, and host community dialogues on technology and opportunities for community sustainability.