Sojourn Students have…

  • Registered over 1000 people to vote
  • Developed Nonviolence Week in the city schools, writing workshops, designing nonviolence word walls, creating PA announcements. They invited Minnijean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine, to come to Youngstown during Nonviolence Week and speak to all 9th graders about Nonviolence. She has been here for the past five years. There were five Nonviolence billboards on all sides of town. Nonviolence Week began in 2009, and they have continued it every year since.
  • In 2010, the students petitioned city council, the Youngstown school board and the YSU trustees asking them to make the first week in October Nonviolence Week and to make it an annual event, which they all did.
  • In 2011, at the request of a Sojourn student, the first Nonviolence Parade/Rally was held in downtown Youngstown. We had over 500 participants in 42 degree, rainy weather. That year the Mahoning County Commissioners also passed a Nonviolence Week resolution. This year state senator Joe Schiavoni is working on a state resolution.
  • April, 2014 at Sojourn students’ request, Joan Mulholland, freedom rider, spoke to students in Youngstown high schools and at YSU
  • In 2015, Simeon Wright (Emmett Till’s cousin) and Dale Killinger (FBI agent, who reopened the Emmitt Till case) spoke in Youngstown. Rev. Clark Olsen, who answered Dr. King’s call for people of faith to come to Selma after “Bloody Sunday” and was with James Reeb, when he was murdered, spoke both at YSU and the Tyler Historical Center.
  • On the first Sunday in March 2015, Sojourn students organized a program at the Tyler Historical Center to commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”. Then they led a silent walk across the Mahoning Ave. bridge over the Mahoning River to the B&O Train Station.
  • On January 16, 2016, Sojourn to the Past received the Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. Peace Award in Atlanta as a result of accomplishments of Youngstown Sojourn students.
  • In 2016, four students were selected through the juvenile court to take the Sojourn journey.
  • The Simeon Booker Award for Courage became part of Nonviolence Week in 2016. Simeon Booker grew up in Youngstown, attended YSU for one year, became the first African American reporter on the Washington Post, broke the Emmett Till  story in Jet Magazine. He was responsible for the picture of Emmett Till in his coffin in the magazine. An award is given to a person, who has exhibited Simeon Booker’s courage, commitment to social justice and is willing to put his/her life on the line for what he/she believes. Federal Court Judge Nathaniel Jones was the Simeon Booker Award recipient in 2016. Terry Vicars received the local award in 2017, and Ken Nwadike, Jr. (the hugs guy), received the national Simeon Booker Award. Simeon Booker passed in December, 2017 at age 99. A scholarship has been endowed at YSU for an upper class-man who exhibits Simeon Booker’s courage and commitment.
  • The 2018 Simeon Booker Award for Courage honorees will be: Minnijean Brown Trickey, the national honoree, and the James and Coralie Centofanti Foundation is the local honoree. Ms Trickey is one of the Little Rock Nine, who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. The nine were able to attend school only after President Eisenhower sent in federal troops. The Centofanti Foundation provides funds that help the “least of these”. The theme for the Simeon Booker Award for Courage program is “Courageous Philanthropy”.
  • After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, Sojourn students organized a walkout on March, 14, 22018 at all three Youngstown high schools and on the YSU campus. On March 24th, a bus full of Sojourn students  participated in the “March for Our Lives” in Washington, D.C. Sojourn students have spoken out for gun legislation at the Mahoning Valley City Club, candidates forum at the  B&O Station and the Eastside Block Party.
  • In April, 2018, for the fourth time Sojourn students presented a workshop at the English Festival at YSU.
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