February 11, 2016

OUR STORY

Since the doors opened to students in 2011, Richard Wright Public Charter School located in Washington, DC, began implementing the Man The Block Richard Wright Safe Passage Program on a daily basis. Founder, CEO, and Head of School, Dr. Marco Clark, understood the importance and need of connecting communities with schools to create safe environments for children to learn and be successful. The Richard Wright Safe Passage Program was created to provide Safe Passage to and from school by concerted efforts of staff, parents, and volunteers in the community to escort students to metro and bus stops each day.

In 2015, after having implemented the Man The Block Richard Wright Safe Passage Initiative with success through before and after school posts, as well as bike and pedestrian escorts teams, the Man The Block initiative was expanded through the combined efforts of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. to reach out to the other organizations such as 100 Fathers, Inc., The Honorable Man Campaign, and the Promise Program, to bring attention to the need for concerned individuals and community members to unify and work together to provide encouragement, support, and safety for children traveling to and from school. Hundreds of men of different generations, professions, and backgrounds came out to escort students from school to the metro to ensure safety, deflect harassment, and deter crime and violence, while building relationships and increasing mentorship opportunities.

Due to the success of the first Man The Block Initiative in August 2015, Man The Block Part II expanded to include 5 public charter schools in Southeast, Northeast, and Northwest. From strong support and partnership with the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and 100 Fathers, Inc., collaborating schools hosted events at their respective schools and increased community awareness and advocacy around the city. The participating schools along with parents, men and women from various civic organizations, businesses, colleges, DC Councilmembers, DC representatives, and the U.S. Marines, came together to demonstrate and model what communities can achieve by working together in order to create encouraging environments for our youth all over the city.

Man the Block hosts events quarterly to maintain community awareness involvement to help create positive and meaningful solutions to the provide Safe Passage for all children in communities. Dr. Marco Clark, Founder and CEO of Richard Wright Public Charter School, emphatically believes in creating safe and nurturing environments both in and out of school to ensure the highest level of quality education for all children. As a long time educator committed to helping young people move forward in positive ways, he states, “We believe that every child, in every ward, in every corner deserves a safe passage home.”

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