College Partners With Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office for Purple Light Nights
Ceremony to raise awareness of domestic violence, honor advocates and survivors
By COURTNEY DAVIS
Prince George’s Community College
LARGO, Md. (Sept. 13, 2022)—Prince George’s Community College announced its annual Purple Light Nights Lighting Ceremony, which will be held on September 29, at 6:30 p.m. on the College’s Largo campus. Co-sponsored by the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office, the signature event raises awareness of the negative effects of domestic violence, uniting advocates and survivors in support of collective change.
The theme of this year’s event is “Break the Cycle of Domestic Violence. End the Silence.” The program features a keynote address by Lisa Spicknall, a domestic violence survivor and past Office of the Sheriff advocate. Additional speakers include Dr. Falecia D. Williams, Prince George’s Community College president; Melvin C. High, Prince George’s County sheriff; Darrin C. Palmer, Prince George’s County chief assistant sheriff; and elected officials. During the ceremony, select community members will be honored in recognition of their distinguished service.
“When the Office of the Sheriff launched the inaugural Purple Light Nights Lighting Ceremony in 2014 as a kick-off event for October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, they wanted to galvanize partnerships and a unified county effort to shine a light in the darkness that is domestic violence,” said Lt. Barbara Smith, Department of Public Safety, Prince George’s Community College. “With a plain purple lightbulb, we joined the efforts and asked the College community to shine on their porches or in a window, to engage the community to break the silence.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women and one in ten men experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Historically, the rates of domestic violence in Prince George’s County trend higher than those of neighboring areas in the state.
“The Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Department has made tremendous progress in a united effort to educate county residents about domestic violence, and Prince George’s Community College joined the efforts to eliminate it from our community,” said Lt. Smith.
“We are committed to joining the partnerships, to reach the surrounding communities, which includes our staff, faculty, and students, by sharing the efforts and the message to stop the cycle and end the silence, which will reduce incidents of domestic violence. If you see something, Say something.”
Purple Light Nights is free and open to the community. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the program begins at 6:30 p.m. The event will be held outdoors on the campus of Prince George’s Community College, 301 Largo Road, Largo, MD 20774, Lot H/Novak Field House Courtyard.
If you or someone you know is in need of support, contact the Prince George’s County Family Justice Center hotline at 301-780-8008.
Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015–2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 35,000 individuals annually, the College is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enables PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at www.pgcc.edu. Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (267-284-5000); www.msche.org The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.
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Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. (PGCDPC) Awards 10 Scholarships to Students for its Annual “Empowering Future Leaders” Scholarship Awards Program
By PRESS OFFICER
OXON HILL, Md. (Sept. 12, 2022)—The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. awarded 10 scholarships to students for its annual “Empowering Future Leaders” scholarship awards program. Student applications were reviewed by the Coalition’s scholarship awards committee chaired by Jerome “Duke” Haggins. Maryland State Senator Obie Patterson provided citations recognizing their academic achievements.
The ten students receiving scholarships this year were: Trinity Gourdin, Cassandra Swilley, Arielle Swilley, Evelyn Anderson, Kelsey Gourdin, Webster Jackson, Jada Riley, Matthew Waits, Jabari Riley and Marlon Waits. Two of the students were high school graduates, attending either St. Stephens and St. Agnes High School, or Suitland High School.
Other recipients are currently attending either the University of Miami, Frostburg State University, Towson University, University of Maryland, or Tennessee State University.
Students shared their views on many issues associated with recreational marijuana use. Over the past ten years, the Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. has awarded over $208,000.00 in scholarships to students, allowing them to continue their education in preparation for their future careers.
This year’s award recipients participated in a host of community activities. They included: tutoring elementary students in math and science, working on mental health research projects, and collecting food for their community. Other students pursued their aviation license, or stayed active in national groups such as the National Association of Eagle Scouts Association.
The Prince George’s County Drug Policy Coalition, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that promotes policies and laws that embrace the public health nature of drug abuse. Through our scholarship program, we provide community-based support to families within the county with a focus on students obtaining higher education and living a drug free life. Through the support of interested organizational partners, and grassroots members like you, we hope to prevent and reduce illegal drug abuse and related crimes in Prince George’s County. For more information, please visit our website at https://www.pgcdpc.com
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