(FORT KNOX, Ky.) - The U.S. Army has joined forces with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to sponsor the organization's "Empower Me" Tour, which began in February and continues through May 2011. The Army presented its popular "Legacy of Service: African-Americans in the U.S. Army" photo exhibit at colleges in Greensboro, N.C., and Chicago, Ill. and will be present in Los Angeles, Calif. Through this new partnership, the Army honors the outstanding achievements of African-American Soldiers and informs attendees of the Army's educational opportunities, as well as leadership and high-tech career training.
The purpose of the "Empower Me" Tour is to inspire and empower young people, including high school and college students through educational content, personal exploration, live entertainment and interactive exhibits. Participants attend panel discussions and workshops, where they hear from celebrity guests and influential panelists on educational issues, as well as career and life skills. The "Empower Me" Tour will stop at various historically black college and university (HBCU) campuses in Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Ill.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Greensboro, N.C.; Tuskegee, Ala.; Philadelphia, PA; New York, N.Y.; and other cities.
The Army joined the tour in Greensboro at North Carolina Agriculture & Technical University on Saturday, Feb. 12. There, UNCF and the Army co-hosted a Youth Leaders Institute to equip attendees with tools for mental, emotional and physical strength. Young people received leadership training from U.S. Army Cadet Command (ROTC), U.S. Army Recruiting Command and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point representatives. Army leadership, UNCF panelists and HBCU faculty explored the areas of health and wellness, leadership development and education and career options.
The Army's second tour stop was on Saturday, March 19 at Malcolm X College in Chicago. Col. Barrye Price, deputy commanding officer of U.S. Army Cadet Command, led the Army Leadership Institute. Price began the presentation by telling students and parents attending about his personal Army story. He engaged the audience with interactive skits to help them recognize the different types of leadership and by tying Army values into everyday life choices.
Capt. Terence Holmes spoke on the "Ties vs. Timbs" panel to a room filled with high school and college students. Panelists offered attendees advice on networking and self-motivation. Holmes communicated several opportunities available in the Army.
Together, the Army and UNCF share a goal of preparing our youth to become tomorrow's leaders in education, technology, medicine, service and more. The Army is proud to stand with the UNCF, an organization that plays a critical role in enabling more than 60,000 students each year to attend college. Each year, the Army provides more than $272 million in scholarships to students attending more than 1,600 colleges and universities across the nation.
In addition to the UNCF partnership, the Army hosts its Strength in Action Zone as part of the tour. The Army Strength in Action Zone is a mobile, fully interactive experience that has been featured at the ESSENCE Music Festival and other events nationwide. It allows participants to explore the elements that give Soldiers mental, emotional and physical strength as well as an enduring capacity to lead and serve on a team.
The Strength in Action Zone will also share information about "For Love of Liberty," the four-hour documentary film, hosted by Halle Berry with an introduction by retired Gen. Colin Powell. The film discusses the important role of African-American Soldiers throughout our history, from the American Revolution to today.
The Strength in Action Zone visited schools in Atlanta and Los Angeles beginning in February and will continue visits through May.