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Department of Social Work hosts community awareness events to observe National Red Ribbon Week

October 27, 2021

TU Social Work Red Ribbon Week flyer

Contact: Kawana McGough, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketiing

Drug Free Looks Like Me poster

Tuskegee University’s College of Arts and Sciences Department of Social Work highlights National Red Ribbon Week, during the week of Oct. 23 - 31, by bringing attention to the national alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention campaign. Red Ribbon Week, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is recognized every October. Its mission is to present a unified and visible commitment towards creating a drug-free America. This year’s outreach theme is “Drug-Free Looks Like Me.”

Dr. April Jones, Chair of the Department of Social Work, received a SAMHSA Communities Talk to Prevent Underage Drinking stipend for community outreach activities to prevent and educate youth on underage drinking and other substances. In addition, Jones will also use the funds to mobilize youth ambassadors to act against drug abuse.

“The partnership agencies, Tuskegee Youth Safe Haven and Bridges T.E.A.R.S., Executive Directors feel that the week activities will raise awareness in the community – it is our goal to continue the education awareness campaign and outreach beyond Red Ribbon Week,” emphasized Jones.

Department’s students enrolled in the Patterns of Drug Abuse and Independent Study courses will lead a themed virtual activity on Oct. 27th, “Don’t Let Your Brain Get Twisted on Drugs: Harvesting Seeds of Wellness.” The event will include an interactive panel discussion, educational games, and a youth participant-led poetry slam where youth will share their own lived experiences about substance abuse prevention.

The instructor of the courses, DeKara Daniel, L.M.S.W., states the importance of the service-learning project is to engage youth and community in reducing the underage onset and regular use of alcohol and drug use in Tuskegee.

“Through this effort, our purpose is to educate youth about the importance of healthy living and drug-free lives,” explained Daniel. “The courses consist of interdisciplinary study with students from various majors whom professions work on teams in various industries, which makes this a great service-learning experience for job readiness and the importance of community outreach.”

Tyara Manson, a nursing major student from the School of Nursing and Allied Health, will lead the panel discussion. She will discuss the impact of drugs misuse and its effect on adolescent development and health.

In addition to other Red Ribbon Week awareness activities, students will conduct a Plant the Promise activity, a symbolic oath of youth to pledge to be drug-free by planting a Tulip Flower Gardner at the Bridges- Tears Inc. Center. A junior social work major, Jordan Davenport, will lead the activity and pledge to live a drug-free life.

“The Tulip seed symbolizes the faith you have in yourself, no matter how big or small it is, and the tulip seed is a representation of you,” explained Davenport. “As the tulip grows, you will grow, “she continued.

The week of Red Ribbon activities will end with the event, Too Bright for Drugs- Just Say No!, where participants of the Fall Harvest Festival will receive goody bags to support their pledge to be drug-free. The event will include information on prevention education with law enforcement and community partners to discuss safety and drug prevention.

Tuskegee’s events include SWAG Tuesday, Wellness Webinar Wednesday, Tulip Thursday, F.A.T. Friday, and Saturday Harvest Festival. To learn more about Red Ribbon Week, visit

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