In an age of digital “slacktivists,” it’s refreshing to see an organization dedicated to acting on—instead of simply talking about—making a positive impact upon the world, one community at a time. Doing Something About It Inc. (DSAI) is committed to proactive change, especially for low-income communities across the country.
Come support this organization, learn more about a variety of services provided to the community, and have fun at their fifth annual Cultural Empowerment Event. It will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Boys & Girls Club, located at 471 Atlantic Avenue in Bellport. The family-friendly event invites all ages to enjoy this year’s stellar lineup for a good cause. It includes a performance by Southampton’s Shinnecock Nation. Anyone who has never experienced an authentic powwow, now is your chance to experience the exuberant, vivid traditional dances, which will be graciously shared.
In addition, AMP, a live band renowned throughout the area, and featuring Star Search and recording artist, Jimmy Salvemini, is another event highlight. Also, there will be a surprise performance from Harlem, N.Y. The entertainment extravaganza will also be informative and include a guest speaker from BOCES in Bellport. This will be a treat for aspiring entrepreneurs regarding tips on how to launch a successful business. Then a Q&A session will be held, during and after the presentation. Attendees can also look forward to vendor tables, raffles, refreshments, and more.
Founder and executive director of DSAI, Baron Permenter, said, “It’s a community-inspired event. We work with this community because it is so diversified, in order to bring everyone together as we see fit. It’s learning through cultural education—and entertainment at the same time—and getting together all the different cultures in the community. We’ve had Latino dancers last year, plays done by children,” said Permenter. The dedicated community leader was raised in Bellport, and currently resides in Shirley.
He added that change must happen from a foundational level, and then work its way up throughout society in a positive momentum. “Culture is learned. We try to build up low-socioeconomic, and low-income communities, to build up the education process. Good education brings good occupations, and good occupations brings good income. If you could change the mindset, you can give people in the community hope.”
DSAI is meant to help offset the stressors which are put on low-income households, many of which are just trying to survive, often in single-parent households—or where both parents are working long hours at low-wage jobs—with little time left over to devote to their children’s educational and extracurricular activities. This is one of the societal issues contributing to cycles of poverty which the community organization is determined to do something about. One of the services they provide to area youth is tutoring sessions via Zoom, along with other innovative ways to connect with today’s tech-savvy, yet often still disconnected, Gen-Z. “Lots of parents in the community are more about making income to protect their household, and education gets lost. Volunteers offer a bit of time, about an hour a week. The Cultural Empowerment Event also hooked up with BOCES this year. The idea is having local businesses do their part to show how to start a business. At a vendor table, people will be able to ask questions away from the crowd,” Permenter said.
Those attending will also learn about other local organizations with the common goal of building up the community. “We don’t want to make it all about us. It’s a community effort, and hosting this shows the greatness of the Boys & Girls Club and allows them to show themselves to the community,” said Permenter regarding the mutually beneficial collaboration, adding, “We bring the unity into the community, and you can’t spell unity without U and I.”
Tickets for the event will be available at the door for just $3, or preferably three cans of food, which will go towards helping the Lighthouse Mission in Bellport.
For more information, to donate, or to inquire about volunteering go to doingsomethingaboutit.today.
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