Project ELECT to host Love Your Neighbor event this weekend

·2 min read

Mar. 9—TUPELO — Project ELECT, a Tupelo-based leadership group, is set to host a "Love Your Neighbor" mental health and mentorship event this weekend.

Set for Sunday, March 12, at 2 p.m. in the Civic Auditorium, the event will feature actor Obba Babatundé as keynote speaker.

The New York City native is known for his role as Willie Long in the 1999 film "Life" starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence and as Charles Thorne in the TV sitcom "Half & Half." He will talk about his path to working in the entertainment industry and encourage unity in the local community, according to Robert Hall, founder and chairman of Project ELECT.

Babatundé's story will serve as an encouragement to students with a passion for the arts who may have dreams of working in music, acting or writing.

Other speakers include mental health specialist Dr. David Morton and former NFL player Joe Horn, and the event will feature performances by the Tupelo Unity Choir and Elvis tribute artist Jack Curtis.

Hall said the goal of the event is to get information out about the role of addressing mental health and the importance of having mentors for young people in the community as a way of addressing violence and crime.

He encourages parents, grandparents and other family members of children to come out and bring their kids to create a plan for protecting the youth and enriching their lives.

Hall said the plan is for this to be the first annual "Love Your Neighbor" event, and Project ELECT hopes to use the event as a model to bring to other communities across Northeast Mississippi.

"Tupelo, and Lee County, has always been a place to come up with a plan," Hall said. "Pulling Black and white organizations together, let's come up with a plan and a strategy to push forward and be the first to do something differently. If you look back through history, we've been able to do that. And we want to continue to do it."