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Actor Derek Luke is Returning to Jersey City to Launch Foundation and Weekend of Events

Derek Luke, star of Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, is heading home in an effort to heal, empower, and promote equality.  Home in Jersey City, New Jersey, where the Hollywood star will join his wife, Sophia Luke to launch his new foundation.  In addition to the launch, he is leading a series of free events from Wednesday, August 29th to Sunday, September 2nd.

Luke has already made a lifelong commitment to helping others through film and community service, and now as apart of that, the couple will be using the four-day event to launch the Derek Luke Foundation (DLF).  It will support several nationwide programs and initiatives, including two for underserved urban education.  One is along with Al and Hattie Hollingworth, founders of Boss the Movement, and the other is with NY Times best-selling author Professor Chris Emdin, founder of the Science Genius program.  Under the foundation umbrella, Luke plans to work to help and heal urban communities by promoting mental health awareness, empowering youth, and men of color in these underserved areas.  It’s an initiative to help shift the narrative for communities of color, in the city he attended high school.

He will also be honored with a proclamation from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, in which honors his commitment to community service in Jersey City and his success as an actor.  In a statement from the Mayor’s office, he expresses, “We are so excited to welcome Derek Luke back to his hometown of Jersey City for a weekend of community building, service, and the launch of his foundation, the Derek Luke Foundation. His commitment to improving not only his hometown, but urban areas throughout the nation, is incredibly admirable. Jersey City is lucky to have Derek Luke and his team championing these important causes this weekend and into the future.”  

The origin of DLF stems from roles Luke has played over the years, including his recent role and character in 13 Reasons Why.  He plays a counselor by the name of Kevin Porter who deals with issues like, bullying, suicide, and rape culture. Luke hopes to use his platform and resources to heal and improve other urban areas across the country and more than that, the world.

The Derek Luke Day “Love and Unity in the Community” events are an elevation from his platform to yours.  The actor will be appearing in a series of events across the area listed below:

Wednesday, August 29

Location: David’s Barbershop, 2160 John Fitzgerald Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City

Time: Noon-3 pm – David’s Barbershop 5th annual Back-to-School Superhero Edition

Free haircuts, backpacks, school supplies and more for children 12-and-under, officiated by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

Friday, August 31

Location: Jersey City Armory, 678 Montgomery St. (near McGinley Square), Jersey City

Time: 6:30- pm – Derek Luke presents the launch of Kings Night, a men-only empowerment forum. This is an extension of Derek’s heart for men in helping them find and walk out their purpose in life. A Men’s Only Gathering held the 4th Friday of every month, starting August 31st. Luke will be the keynote.

Saturday, September 1

Location: Jersey City Armory, 678 Montgomery St. (near McGinley Square), Jersey City

Time: 10 am – Noon – Derek and Sophia will introduce a special program dear to their heart, a place they met 20 years ago and affiliated with since. Derek and Sophia introduce Al and Hattie Hollingsworth to discuss their youth leadership training program Boss the Movement.  Open to the public with a focus on school principals, parents, and community, church and youth leaders.

1:30-2:30 p.m. – Derek introduces friend and change agent partner Professor Dr. Chris Emdin, Columbia University professor and New York Times best-selling author of For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood… and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education, to discuss Science Genius, an initiative using the power of hip-hop music and culture to introduce youth to the wonder and beauty of science.

4:00-6:00 p.m. – Science Genius Rap Battles Back-to-School Bash. Participants can see Pedagogy in motion and all what Professor Emdin and Derek present. For teens, families and the public, with DJ’d music, games, prizes, and giveaways.

Sunday, September 2

Location: Audubon Park, 18 Audubon Avenue, Jersey City

Time: Noon-7:00 p.m. – Love and Unity in the Community, an outdoor celebration with booths, food, bouncy house, balloons, face painting, petting zoo, games, giveaways, raffles, basketball, soccer, tennis, spa services for moms, DJ, and live performances by Moneeta Music, Dale Cicero, Psalms of Praise, and a surprise special guest!


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