Nashua social justice activist selected as finalist in contest

Courtesy photo After reviewing more than 130 entries from across the country, 10 young men of color, including Nashua’s Jordan Thompson, and 12 adults earned trips to MBK Rising!, set for Feb. 18-20, in Oakland, California.

NASHUA – City resident Jordan Thompson will be among 10 young men of color and 12 adults traveling to Oakland, California, to attend the MBK (My Brother’s Keeper) Rising! Conference, set for Feb. 18.

My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, which was adopted by Mayor Jim Donchess and the city of Nashua in 2016, is a White House initiative started by former President Barack Obama as a national call to action meant to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential – no matter who they are, where they come from or the circumstances into which they are born.

“I’m going to continue to work in the community and be involved with those who I can help,” said Thompson, who wants remained focused on empowering others through cultural awareness and civic engagement, as well as his efforts advocating for child welfare.

Thompson was one of 130 individuals who entered the MBK Rising! Instagram video contest. A writer, activist, community organizer and aspiring politician, Thompson is committed to social justice. He has spent the last few years working to promote racial equality in the state of New Hampshire. In 2018, he ran for New Hampshire House of Representatives, but ultimately lost the Democratic primary contest by a narrow margin.

Prior to running for office, Thompson ran a youth-powered campaign to be a moderator in Nashua’s Ward 2 in 2017. Though he has made his foray into the political arena, Thompson said he doesn’t plan on limiting himself to that spectrum of civic engagement.

Thompson first worked with My Brother’s Keeper and the Mayor’s office when he organized the city’s first Juneteenth Celebration on June 19 at the Arlington Community Center. The event was set on the 153rd anniversary of the day which many African-Americans consider as the true day slavery in the U.S. ended.

On June 19, 1865, which was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Maj. Gen. Gordon Grange and the Union soldiers arrived in Texas to enforce the abolition of slavery by freeing more than 250,000 individuals who were still being forced to work as slaves.

Thompson is currently organizing another event at the community center, which will be a Black History Month celebration that will take place on Feb. 16. The event will celebrate African-American writing, art and music and will focus on the first African-American to have a book published in the U.S., Harriet Wilson. In 1859, Wilson, who was a native of the town of Milford, was the first African-American to have a book published in the U.S.

On his trip to Oakland, Thompson will be accompanied by mayor Chief of Staff Kim Kliener and Arlington Street Community Center Director Megan Caron.

The conference in Oakland is set to celebrate the progress communities around the country have made, while highlighting what is working to improve the lives of young men and boys of color; lifting up the voices of these members of the community. During the conference, Thompson and others attending will have the ability to network with each other, in addition to elected officials, leaders and organizations who helped them achieve their dreams.

“I’m honored to represent Nashua at the MBK Rising! summit in Oakland this February. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with civic leaders and community activists from across the country, and I’m grateful to Mayor Donchess and Nashua’s MBK for supporting me,” Thompson said.

To watch Thompson’s video and for more on MBK Rising!, visit www.obama.org/mbka/rising/#slide1 and click on the “competition winners” tab at the top of the page. To learn about the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, go to www.nashuanh.gov/1087/My-Brothers-Keeper-CommunityChallenge.

Mathew Plamondon may be reached at 594-1244, or at mplamondon@nashuatelegraph.com.