A summer job program provided by a D.C.-based institute for primarily black teenagers and young adults has been unexpectedly ended by the Department of Employment Services.
The Amy Jacques Garvey Institute closed recently, after its director Kendall Bryan received a termination letter from the Department of Employment Services last week, according to the Washington Post.
Prior to that, two city officials visiting the Bryan’s Northeast Washington office told him that 100 young people enrolled in his institute’s program were going to be reassigned to other organizations.
The closure is reportedly based on the claim that Bryan treated two youths in the program “inappropriately.” The parents of the youths are accusing the director of using foul language and telling the group’s only non-African American member that the program aims to benefit black youth.
Dismissing the allegations, Bryan told the Washington Post that he was not even interviewed by officials ahead of the closure of his program.
“Any notion that I’m racist is disgusting… I will not allow anyone to characterize me as verbally abusing youth,” he said.
The District granted $250,000 to Bryan’s summer program between 2015 and 2018. The program was originally planned to receive $45,000 more this year.
The Amy Jacques Garvey Institute, which has been offering the above mentioned program since 2007, “is named after the wife of the late Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Founder of the UNIA-ACL (Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League,” its website says.
The institute explains its mission as “to educate, motivate, develop, inform, train and teach youth to become healthy enterprising citizens with moral enterprising citizens with healthy relationships.”