One of the members of the District’s shadow delegation to the U.S. Congress will be working in concert with the FBI to interact with children residing east of the Anacostia River.
D.C. Shadow U.S. Rep. Oye Owolewa (D) announced on June 15 his plans to work with the FBI to conduct in-classroom experiences with students at Turner Elementary School in Ward 8. Owolewa, 33 and a Ward 8 resident, will conduct classes with FBI agent Nicole Mines. He is a registered pharmacist in the District.
The collaboration with the FBI is part of Owolewa’s commitment to youth services and he hopes Mines’ impact will influence young people to investigate specialized careers for their future. The FBI has a community relations unit at its headquarters in Northwest with one of its programs to mentor minority youth.
“I’d like to thank Agent Mines and the rest of D.C.’s FBI team for this partnership,” Owolewa said. “Studies suggest students should start learning about careers at age eight. According to an online article, children with early exposure will have a better understanding of career paths and become more confident in their career choice by high school. My office works tirelessly to even the playing field by ensuring D.C. kids get the most out of their educational experiences. My office is grateful for the FBI’s generosity in volunteering their time and expertise for the kids at Turner Elementary School.”
Addressing Historic African American Distrust of the FBI
Owolewa said he is aware of the troubled history between Blacks and the FBI. Books and studies over the years have revealed that the late FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover spearheaded the process to have pro-African diaspora leader Marcus Garvey discredited; harassed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and instituted COINTELPRO, an effort to dismantle Black organizations and individuals it deemed dangerous.
Nevertheless, Owolewa said his partnership with the agency will have an educational focus.
“It is all about increasing early exposure to careers,” he said. “It is about building a pipeline for students of color who reside east of the river. While I am fully aware of the history of the FBI, I want to make sure that we have people in those spaces and that people in D.C. will be fine. I have confidence in Agent Mines. At the end of the day, it is all about the students.”