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In Roosevelt, clergy sponsor youth pants-up event

The Pull Your Pants Up Campaign has partnered with local clergy to try to raise consciousness and pride among young black men who wear their pants low, they said.

The group plans to host an event at 8 p.m. Friday in the I Support Roosevelt Youth Center, 55 Mansfield Ave., to encourage black youths in the community to stop wearing their pants so low their  underwear shows.

The Pull Your Pants Up Campaign is an effort by community activist Sueveria Vann, of Hempstead, who has been advocating for youngsters to stop wearing their pants too far below the waist. As part of the nationwide campaign, she has been selling 10-inch by 3-inch black-and-white bumper stickers for $5 that read: “Want Respect? Pull Up Your Pants!”

“I want to make the youth realize that this is nothing to be proud of,” said Vann, a paralegal for a Garden City law firm who has two adult children. “It is digression rather than progression.”

The Rev. Arthur L. Mackey Jr., owner of the center and pastor of the historic Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral in Roosevelt, will host the event. Nine bishops and pastors from Uniondale, Hempstead, West Hempstead and Long Beach are expected attend.

The date for the event was chosen because between 50 and 200 youths usually gather at the center on Friday nights to participate in events and games, Mackey said. “We want them to understand when they go to job interviews that there has to be a sense of professionalism,” Mackey said.

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