Rashad Jennings comes home to give back to area

Forest native Rashad Jennings is nationally-known for his career as a running back in the National Football League as well winning the television competition “Dancing with the Stars” in 2017.

The fame hasn’t caused Jennings to forget his roots. In fact, he aims to give back to the community where he grew up through his Rashad Jennings Foundation and, in particular, annual 180 Weekend events in Lynchburg. 

From July 11-14, Jennings hosted four events — one per day — that brought people from various walks of life together in the community. 

180 Weekend kicked off Thursday night at the E.C. Glass High School auditorium, where Jennings and Lynchburg community leaders met with the general public to discuss topics that are important to the area in the inaugural Round Table event. 

Jennings was joined onstage by Lynchburg Mayor Treney Tweedy, Lynchburg Police Department Chief Ken Williams, and Cities United (Louisville, Ky.) Executive Director Anthony Smith. 

Among the subjects covered were poverty, violence, education, relations between police and private citizens, and getting people involved in solving problems within their own communities. 

After the two-hour discussion, Jennings concluded that, according to the statements made, the state of the local economy was foremost in the minds of the more than 60 people in attendance. Therefore, he set the upcoming year’s agenda to focus on developing ways to improve economic conditions and provide people with more ways to overcome poverty. 

For more on this story, see this week's Altavista Journal.