Strengthening marriage is the goal of the “Black Marriage Rocks” program next week in Wichita.
The event, sponsored by the Kansas African-American Healthy Marriage Initiative, the Marriage for Keeps program at Catholic Charities and the Love Letters from Kansas public awareness campaign, will celebrate the positive aspects of commitment for African-Americans, who have about a 30 percent marriage rate, according to the U.S. Census.
Geared toward engaged or married couples, the event will feature “a lot of socializing, encouragement and words of wisdom,” said Patricia Houston, statewide project director for Marriage for Keeps. Participants will be asked recommit to a healthy marriage, she said.
Couples married for a long time will be honored with induction into the Black Marriage Hall of Fame.
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The free event, which also will feature prizes such as movie tickets and restaurant certificates, will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Kingdom Harvest Church, 11801 E. Lincoln. Registration is not necessary. Participants do not have to be Catholic.
Although the event is focused on African-American couples, “we are open to anyone who wants to come,” Houston said.
The event was planned in connection with Black Marriage Day, which was March 23.
A news release from Catholic Charities in Wichita said that 100 couples participated in a re-commitment ceremony last year.
Black Marriage Rocks “gives couples an opportunity to reflect on the success of their relationships and the importance of marriage and develop techniques to strengthen their connection to each other,” Mike Burrus, executive director of Catholic Charities, said in a news release.