Faye Rumph, Founder and Visionary of the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center Myrtle Faye Rumph Recieves, 2010 Spirit Of Peace Award On Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at 6 p.m.,
Mrs. Myrtle Faye Rumph will be honored and presented with the coveted "Spirit Peace Award" from the "Stop The Violence! Increase The Peace!" Foundation in Los Angeles, at the Annenberg Community Beach House, located at 415 Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, California. Mrs. Rumph, a legacy in her own right, is being honored for the outstanding work she has done over the past 20 years as Founder of the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center in Los Angeles. "Mrs. Rumph deserves this honor and much more for the great work she has done in South Central Los Angeles. We are very proud to present her with our "Spirit Peace Award," states Khalid Shah, Founder/Executive Director, of the "Stop the Violence! Increase The Peace!" Foundation. Mrs. Rumph, affectionately known as "Faye", founded the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center in 1990, after her son, Al Wooten Jr., an innocent victim, was killed in a drive-by shooting. His murder, still unsolved, is believed to be part of a gang initiation. Rather than respond with anger, Mrs. Rumph opened a small storefront classroom at the corner of 91st Street and Western Boulevard and began offering a safe after-school environment for four young boys. "I felt the young people in the community needed a place to go and be safe. I didn't want another mother to go through the pain and hurt I went through when I lost my son. I thought if I opened up a center for youth, they'd have somewhere to go, and be less likely to hurt or kill someone else, as they did my son." stated Mrs. Rumph. Her vision, and the help of a group of friends and local citizens, is what opened the doors of the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center. The center stayed open initially through bake sales, car washes and other community events. Eventually, Mrs. Rumph and her husband, Harris, sold their home to keep the Center's doors open. In the aftermath of the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, The Wall Street Journal printed a front-page article about the Wooten Center, and Mrs. Rumph's hard work caught the attention of donors locally and nationwide. Soonafter, Mrs. Rumph and the fledgling little center on 91st and Western Avenue were receiving nationwide news media attention. In addition, the center began receiving private donations from individuals and foundations nationwide, helping the center to expand its services to inner-city youth. As a result the center has moved from a small one-room storefront to owning six buildings on the corner of 91st and Western Avenue in South Central Los Angeles. In 1994, Mrs. Rumph initiated The Face-To-Face Quilt Project, a collection of handcrafted sectional quilts created by mothers and families whose loved ones have been murdered in Los Angeles. The quilts are displayed daily at the center and at special events throughout Los Angeles. "The quilts are our way of saying "Stop the Violence!" states Mrs. Rumph. "The violence must stop now!" Now in its 20th year, the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center has made a difference in the lives of hundreds of low-income youths in South Central Los Angeles. Services include math and reading tutoring, college preparation classes, homework assistance, gang prevention classes, sports and recreation activities, and music and dance classes. In addition, hundreds of youth receive SAT College preparation courses from Wooten Center staff on the campuses of several inner city schools. Wooten Center youth have attended some of the nation's leading universities, including the University of California, Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In addition, the Wooten Center has successfully presented an annual golf tournament for the past 14 years, and five signature dinners. Mrs. Myrtle Faye Rumph is to be commended for the outstanding work she has done in South Central Los Angeles over the past 20 years. She has truly made a difference in the lives of hundreds of inner-city youth. We applaud her for her outstanding work, and thank her for the great legacy she has left at the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center. In addition to her son, the Late Al Wooten Jr., Mrs. Rumph has a daughter, Barbara Clark and a son, Rev. Arthur Lee Wooten. She has eight granddaughters and one great grandson. It is with Great Pride and Honor that we Salute this Mother, This Leader, This Icon in our communtiy!