21st Century leaders

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Suttle Summer program prepares youth for life’s tough choices

By Tracie Troha/Times-Journal Writer

The 21st Century Youth Leadership is hosting a summer camp for young children and teens from July 9 to July 17 that will focus on teaching them life lessons and becoming more involved in their community.

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Malika Sanders, director of 21st Century Youth Leadership, said the summer camp is designed to address drug abuse, crime, teen pregnancy and other issues facing the youth.

“We hope to use this camp to answer kids’ questions, like what kinds of choices they should make and what they could do with their lives,” Sanders said. “We want to teach them to be movement builders in terms of taking society to another level.”

Sanders said she is expecting up to 200 children and teens from all across the county to attend the camp, which will be held at 21st Century’s headquarters in Suttle.

“We will have not only kids from the U.S., but also a few are coming all the way from Africa,” Sanders said.

Some of the camp activities will include a mock legislative session at the state capital, a mock trial, a film festival, and Door to Door Math Organizing.

There will also be typical camp activities like swimming, dancing and theater.

Sanders said a number of nationally known history makers and authors will host presentations for the campers and the public at large.

One of the speakers will be the Rev. James Bevel, a key strategist of the Birmingham and Selma Civil Rights Movement and who also conceived the Selma-to- Montgomery March.

Bevel will be holding his presentation on July 14 at 7 p.m. at the National Voting Rights Museum.

On July 15, Dr. Ray Winbush, author of the “Warrior Instinct,” will share his thoughts on how the male warrior instinct can be transformed and channeled into positive pursuits.

Winbush is also scheduled to speak at the Voting Rights Museum beginning at 5 p.m.

“We invite the public to come and hear these speakers with us,” Sanders said.

The Youth Leadership campers will also hear from a rap artist about how hip-hop music is becoming a mainstream part of the community.

“Different people from around Alabama and beyond are going to talk about becoming leaders,” Sanders said. “We want to truly have the kind of democracy people always talk about. This camp is about being a real leader.”

Sanders said only four scholarships are left that children can apply for it they are interested in attending the camp, but do not have financial means.

For more information about the camp, contact 21st Century Youth Leadership at 334-874-0065.