Johnson, others speak to young men

Published 11:16 pm Monday, February 15, 2016

By Chelsea VanceThe Selma Times-Journal

Several dozen young men gathered Monday at the Performing Arts Center for the “Black Man Heal Symposium.”

The seventh annual event was organized by Councilwoman Angela Benjamin. The event focuses on the importance of being well-rounded.

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Panelists included Selma native and NFL player Michael Johnson, Ralph Coquemar, David Perry, Effell Williams, Mark Peterson and John Grayson.

Discussion included health and wellness, spirituality, finance and economics, goal setting and the importance of whole healing.

Benjamin said she is confident that those who attended learned a lot.

“I have to pick panelists that can speak to this age group. They’ve started off by sharing their testimonies and stories about when they were that age and how they got to where they are now,” Benjamin said.

Johnson spoke on health and physical fitness. He said it was important to him to speak at the symposium and said he took away information from the other panelists too.

“It was great for me to be able to listen to what other panelists had to say as well. I feel like I got as much out of this than as anybody. Overall, we had some great panelists.” Johnson said.

The panelists asked the students questions to make sure they were paying attention. The young men also broke into small groups to have one-on-time with the role models.

“These kids really got some good information today. It was information that I would have loved to hear at a young age,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, they can take it to heart and memory and put it to use.”

The second day of the Black History Celebration will be held Tuesday at the Performing Arts Center, which is located at 1000 Selma Ave.

Artistic expressions of all kind will be showcased from community members. The event is free of charge and will begin at 5:30 p.m.