Saturday, February 14, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Youth Task Force of Portland organized 3rd Annual Youth Summit
By: Alitash Muhammad and Imani Muhammad
On February 7, 2009, the Youth Task Force of Portland, Oregon organized the 3rd Annual Youth Summit “The Future is All About Y.O.U.th”, in the spirit of the Millions More Movement. The Youth Summit formed after the murder of a young 14 year old Black male January 7, 2007, Davonte Lightfoot. The Youth Summit became Imani Muhammad’s response to her former student’s death. “This is my way of grieving and waking up our community”, she responded.
Over 60 youth filled the college campus of Portland State University engaging in various workshops taught by positive Black men in the community of Portland. The youth were divided into 4 groups and were given a specific schedule based on the group they were assigned. The group names were Hip Hop, Change, Unity and Freedom, which were inspired by the recent election of President Barack Obama’s agenda as well as the influences of the youth generation. The workshops included the history of Hip Hop before Lil Wayne and T.I., Paranoia vs. Clairvoyance – the psychological warfare on our mind, How to use Hip Hop to Motivate and Real or Deal-reality versus illusion. For 35 minute increments, the youth interacted in each workshop; learning knew ideas and concepts to help empower them to become better people in their homes and community. After the workshops, the entire group congregated to bring to a close the afternoon activities. The youth developed an action plan and agenda that will be presented to youth organizations and leaders in the community to assist in preventing the increase in gang activity and recent shootings in Portland as of December 2008.
The 3rd Annual Youth Summit concluded with a Youth Talent Showcase which featured various artists from the Pacific Northwest as well as young stars who are just getting involved as artists. The winner of the vocal contest was crowned the Youth Summit Champion, free studio time with Northwest’s Premier Record Label Jus Family and Executive Branch Management as well as an opportunity to be the opening act for the upcoming show on February 26th featuring National recording artist The Game.
The overall goal for the Youth Summit is to revitalize the importance of our future by nurturing our youth through providing a positive atmosphere for learning, education, empowerment and fun. It took a death for our community to spark our one member in the community to give back to Davonte’s generation. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan says it the best, “If you have lost a child to senseless violence or a family member, remember they did not die in vain, because nothing advances in civilization without the sacrifice of life”.