Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Day At The Boys & Girls Club!

We're in the final push to outreach to Georgia youth for our 3rd annual,"Be The Change" youth convergence so it's an understatement to say we were excited to be invited to facilitate workshops at multiple Boy's & Girl's Clubs in Atlanta. It was a special experience for me as the Boys & Girls Club was a refuge for me when I was a youngster.

Several of us got together over the past week and developed a new, more interactive, "Be The Change" workshop designed explore Martin Luther Kings legacy, specifically the last year of his life, the beyond Vietnam speech, poor peoples campaign, and the events surrounding Dr. King's murder. The workshop effectively uses discussions sparked by the explorations of Dr.King's often untaught legacy to ask questions about the modern relevance of Dr. King's political analysis, and perhaps more importantly, how can we grasp the tools that enable us to pick up where King and other social justice leaders have left of, how can we create the change that we want in our communities?

In what ways do the giant triplets of evil(poverty, racism, and militarism), as King called them in his landmark, "Beyond Vietnam" speech, control our minds, bodies, and communities? How do these systems of violence and oppression interact and support each other?

Youth participants, many of whom where as young as thirteen years old, took time to break into groups and discuss they ways in which they see racism, poverty, and militarism effecting their lives and communities. Participants also spent time imagining the communities that they would like to life in, how would they be different, what would they change.

Lastly, after talking about local changes students would like to see in their communities, we gave a pitch for this years "Be The Change" Youth Convergence which is being held in Atlanta July 29-31.

We ended up registering fifteen more folks for the conference! We're super excited to be able to facilitate another workshop at the Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club next Tuesday!!

Here's one of the video clips that we showed to help youth understand other somewhat untaught aspects of Dr. Kings legacy:

Tim Franzen
American Friends Service Committee

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