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100 Black Men of DeKalb sets stellar youth summit at Arabia Mountain High

 

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Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy B. Martin, will be among the special guests at the 100 Black Men of DeKalb’s Ninth Annual Youth Summit. Martin will be joined by Super hip hop Music Producer Kevin “Khao” Cates, Mary Pat Hector, and Criminal Defense Attorney Mawuli Mel Davis.

The summit, open to middle and high school students throughout DeKalb County, will be held Saturday, Feb. 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Arabia  Mountain High School. 

 
“The goal of this year’s summit is to encourage and inspire young people to take a stand against the ills of society,” said Cornelius Stafford, president of the DeKalb 100 Black Men. 
 
 
Tracy Martin will share stories of his son, Trayvon, and discuss how he would like his son’s legacy to be remembered. Two years ago, Trayvon Martin’s death sparked an outcry across the country after the black 17-year-old high school student was gunned down by George Zimmerman, a mixed race Neighborhood Watch volunteer. Martin, who was unarmed, was walking home in the rain with a pack of Skittles and ice tea when Zimmerman shot him, claiming he had an altercation with the teen. Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder. Supporters continue to rally in memory of Martin, who would have turned 19 on Feb. 8. 

 

Kevin “Khao” Cates, who has produced for recording artists T.I., R. Kelly, Jezzy and Ruben Studdard will perform live at the youth summit. Cates is also founder of Bridge DA Gap foundation, which was created to help young people cope with troubling life issues. Cates will be honored for his work during the conference. 

 

Mary Pat Hector, president of Youth In Action and the recent winner of The McDonald’s 360 Award, also will be a guest speaker during the summit. 

 

Attorney Mawuli Mel Davis, a partner at the Davis & Bozeman Law Firm in DeKalb, will speak on “The Consequences of the Thug Life.” Davis has been dubbed “The Liberation Lawyer” because of his reputation as an activist attorney willing to fight injustice whenever and wherever it exists.

 

The summit will include several breakout sessions for students, including one entitled “My Posse,” which will focus on helping youths to select the right peers. “Discover Your Voice” will focus on helping youths to discover their passion, purpose and the problems they were created to solve. “The Code” will expose youths to the realities of racial profiling and arm them with strategies to manage the risks and consequences of being profiled. “The Consequences of Thug Life” will highlight the school-to- prison crisis in urban communities and what society can do to reduce current trends.

In addition to the breakout sessions for youths, there will be breakout sessions for parents. “Protecting and Preparing Tomorrows Future Leaders" is one of the parent workshops that includes strategies for parenting future leaders.

 

For the third year, the organization will recognize the achievements of young community leaders in honor of William C. Brown, founding president of the 100 Black Men of DeKalb. The awards will highlight youths who have achieved academic excellence, demonstrated outstanding community service and exhibited the spirit of entrepreneurship.” In addition, The 100 will also recognize an organization or adult leader who has contributed significantly to youth causes and programs.

 

Stafford said he hopes the awards will inspire youths who attend the summit.

 

“Far too many of our youth succumb to drugs and violence on the street because they have never been introduced to the hero living inside of them. They possess all the attributes of greatness, but settle for mediocrity,” Stafford said. 

 

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is the Platinum sponsor for this year’s event. The U.S. Marines, a new partner of the 100 Black Men of DeKalb County, is also a major contributor to the summit.

 

Over the past 22 years the 100 Black Men of DeKalb has positively impacted the lives of over 6,000 students through its after-school leadership and developmental program called The Leadership Academy. The program consists of students enrolled in the sixth through twelfth grades in DeKalb County Schools. 

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