Who Leads Our Camps?
The 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement organizes three training camps annually to enhance the development of young community-focused leaders who have a vision and collective power to improve the qualitiy of life for all people.
Two mini-camps are held during the school year in March and December respectively, in addition to a ten day camp during the summer. The leadership training camps promote mental, cultural, and physical development of young people so that they can maximize their full academic and leadership potential.
The training camps provide the forum for hundreds of youth from across the nation to come together to discuss and analyze the issues that are effecting their communities. The camps also allows young people to work togeher on viable solutions for problems facing the 21st Century.
21st Century's camps give young people the opportunity to benefit from specialized training on a variety of subjects such as, vision building, goal setting, grassroots organizing, self-development, conflict resolution, peer counseling, and cultural enrichment. Campers participate in interactive training sessions such as mock trails, rites of passage ceremonies, talent showcases, quiz bowls, debates, and team projects.
The camp workshops have been taught by various community activists and organizers from all walks of life. These distinguished trainers bring with them different philisophies, backgrounds, point of view, experiences and wisdom that they share with 21st Century Leaders
Past trainers include Rev. Jesse Jackson (1988 Presidential Candidate); Gloria Naylor (Writer); Rosa Parks (Civil Rights Activist); Dr. Ron Karenga ( Founder of Kwanzaa and US Organization); Rev. Ben Chavis (Former NAACP Director); Atallah Shabazz (Writer); Atty. Johnnie Cochran (Defense Attorney for O.J. Simpson Trial); Arun Ghandi (Human Rights Activist and grandson of Mahatma Ghandi); Dr. Joseph Lowery (former SCLC President); Maxine Waters (Congresswoman); Rev. Mottalepula Chabaku (Activist in South Africa); Mamie Till Mobley (mother of Emmett Till); and of course many other leaders who are too numerous to name.
Why Do We Have Camps?
Become A Chapter
Although the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement is based in Selma, Alabama it has expanded far beyond Selma and attracted young people all accross the nation.
Over the past ten years various 21st Century chapters all accross the nation have joined together to share unique tactics for bridging intergenerational, cultural, and socioeconomic gaps as well as other artificial barriers. The chapters attend training camps, organize youth locally, and implement various 21-C programs and projects.
The chapters are in a cross section of communities ranging from small rural areas to large meropolitan cities. Each chapter brings a special talent and spirit to the organization that helps to broaden the perspective of those involved.
The seed of the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement was planted in 1985 during the planning of the 20th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and the Selma to Montgomery Commemorative March. Veteran civil and human rights workers recognized the need for providing a training ground for young community-focused leaders due to increasing youth on youth violence, drug abuse, and crime, as well as the continuation of racism, sexism, and poverty in communities. These activists felt that the lack of focus on preparing young people to find and implement solutions to these problems had to be dealt with immediately. Therefore, veteran workers organized the first 21st Century Youth Leadership Training Camp to share their knowledge and experiences with young people who knew little about the Movement.
The Los Angeles Times characterized the camp as "the most significant accomplishment of the national celebration of the righ to vote."