2014 UAO African Youth Forum a Huge Success
Roughly sixty participants joined United African Organization staff and volunteers at the 2014 African Youth Forum. Focusing on issues such as youth violence and incarceration, immigration and education, this year’s forum succeeded in raising awareness and inspiring youth participants to envision a better future for themselves and their community.
After School Matters instructor Vicki Casanova kicked off the festivities with a short interactive African dance presentation. With the help of students from the West Indian Folk Dance Company and After School Matters, Casanova got all of our youth participants up and moving to the beat of the shekeres and African drums.
Following the dance session, participants broke into two groups to discuss youth violence and incarceration, and immigration. VISTA member Jasmine Davis from First Defense Legal Aid led a “Know Your Rights” interactive session where she discussed basic legal rights and what to do and say if you are confronted by a police officer.
Meanwhile, UAO Executive Director Alie Kabba spoke to youth participants about current trends in African immigration to the US and the significance of immigration reform for the health and growth of the African community.
After enjoying a delicious spread courtesy of Yassa African Restaurant and Demera Ethiopian Restaurant, the forum wrapped up with an inspiring poetry reading from Spoken Word artist Tumelo Khoza followed by an education panel consisting of young African professionals. Members of the panel made clear the importance of a post-secondary degree in today’s job market and the need to set both a short and long term plan to achieve your goals.
Our thanks to all those who helped make the 2014 African Youth Forum possible. We look forward seeing you all again next year!
To find more pictures from the 2014 UAO African Youth Forum, please visit our Facebook page.
by Max Woxland, UAO Intern