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Unity Celebration encourages youth outreach

DEMOPOLIS &045;&8212;While many of yesterday&8217;s programs honoring Dr. Martin Luther King featured traditional stories of his life and his work, the Second Annual Unity Celebration chose to focus their attention on reaching out to area youths, in an effort to revive the dream of which King spoke.

By featuring performances by area youth, Robertson feels they are performing a service to young black males who are often at the highest risk for bad behavior. Bill Wilkins, host, agreed.

The program is based off a program from 1992 by the Elite Lindenites, and Robertson said she hopes it will continue to grow, perhaps even to include a mentoring component

Also, through donations and pledges, they were able to fund two scholarships in September. They are hoping to award two or three more scholarships in May to eligible juniors and seniors from the county.

At Monday&8217;s program, just a few of the performances included a mime act from Jarius McGhee, a seventh grader at Sweet Water High School. Also, the Alpha Phi Alpha chapter from the University of West Alabama performed. Alpha Phi Alpha was the fraternal organization to which King belonged to in his youth.

The rest of the afternoon featured breakout information sessions on such topics as health issues – which was sponsored by the Soul of Courage Health Initiative &8212; the power of prayer, how to be a gentleman and how to get into college.

When asked about the turn out for the program, Robertson said she was overwhelmed.

For next year&8217;s program, she said she is looking for youthful volunteers to which she can pass the baton. Furthermore, she encourages the community to continue to donate to help fund scholarships for area youth.

If you would like more information on how to get involved, contact Annie Robertson at 334-295-5261.