The mission of the Martin Luther King Youth Empowerment Conference is to inspire and empower high school students to become effective advocates and allies for peaceful social change on issues of violence, prejudice and discrimination.
Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Empowerment Conference kicks off with a FOUR day residential summer youth leadership conference designed to promote understanding, communication and unity among diverse student leaders from high schools throughout the state of New Jersey. The goal of the conference is to prepare the next generation of activist leaders. Students work together intensively to become aware of their own biases, examine the sources of these patterns, and learn how to overcome them. They learn about themselves and hear each other’s stories. Finally, students gain skills and tools to become active leaders against all forms of prejudice and discrimination in their school and community.
The second session of the MLK Conference is a one-day retreat during which the Ambassadors gain additional knowledge, tools and skills. They accomplish this by taking part in experiential activities and discussions that further deepen their self-awareness, as well as their understanding of relevant social issues. Last but not least, the Ambassadors have the opportunity to reconnect and to rekindle the friendships that are formed during the summer session.
The final retreat for the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Empowerment Conference is a time for our Ambassadors to reflect on all the skills and tools they have gained. In the morning, the Ambassadors and our MLK staff take part in the National Day of Service by participating in a service project to give back to the community. In the afternoon, they re-examine their mission as leaders, advocates and allies, as they discuss how they will continue their work. Finally, the Ambassadors are honored in a special graduation ceremony that acknowledges their accomplishments and their commitment to the mission and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.