Youth Summit held in East Durham to provide summer alternatives for families

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Sunday, June 25, 2023
Youth Summit in Durham provides families with summer alternatives
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The 5th Annual Youth Summit drew hundreds of kids and their families to East Durham Saturday.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 5th Annual Youth Summit drew hundreds of kids and their families to East Durham Saturday.

The event was organized by the Hayti Reborn Justice Movement and Bull City Bull Dogs, a youth football group. It was put on to showcase organizations that serve underserved communities in the Bull City including many that combat violence.

"We have to continue to team together to give these kids something new," said Fred Evans, head of the Bull Dogs. "It needs to be something exciting and something they want to be involved in. No matter what you do there, there will be some who make it, but we'll give them every opportunity we can to continue and prosper."

The challenge many Durham parents face is what to do with their 9-year-olds after school is out.

"At camp, I like when we do our challenges and bond, make new friends and I like the obstacles. I can face and I like art and how I can express myself when I'm there," 9-year-old Hafsah Malone said.

Hafsah's mother and founder of the non-profit Black Girls for Liberation Brittani Clark found the answers.

"What we really focus on...focus on holding them, being with them where they are allowing them to be able to be free and dream," she said. "When we think about all of the organizations that are here, that have these opportunities, we have a myriad of age think about older kids needing something to do but working parents what does it look like to have organizations care for them in real ways."

A variety of non-profits and camps including Sidekicks Academy, and Together for Resilient Youth (T.R.Y) had displays as well as the Durham Police Department which still has spots left in its summer youth academy.

"Once they see these things, families need to be able to connect and that's what we're doing," said Steve Chalmers, former chief of the Durham Police Department who now works for the justice movement. "We need to make certain that if there are programs and organizations that folks want to connect to we find a way to make that possible for them."

The event was held at the Holton Career and Resource Center on North Driver Street.