State of male youth summit


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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – A culture of violence has captured many young people in this country.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010, a young person from 10 to 24 years old was murdered every 13 days.

It’s a cycle schools in Birmingham are trying to break.

During a special program Friday, high school students heard from those who have risen above the violence and are now inspiring others.

Dr. Steve Perry joined several speakers for “The State of Male Youth Summit” at the Boutwell Auditorium.

Speaking directly to the students Perry said, “You’ve got to decide if you’ve got the courage and self respect to decide that you are a young man of value… You’re going to be a king.”

Phillip Agnew with The Dream Defenders flew in from Chicago to talk to the students.

Agnew believes much of the street violence we see stems from from young people trying to prove they are anything but powerless.

“A lot of the crimes do happen when someone feels powerless over their destiny over their economic circumstances their political circumstance. But when you let people know you not only have power but you have the ability to build power with other people. That changes their thinking.”

The program is a year long endeavor of growing king’s incorporated.

Marcus Carson says his goal with Growing Kings Incorperated is to give every young male from 4th grade to 12th a chance to have a consistent positive role model in their lives.

“I am a product of the Birmingham City Schools, I grew up in Titusville however there was one thing prevalent in my life that unfortunately a lot of young men don’t have and that’s a strong father.”

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