Troy Davis case galvanizes young people into action
The case of Troy Anthony Davis, a likely innocent man on death row in Savannah, Georgia has inspired young people across the country to take action. Members from the NAACP Youth and College Division are convening in Savannah, this week for a “Savannah Summer Field Experience” to help save Davis’ life and to learn skills that will equip them to organize in their own communities.
Sponsored by the NAACP, the Savannah Summer Field Experience kicked off on July 29 and will continue through August 2. More than 75 young civil rights leaders, ages 14-24, representing NAACP youth councils and college chapters in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Ohio will participate in a range of intensive training sessions and events.
Leading the workshops and sessions is the NAACP Field Organizing Department, who will guide the visiting participants through programs focused on strategic organizing and mobilization techniques. After the close of Savannah Summer on Sunday, participants will depart with valuable skills, strategies, and techniques that they can later apply to grassroots social justice campaigns in their home regions.
Stefanie Brown, the NAACP National Field Director, said that today's young people are eager to be politically involved, and determined to be effective leaders in ending racial, economic, educational, and criminal justice disparities that exist in the U.S.
“Savannah Summer is a life changing experience for these energetic young people. Through their involvement in the training and field experiences, they are continuing the tradition of activism within the NAACP,” said Brown, 28.
Participants at the five day Savannah Summer Field Experience will take part in a variety of break-out sessions and field visits, including:
· Developing winning strategies for on-the-ground organizing
· Building and joining coalitions around issues
· Securing and conducting accountability sessions with elected officials
· Organizing and executing door-to-door and electronic petition drives, for the
· Participating in community meetings
· Forming partnerships and speaking with local clergy members and established churches
"The skills these participants learn here will allow them to be more effective organizers and leaders in their own communities and on their college campuses,” said Brown. “They are learning how to analyze problems, create strategies and implement solutions.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.