The Cam Newton Foundation recently hosted the second year of Un1ted As 1.  This program teaches middle-school students to embrace diversity and ignite social change.  The CNF recognizes the value of starting young and equipping youth with tools for working as a team.  As we look to the future and the next generation of world-changers, teaching these skills has the power to transform and alleviate many of the societal problems we face today.  

The Un1ted As 1 program was hosted in Charlotte.  It began with a kickoff and orientation event (held March 12), followed by two days of learning and activities on Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31 at the Levine Museum of the New South. The program focused on two themes:  Un1quely Me, Un1quely You (Day 1) and Act1ng as 1 (Day 2).

Approximately 35 youth from diverse backgrounds participated.  These students have shown a desire to embrace teamwork and discover their own power to enact social change.  The Un1ted As 1 participants are from three Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System middle schools (Alexander Graham, Sedgefield and Piedmont IB). 

Un1quely Me, Un1quely You (Day 1) focused on identity and celebrating your uniqueness, as well as similarities, with others. Through interactive activities, participants learned who they are culturally. They explored the lens through which they see the world, other people and the implications. Additionally, participants explored the composition of their communities and the importance of difference.

Act1ng As 1 (Day 2) focused on working through differences and being a change agent in the community. During this day, participants worked through problem-solving and idea-sharing amongst differences, and explored community problems and how they can use their voices to affect change together.

Learning objectives from the program include: 

-Practicing effective collaboration across difference

-Identifying problems in our community and challenges to taking action and making progress

-Brainstorming ways to overcome challenges and working collaboratively to make a difference

-Creatively expressing what it means to be Un1quely Me, Un1quely You, and Un1ted as 1

The CNF is consulting with The Winters Group, Inc., on the development of the program curriculum and facilitation.  The Winters Group is a global diversity and inclusion firm specializing in creating transformative and sustainable solutions for organizations in support of their efforts to create more equitable and inclusive environments. 

Special thanks to the Levine Museum of the New South for hosting the CNF and guests!

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