The Cam Newton Foundation recently launched a program -- Un1ted As 1 -- that 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 CNF launched a pilot program of Un1ted As 1 in Charlotte on Jan. 13 - 15. The program began with a kickoff and orientation event (held Dec. 12), followed by three days of learning and activities designed for middle-school aged students. The program focused on themes such as: Un1quely Me, Un1quely You; 1nfluencers & 1nfluencing; and Act1ing As 1.
After completing the program, participants were exposed to:
- Working together, embracing diversity and solving problems
- Understanding the power of influence and wielding it to impact social change
- Navigating and discussing real issues in today’s society and seeing these issues as opportunities for positive change
Guest speakers included Dr. Jen Welter, Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Toussaint Romain, business leaders and local media personalities.
Approximately 60 youth from different backgrounds participated. These students have shown a desire to embrace teamwork and discover their own power to enact social change. The pilot program participants are from three Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System middle schools (Community House, Coulwood and Piedmont IB), as well as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Charlotte.
After evaluation of the pilot program, future goals include expansion in the Carolinas, Southeast and also nationally.
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. For three decades, The Winters Group has helped organizations, large and small, assess organizational climate, build and implement innovative strategies, design educational interventions, and coach and motivate leaders and individual contributors.
Special thanks to our guest speakers, the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and the Levine Museum of the New South for hosting the CNF and guests!