School buses filled with middle and high school students were greeted with healthy “Empower Food” breakfast snacks, swag bags, free hair care products, a live DJ and an octogenarian activist two-time Oscar winner as they arrived Friday morning at the Fairmont in West Midtown for the first-ever Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential Youth Empowerment Summit.
As G-CAPP founder Jane Fonda had explained earlier in the week, the summit’s goals were two-fold: to showcase and give voice to young people across Georgia who are positioning themselves as our future leaders and an opportunity for the adults in the room to listen and learn how we can best support these young people.
Among the young people joining moderator and former CNN anchor Laurie Dhue and Fonda on stage: Brian Ball, a Georgia State student and Boys & Girls Club of America’s Youth of the Year recipient, Jasmine Burton, founder of the global social impact organization Wish for WASH, Jaslyn Charger, Standing Rock Native American social activist, Nicholas Cousar, entrepreneur and musician and former G-CAPP peer leader, Charlie and Hanna Lucas, the brother and sister team that created the mental awareness app notOK, poet, filmmaker and activist Royce Mann, Alice Brown Otter, a Standing Rock Native American activist for social and economic justice, Olivia and Carter Ries, a brother and sister who launched the One More Generation endangered species nonprofit, emerging fashion designer Ronnita Whipple and Nawroz Youssef, a Syrian refugee now studying in the United States in hopes to becoming a doctor to help others like her.
In this video shot exclusively for Eldredge ATL readers, Fonda and the young people discuss their hopes for the future, how adults can be more effective allies and the very personal reasons why Jane started G-CAPP in Georgia 24 years ago.
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Richard L. Eldredge is the founder and editor in chief of Eldredge ATL. As a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Atlanta magazine, he has covered Atlanta since 1990.