Black Star Rising: Kings get uplifted with life lessons

students competing for ball at Kings in the Making conference

On Saturday, February 3rd, a momentous event unfolded across the Bay Area as over 80 young Kings, grades 4th-12th, gathered for the much-anticipated Kings in the Making youth conference at Castlemont High School. The theme, ‘Black Star Rising,’ underscored the inherent greatness within Black boys. The conference serves as a supportive force to help them confidently ‘take their crowns out their pocket and rock’it,’ as we like to say here at Kingmakers!

KOO Krew performs at Kings in the MakingThis Kings in the Making 25th edition (formerly ManUp), started with tee-shirt give-aways, and breakfast to give folks a chance to arrive, and get fueled up for a full day of workshops. After a hearty welcome by leader Kahlil Chatmon, KOO Krew performed three songs that got heads bobbing, feet moving, and juices flowing, culminating with the anthem “I’m a King”!  

An invigorating yoga session with mindful breathing got the juices flowing and mind relaxed, to promote holistic approaches of wellness. Students participated in a dynamic range of workshops from nutritional health to Afrocentric history, spoken word, beat-making, mindfulness, mask-making, career prep, and literacy.  Bro. Marcus Bradford and Bro. Gregory West had students craft high-quality poems in teams, integrating different lines into a full piece, a lesson from our KOOriculum.

students display masks at the Kings in the Making February 2024Bro. Graham Betchart mindfulness and visualization lesson had students mentally creating and planning their goals. Bro. Kaya Fortune used maskmaking to teach African geography, culture, and design. Our CEO Bro. Chris ‘Baba C’ Chatmon empowered youth with career prep strategies. Plus students got a tie, once they learned how to tie one. 

Kings in The Making has become a staple in fostering essential life skills. Since its inception in 2010, this conference series consistently provided a platform for students to explore, learn, and grow. It continues to be a beacon of empowerment for young minds across the Bay Area. A testament to its enduring impact on the community, ensuring that every young King has the chance to rise and shine.

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