Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 3, 2008

SCLC convention continues today

VALDOSTA — Igniting civic responsibility among today’s youth and among those who fought for basic civil freedoms in the past are two of the main goals of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“Civic involvement is the key to change.”

That is the message the SCLC’s Georgia State Unit is bringing to Valdosta this weekend with its first three-day convention.

The event, being held at The Wingate Hotel, kicked off Friday with various activities including a luncheon with SCLC National President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Charles Steele.

The convention will be host to a variety of events, including forums on SCLC chapter development, workshops on voter registration and an awards banquet.

Georgia SCLC President Rev. Samuel Mosteller said that the purpose of the convention is to bring the idea of a government for the people and by the people back to the people.

While paraphrasing President Abraham Lincoln, Mosteller said that in this day and age it seems as if the government is more prone to answer to the whims of the media and big corporations rather than the people it is supposed to provide for.

“Our communities are fractured. Our schools are fractured,” Mosteller said.

At one time, these outlets provided a place for intellectual growth and stability. Now it is the obligation and duty of civic organizations like the SCLC to step in and help those who are suffering from a fractured society, he said.

“We are here to be a surrogate family, to fill in and help that single mother, single father and other families that are suffering,” Mosteller said.

Rebuilding hope with people from all walks of life, nationalities and religions and showing that they can have a voice through the SCLC is what the national and state chapters hope to achieve.

Steele said the continued civic service of the SCLC lies within the recruitment and involvement of today’s youth.

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