Beginning today, the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) will hold its 15th annual Muslim Youth Leadership Program (MYLP) at the State Capitol in Sacramento.
The annual conference brings together approximately 40 Muslim high school students from across the state to participate in workshops on community organizing, leadership development, and public speaking.
The participants, who have all shown exemplary leadership skills in their own communities, will take part in a “mock legislature” session and serve as legislators as they debate public policy issues and prepare bills to be presented on the State Capitol Senate floor.
This session, a program highlight, will enable participants to gain a deeper, practical understanding of how bills are reviewed and laws are born in the California legislature.
“Empowering our youth is one of our top priorities,” said CAIR-SV Executive Director and MYLP Program Chair Basim Elkarra. “It is our goal to give youth the tools to succeed in the current political environment and for our participants to return home and empower their peers and community members.”
More than 600 California students have participated in the program since its first conference in 2005. The program’s graduates have moved on to become community activists – many of whom have created their own nonprofit organizations and taken on groundbreaking leadership roles.
CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.