Programs and Campaigns

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Young Advocate Leadership Training (YALT®) Program

The YALT program is conducted by the Children’s Defense Fund on the behalf of the Black Community Crusade for Children (BCCC) campaign. The YALT program is a critical component of CDF/BCCC youth leadership development work. The program is two-fold:

Build a movement for children. The YALT program maintains a national network of young servant leaders committed to child advocacy and social justice. The national Young Leaders Action Network is a forum to engage servant leaders across the country in ongoing dialogue and effective action necessary to address the toxic cocktail of poverty, illiteracy, racial disparities and massive incarceration that is sentencing millions of children to dead-end, powerless and hopeless lives and threatens to undermine the past half century of racial and social progress.

Awake youth of the land and accept this noble challenge of salvaging the strong ship of civilization by the anchors of right, justice and love. -Ella Baker

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Train a new cadre of young leaders. With an esteemed faculty and core training team, YALT equips young servant leaders with intensive and specialized training so that they can return home and continue to sow the seeds necessary to build a movement for children. YALT is designed to train and prepare young servant leaders 18 to 30 years old to be a strong and effective voice for all children but especially those left behind. The three-day organizing and advocacy-based curriculum is offered at regular intervals throughout the year at the Children’s Defense Fund’s Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tenn., CDF’s spiritual renewal and servant-leadership development center for building a movement to save children. Join the Young Leaders Action Network to get connected to upcoming training and community outreach opportunities.

Training at a Glance

Student Leaders Speak Out!

During the October 2011 YALT session, over 100 student leaders, the majority from historically Black colleges and universities, delivered a live national appeal to their peers on the urgent need to dismantle and replace the cradle to prison pipeline devastating the Black community and warn of the dangers of federal budget cuts in perpetuating the pipeline. The call to action was aired live from CDF’s Haley Farm in Clinton, Tenn.

YALT Program Speakers Series

Civil Rights veterans, thought leaders from various disciplines, and servant leaders from the field engage YALT program participants in powerful, intergenerational dialogue.