Colin Kaepernick Hosts 1st “Know Your Rights” Youth Camp

When Colin Kaepernick started his national anthem protest, a lot of folks agreed with his positions on police brutality and the unjust treatment of people of color in this country but weren’t sure how his protest would help. After months of protesting (or showing support of those who were), several athletes, including Kaepernick, have expressed the need to “take it to the next level”. Who better to up the ante than Colin himself.

I’m sure he could have had his “people” pull together a foundation or event which would take some time but Colin decided he wanted to the work himself. So, after 2 months of planning with a small group of friends and supporters, Colin hosted the first “Know Your Rights Camp” for youth in Oakland, California. The quarterback invited New York Daily News columnist Shaun King and his son to the first camp. The writer and quarterback  have developed mutual admiration for each other through social media but met for the first time at the camp on October 29th. In a piece that he penned about the event, King included a few quotes from Kaep that provided some insight into his grassroots approach.

“I didn’t just want to hire someone to come in and do this. We did all of this ourselves. We even opted out of corporate sponsors because we just wanted the freedom to say exactly what we thought the kids we’ve brought here today need to hear and learn. I told myself that if I was going to do this type of work, that I was going to actually do it myself,” he said.

Complete with a 10 point plan, the  camp endeavored to teach youth how to properly interact with law enforcement in different scenarios.

1. You have the right to be free.

2. You have the right to be healthy.

3. You have the right to be brilliant.

4. You have the right to be safe.

5. You have the right be loved.

6. You have the right to be courageous.

7. You have the right to be alive.

8. You have the right to be trusted.

9. You have the right to be educated.

10. You have the right to know your rights.

Over several hours, the kids attended sessions with diverse experts who gave them essential life skills that would help them navigate through a world that often judges them by the color of their skin before knowing anything about them.

img_6639-2At the conclusion of the camp, Colin shared an unexpected surprise with the participants. In their take away bags he included the forms necessary for each of them to discover their ancestry through your DNA for free. He shared how important it is to know your history.

“I want you to know what I know and know where you came from before slavery, before this oppression that we are experiencing, before police brutality you had thousands of years of rich history and I want you to know your roots with that history.”

There are already calls for the camp to visit different cities and states across the country. Colin Kaepernick’s protest wasn’t just a protest.  He is walking the walk wholeheartedly.

Read Shaun King’s article in it’s entirety here. Get the scoop on the “Know Your Rights” initiative here.