Youth center founder to speak about aiding at-risk kids, teens

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:22 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

Although more than a thousand miles separate them, Lorenzo Lawson thinks of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City as an older brother to Columbia’s Youth Empowerment Zone.

“Harlem Children’s Zone has, for lack of a better term, adopted the Youth Empowerment Zone,” said Lawson, executive director of the Columbia organization that focuses on helping at-risk youth.

On Monday, Harlem Children’s Zone founder, nationally recognized author and community leader Geoffrey Canada will speak to Columbians about his experiences in founding the organization, which works to improve the quality of life for those living in Harlem, as well as how these same practices can be related to the Columbia community. Canada was invited to speak by Columbia’s Color Coalition, comprised of the Boone County Community Partnership, The Intersection and the Youth Empowerment Zone.

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Lenoir Woods Community Center, 3612 Lenoir St. Tickets are $25 apiece or $200 per table and include a buffet lunch. They are available through Friday morning by calling Shelia Thompson at 256-1890, ext. 266.

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