OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - It was another moving and inspirational convening of young leaders and mentors in Oakland Wednesday as the Obama Foundation's initiative, My Brother's Keeper wrapped up its three-day summit, to highlight the non-profit's success over the last five years.
MBK Rising, as it's called, is described as a movement one that touched people spiritually and emotionally.
From the rich vocal performance of the local choir to the motivational speech by New York Times best-selling author Shaka Senghor, who turned his life around after 19 years behind bars.
“I was deeply immersed in the crack cocaine trade,” said Senghor, with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.
The summit sought to mentor and empower young men of color getting to the heart of deeply rooted issues that can create barriers for success.
“When President Obama and Steph Curry pinpointed on men not speaking up because of society standards and other things that like, it was shocking to me because it made me realize they're not someone I can’t be. They're just another black kid that grew up in a bad situation just like me,” said 16-year-old New Orleans student, Quinten Crump.
It was also an opportunity to motivate mentors to do more, like former NFL player Victor Cruz is doing for the Boys and Girls Club in his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey.
“It wasn't just about lending my name and then walking away and doing other. I want to make sure I’m there, present and giving back and using my resources to the best of my ability,” said Cruz.
Not one person left the Scottish Rite Center in Oakland the same way they entered.
“It gives me hope, it lets me see the other side of things that people do want to turn it around and make it out like me. Because I don't want to be stuck in New Orleans my whole life I want to see the whole world,” said Miles Stewart, 17-year-old student from New Orleans.
For many young men like Miles, this summit turned that dream into a reality.
We asked Miles Stewart if he’s ever been to California. He said “no never in my life.”
We asked what it’s like being here. He said “it's really like the movies.”
Speaking of movies, Black Panther Director Ryan Coogler and star actor Michael B. Jordan closed out the event with some inspiring words for the group of young men.
“What’s for you is for you. Can’t nobody take that away from you. Your blessings are going to be your blessings. Try to be the best person you can be. Karma is real. Give out to the universe and it will conspire to make it happen for you. I really believe that,” said Michael B. Jordan.