For more than 20 years, a Chicago-based group of African American men and women have run an Africentric outdoor ministry program for inner city youth know as SIMBA (Safe in My Brother's Arms). As a result, hundreds of at-risk children experience the beauty of the outdoors each summer, while also being immersed in a structured, loving community filled with positive role models and supportive affirmation.
Originally targeting young African American males, SIMBA soon gave rise to SIMSA, (Safe in My Sisters Arms). Eventually, SIMBA and SIMSA gave rise to Rescue, Release, and Restore, an organization dedicated to transforming self worth and empowering youth through leadership training, artistic expression and mentorship.
In addition, a new worshiping community, Shekinah Chapel on Chicago's south side was born and continues today as a thriving congregation affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
This summer, the organization branched out even further, launching a new initiative, MYLA, the Multicultural Youth Leadership Academy. MYLA offers young men and women a safe space where they are developed and refined as leaders for a multicultural world.
MYLA is a timely outreach happening amid the backdrop of continued urban gang violence and divisive national electoral campaign rhetoric that will challenge what you think about your politics and your faith, on Sanctuary. This program aired Sunday, October 2, 2016, 2:00 p.m. ABC7 Chicago.