Can you believe that NCCJ St. Louis’ youth program, Anytown, has been serving the St. Louis area for 25 years? NCCJ has been a leader in youth social justice education and empowerment through its success with Anytown, an eight day, full immersion, residential program for high school students interested in making their school environments more inclusive for all. Participants explore topics of discrimination through exercises and dialogue, bridging divides and making friends from across the region. As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Anytown, we know that this work has never been more critical. In the week following the election, 701 incidents of hate and bias were reported, far more than the average (Southern Poverty Law Center). At Anytown, NCCJ works with teens to help them become leaders and change agents with valuable insights from the lived experiences of fellow attendees. Anytown alums speak highly of the skills they’ve gained at our program and cite their experiences with NCCJ as the catalysts that pushed them into leadership roles working toward social justice and equity.
This year we are excited to announce a new venue space, the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. Because of this new partnership, we have a greater capacity and anticipate hosting an additional sixty students from the St. Louis area and state of Missouri. NCCJ St. Louis is dedicated to building the important skills that allow students to handle tough conversations with peers and make their schools and environments more inclusive and safe for all because we know that change can start with youth. We are currently accepting applications for Anytown 26, which will take place June 25 through July 2. For applications or any additional information about Anytown, please visit our website at http://www.nccjstl.org/anytown.