50 Years of MDCR #2: Kamilia Landrum (video)

50 Years of MDCR #2: Speaking on the Future, Kamilia Landrum (video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 23, 2014)


Fifty years ago, The Michigan Department of Civil Rights was created as part of the new State Constitution adopted in 1963. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person gallowaycollens1because of religion, race, color or national origin, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The MDCR celebrated its successes and contemplated the future with a Civil Rights ctechadSymposium at Wayne State University Law School’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights on Sept. 19, 2014.

Among the speakers was 25-year-old Kamilia Landrum who is Program and Member Services Coordinator of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]. She also serves on the national board. She was asked to speak about the future of Civil Rights in Michigan.

Landrum spoke about the future, being the youth.

“It’s mentoring that has brought me to this place to stand here before you,” Landrum said. “I was 16 when I joined the NAACP. As a Youth Council President I had the opportunity to work with our State Conference, our Regional Offices, our National Board and it was the people at the NAACP that took the time out to take me under their wings, to show me a new light.”

She said that she grew up in Detroit, in an area where LangtonWebAddrug regimes had come in. “But I had a mom who was close to the faith community and she turned me over to the NAACP,” she said. “They took me traveling, to celebrating, to marches. They were the mentors who drove me to college.”

The experiences of her youth steered her towards making a difference as an adult. “Let’s talk about the future of Civil Rights in Michigan,” she said. “I can’t think of anything but the investment in our youth… If we don’t invest in education, if we don’t invest in diversity, if we don’t invest in quality of life for our young people, not only will I not find a husband, but we’re not investing in Michigan.”Reid_Sally_115

In her work with the NAACP, Landrum sees first-hand the difference between investment and abandonment. “We meet with our Youth Council twice a month and they come in and we get two different dynamics of kids,” she said. “I get my young people that attend our premiere high schools, and they’re all talking about ACT Prep, SAT Prep, ‘Miss Kamilia I have to do this,’ ‘I have to do this program at Wayne,’ ‘I’m going to this program at Michigan.’

“And then seed030_Laurinda RossI get another dynamic of kids that don’t have books. We have kids and they have reading opportunities and they struggle. That’s hard for me to sit and deal with. That’s hard for me to take in when they’re all the same age. They come from the same city, but they just don’t have the same outcome.

“As we invest in education for our future, as we invest in early childhood, as we expose our young people to opportunity, programs, places like the Detroit Youthville and Charles H. Wright Museum and even this University, Wayne State, it’s important that we take opportunity… It’s not just about a $5 or $10 donation, but maybe take a young person out to lunch that you haven’t had time with. Or take someone in your family that you know is struggling. It might be a book, it might be a play, but its exposure that will help them. It’s exposure that will help our young people see something different, want something different and try to sidebar01sponsorachieve something different.”

Over the next couple of weeks, the Oakland County 115 News Hub will share video and stories from the symposium in our series: 50 Years of MDOC.

Learn more about the MDCR at http://www.michigan.gov/mdcr.

Learn more about the Keith Center at http://keithcenter.wayne.edu/.

Learn more about Kamilia Landrum and the NAACP at http://www.naacp.org/preview/pages/board-member-kamilia-landrum.

For other stories in this series see:


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