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Program designed to help students of color overcome obstacles holds 5th annual conference

Posted at 6:17 PM, Feb 01, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With the beat of old school hip-hop, Micah Harris hopes to inspire and empower the young kids at this year's Boys to Men Youth Empowerment Conference at McKinley High School.

"The message was always to uplift the black community to begin with," he said.

Harris is one of the speakers hoping to give young boys of color a better understanding of the challenges in life they might face, and overcome those obstacles.

"You can be bigger than what your environment is regardless of if you do hip-hop or if you do being a lawyer," he said.

That is another thing this conference aims to do; supporting these young men and letting them know they can make it regardless of their circumstances.

Eighth grader Emmanuel Reed said Harris inspired him to rap and make beats.

"I feel like it really helped me in what I was going through after my grandmother passed so. Everybody here is really supportive," he said.

"It's not always about them knowing or thinking they have no choices in life. So what we like to do here is we like to address issues that they're faced with," said Jacqueline Mines, President and CEO of Helping Families & Children in America Inc.

"From the very beginning, hip-hop was a way for the voiceless to have a voice. And I feel like at one point I was the voiceless, now I have a voice," said Harris. "Since I do have a voice I want to give it to these kids."