Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II recently visited with KC Healthy Kids to share his perspective on the power of youth voices and to hear about kids’ proposals to make their schools and communities healthier.
“Change, in the history of this planet, has almost always been brought about by young people,” he said. “The world depends on young people because their minds are fresh and they have a level of daring”
He told how, at age 15, he led the first civil rights march in Wichita Falls when 50 students joined him in protesting segregated movie theaters there. He also shared a foolproof tactic for getting the attention of elected officials -- kids need to do the talking!
“Nobody, nobody wants to get on the bad side of kids,” he said, “You have much more power than you believe.”
The visit was made possible through a grant from Healthy Blue, a leading managed care provider of health benefits for Missouri’s MO HealthNet (Medicaid) program, which serves more than 300,000 Medicaid members with innovative solutions and services for affordable and reliable healthcare.
Representative Cleaver reviewed proposals by students from Central Middle School, EPiC Elementary, Banneker Elementary and Foreign Language Academy. The projects won first place or received honorable recognition in KC Healthy Kids’ Champions for Health Challenge. You can see all the winning proposals with photos here.
“Healthy Blue is proud to support KC Healthy Kids and the Champions for Health Challenge,” said Jeff Davis, plan president, Healthy Blue. “We remain committed to providing our local youth with tools and resources to promote and encourage healthy and productive lifestyles. Through this initiative, students were able to engage alongside their peers with brain-stimulating activity that will create and improve overall quality of life that furthers our mission of building healthier communities.”
Emanuel Cleaver II has represented Missouri's Fifth Congressional District in Washington, DC for over 15 years. Before that, he was a city council member and the first Black mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. One of Representative Cleaver’s biggest accomplishments was establishing a Green Impact Zone. That project brought resources and money into under-resourced neighborhoods to rebuild curbs and sidewalks, fix up houses and make them energy efficient, and create jobs. Today he’s going to talk about why your voice matters and how to engage your decision makers to make change in your community