Sunday, October 07, 2007

d'Zert CLub Celebrates Ten Years of Transformation

d’Zert Club Celebrates Ten Years of Transformation

In 1992 Ali and Helen Salahuddin started a business planning and hosting parties for adolescents to give them chaperoned, entertaining and safe activities at an inexpensive cost. In 1997 the couple took a trip to Senegal Africa and the experience altered their lives. So impressed with their sojourn and experiences in the motherland, the couple returned determined to embark upon a mission to transform the d’Zert Club into an educational and personality altering vehicle to restore and rebuild the self and race esteem of African-American youth. They teamed with noted author, entrepreneur and educator Dr. Edward Robinson and incorporated his African Genesis educational program into the d’Zert Club program. To augment the curricula and studies the Salahuddins planned and arranged educational trips and raised funds to take the children to the cradle of all humanity and the origins of Black genius and accomplishment. The educational aspects included a rigorous curricula of Africa and African American history not found in the schools interspersed with periodic trips to Black cultural and historical institutions in New York, Baltimore, Virginia, Detroit and Canada. The program culminates with an all expense paid trip to Africa, currently the students travel to both Kemet (Egypt) and Ghana. Since its inception in Philadelphia the program has spread across the country. Today the d’Zert Club Teen Summit 1000 African Genesis Corrective History Educational Program is the largest endeavor of its kind in America. Currently there are functioning chapters in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, Newark NJ, Detroit, Chicago, Brooklyn NY, Atlanta, Richmond VA and Boston Massachusetts.
On Saturday the Salahuddins celebrated the tenth anniversary of the d’Zert Club Teen Summit African Genesis Corrective History Educational Program. African drummers, Voices of Africa female vocal and drumming ensemble, program alumni, former group leaders, staff and supporters participated in a spirit filled celebration at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Philadelphia. Recognition and appreciation awards were given to supporters who assisted the program over the years: local elected officials, media personalities, community sponsors and d’Zert Club support staff. In his remarks Ali Slahuddin expressed appreciation for the backing and encouragement that has helped sustain the program and was unabashedly proud of the impact the d’Zert Club Teen Summit African Genesis Corrective History Educational program has had on so many young people. “We’re planting seeds here. When we start talking about things that are going to effect our people, where do you think the future leaders are coming from? In business they call it shelf life, they say a product has shelf life. We have a saying that says ‘It’s better to build a child than repair an adult.’ One of the reasons it’s easier is because you can’t find parts to repair an adult. The children have shelf life. We invest the time with the children because they’re the ones that are going to be around forty or fifty years if they take care of themselves. They are the ones who are going to pick up the ball and pick up the struggle. We are in it to win it. What you see from these children, they are not going to be like our generation because now they have overcome that fear and they’re not scared. They are not afraid. Not only have they traveled overseas they have done things not only their friends haven’t done but their families haven’t done. You are going to be hearing a lot out of these children.”
His wife Helen was surprised at how fast the years have passed but was very appreciative of what they have accomplished in that time. “For me it’s unbelievable that we have been doing this for so long. Ten years is a long time with one goal and one mission and the growth that we have experienced over the last ten years. We’re just so excited that we are still going strong. We are looking forward to ten more years. In this period of time, we’ve grown in more cities, we’re hoping to now establish and provide more scholarships for the young people, we have expanded the age from ten to fourteen to now its seven to fourteen years old and we now have new curriculums. But most importantly we meet new people along the way who are exciting and talented and we’ve met people who have given so much to us and we hope to meet more and more as we continue to go along.”
Over ninety five per cent of Teen Summit 1000 African Genesis Corrective History Educational Program students go on to college. The d’Zert Club program encompasses trips to both Kemet and Ghana and in the process greatly improves their knowledge of self, their self and ethnic esteem while transforming their lives for the better. For more information about the d’Zert Club Teen Summit African Genesis Corrective History Educational Program go to http://www.dzertclub.com/

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