Youth Power! Medicaid Expansion Rally July 16 on Alabama Capitol Steps

SOS-YouthPowerRally_mainThe Youth Committee of Save OurSelves is organizing the YOUTH POWER! Rally for Medicaid Expansion in Montgomery, Alabama, on the steps of the State Capitol Building Wednesday, July 16, 2014, from 11 a.m. to noon.

Among the featured speakers is Moriah Johnson, the break-out star of BET’s Baldwin Hills.

This rally builds on SOS’s successful May 31st event that drew more than 200 participants and has garnered more than 16,000 signatures statewide urging to Gov. Bentley to expand Medicaid in Alabama. The YOUTH POWER! Rally is an opportunity for the voices of Alabama’s young and future leaders to be heard on this important issue.

“Today’s youth are further away from America’s political issues than ever. What will it take to get youth actively involved in our organizations and in the current movements? First we must realize that one of the primary problems is that youth and young adults are drastically uninformed,” says Jerria Martin, Chair of SOS’s Youth Committee and Executive Director of 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement.

“The key to alleviating this lack of knowledge about Medicaid expansion and other issues facing our community is through finding ways to inform youth and young adults on the levels in which we communicate,” she says. “One of the best ways to stimulate youth involvement is by educating, encouraging and empowering the youth through the arts. Thus, the SOS YOUTH POWER! Rally will use art as a form of resistance. So the event features young vocalists, gifted orators, visual artists and performing artists.”

While Medicaid expansion is the rally’s primary issue, other issues such as teen violence, bullying and voting rights will also be addressed during

Moriah Johnson, former star of BET's reality show Baldwin Hills, is the rally's guest speaker

Moriah Johnson, former star of BET’s reality show Baldwin Hills, is the rally’s guest speaker

the one-hour rally.

Event speakers will be age 35 and younger, including those who have been adversely impacted by Alabama’s failure to expand Medicaid. The celebrity guest speaker is Moriah Johnson, who starred in BET’s Baldwin Hills, a hit reality TV show (2007-09) about young African American teenagers who come from rich families. Johnson, the son of former NBA player Marques Johnson, is currently a graduate student at Tuskegee University. He says he relies heavily on his faith as he tackles post-high school life since the reality show.

Martin says the young people who attend and participate in this event will walk away well informed and empowered, adequately equipped with tools they need to begin making positive changes in their life, on their campus, in their community, and in their city.

Youth groups and other organizations interested in joining this effort can contact Jerria Martin via email at, or by phone at the 21st Century Leadership Movement’s office, 334-875-2597.

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