Colin Kaepernick has found his calling.
While football may have allotted him the platform to bring awareness to social issues like police brutality, the 28-year-old athlete’s mission is much bigger than kneeling during the national anthem.
Instead of going on vacation for the 49ers recent “bye week,” the Wisconsin native used his time to further empower young minds. And to prove that he’s about action, Kaepernick hosted a youth mentorships event dubbed, “Know Your Rights” camp in Oakland, Calif. Saturday (Oct. 29).
As the San Jose Mercury News reports, 100 black and Latino youth from 19 community organizations throughout the Bay Area, attended the event at Impact Hub Oakland.
“This is just the beginning, man,” Kaepernick said. “What we’ve done here today in Oakland, we want to do all over the country, in cities all over this country, by bringing together local leaders, local activists and local youth, and not only giving them the skills and lessons they need, but we want to show them how much we love and value them.”
The idea had been six months in the making for Kaepernick, who was involved in the planning and execution and handpicked workshops and speakers to discuss everything from college options, to advice on interacting with police, and the power of self-love.
Inspired by the Black Panther Party’s “10-Point” platform, Kaepernick also created black T-shirts for the event, featuring the following 10 rights:
1. You have the right to be free.
2. You have the right to be healthy.
3. You have the right to be brilliant.
4. You have the right to be safe.
5. You have the right be loved.
6. You have the right to be courageous.
7. You have the right to be alive.
8. You have the right to be trusted.
9. You have the right to be educated.
10. You have the right to know your rights.
In addition, attendees received backpacks, subscriptions to Ancestry.com (to learn more about their heritage), and a copy of the Autobiography of Malcolm X.
Despite being scrutinized for protesting the anthem, Kaepernick’s focus isn’t on those refusing to support — or even understand — his motivation.
“I know what my purpose is,” he told the Mercury News. “I know what my goal is. My conviction in that is strong enough that it doesn’t matter what anybody says because I know it’s right. And the fact that 100 kids would come out here on a Saturday morning, on their free time to do this, early in the morning, that shows that they believe in this, too.”