MIAMI – In 2006, State Representative Shevrin Jones, Leo Stoney and Donald Garner founded Leaders by Empowerment, Activists by Development (L.E.A.D. Nation) to inspire youth to become leaders in their community by providing the necessary training needed for success. An annual summit hosted by the organization provides “knowledge-based enrichment activities in an interactive setting to empower youth to live up to their full potential.”

The 6th Annual South Florida Youth Summit (SFYS), in partnership with the Knight Foundation, is scheduled for Oct. 18 through 20 and will feature Grammy award-winning music producer, recording artist, philanthropist, speaker, actor and activist David Banner as the keynote speaker for the adult only kick-off event, Cocktails & Conversations on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Miramar Multi-Service Complex, 6700 Miramar Pkwy. in Miramar.

“This year people can expect us to go a step further in engaging young people in a movement, but this is a different type of movement. What we see in the political realm, in our communities and what’s happening on a national scale, we want to make sure we give young people the tools and knowledge they need to not only be advocates, but also key players in creating change within their communities,” said Jones, who created the summit.

Banner will be joined by political strategist, Jasmen Rogers-Shaw, and Emmy award-winning journalist, NBC 6 anchor and host of Black Voices Jawan Strader will serve as the night’s host.

A Leaders in Training (LIT) Youth Rally is scheduled for Oct. 19th from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Broward College’s South Campus, 7200 Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines; and the weekend culminates in the Youth Summit from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Miami-Dade College North Campus, 11380 NW 27 Ave. in Miami. Students will be presented with a full day of seminars, workshops, and panel discussions.

“I knew L.E.A.D Nation was needed because I felt there was a gap in our communities with non-profits that serve youth and parents. We understood that parents play a key role in their children’s lives and you can’t empower the child and not empower the parents because the child has to go back home. We wanted to make sure that we send them back home into an empowered household,” Jones said.