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As my “calling" is to uplift the quality of life and learning for our young generation in a country and media-based society seemingly more intent on turning our children into prisoners and prostitutes rather than productive, positive people, I am currently organizing The 1st National Black TEEN Empowerment Expo Presents FAME: Fashion, Art, Music & Education in New York City, spring or summer 2009. And to ensure we consistently engage as many youth as possible, the expo is being planned as a semi-annual event, and currently scheduled to be held in Atlanta fall 2009 or winter 2010.

Designed to enrich the hearts, minds, bodies and spirits of today’s male and female teenagers between 12 and 18 years of age, the expo will expand perspectives, critical thinking, opportunities, capabilities and confidence levels, and narrow achievement gaps, technology divides and drop-out rates.

The 1st National Black TEEN Empowerment Expo will feature FAME (fashion, art, music and education), a proven “edu-tainment” model that leverages our teenagers’ interests in fashion, art and music, and integrates effective educational approaches to ensure their academic achievement as well social and professional development.

The expo will also bring together many groups and individuals who work with our communities and youth so that we all can begin to establish a stronger support system for our younger generation, and forge a national youth movement with strength in numbers and political power.

If we are supportive, strategic and creative in ensuring this first event is created to collectively benefit all those it engages, we will transform the way our communities better support their children, and simultaneously arrive at better ways to reach and teach today’s teenagers.

Currently, I am assembling a national committee to initially aid in establishing sponsors and funding sources, and then to assist me in creating the powerful education programming in a highly creative curriculum for the expo. We’ll also need the participation of fashion designers, models, artists and artisans, musical acts, performers, youth educators / “edu-tainers”, community and youth resource providers, vendors, etc., as well as promotional support via media and Internet resources.

The NBTEE has recently received the full endorsement of The National African American Congress ( and its more than 300 members strong. We, too, are at our best and strongest when we work together towards a common cause and greater good. Thus, your input, feedback, suggestions, support and potential participation is greatly valued as gratefully appreciated.

I hope you will join me in proclaiming (and proving) 2009 is indeed The Year of Our Youth!

R. Lee Gordon (just around the corner . . .)

WHAT: The 1st National Black TEEN Empowerment Expo Presents FAME: Fashion, Art, Music & Education

The 1st National Black TEEN Empowerment Expo is the first event of its kind solely dedicated to uplifting African-American teenagers, and achieving greater levels of youth and community activism.

Event goals are to: transform the way our communities support our children; engage teenagers using powerful forms of the arts and “edu-tainment”; assess and deliver better ways to reach and teach today’s teens; and help our children build stronger minds, bodies and souls. Participating youth will also be able to benefit from on-site mentoring and tutoring opportunities. Other important topics will include peer-to-peer empowerment, politics, economics and community involvement.

This two-day event will bring together a broad array of individuals and groups who want to enrich the quality of life and learning for our young generation. Through an appealing and comprehensive variety of teen “art-ivities”, forums, seminars and workshops, we will help to flourish the promise and potential that lives within each of our children. Every teenager will be empowered to establish goals, be engaged in productive and positive activities, and be inspired by his and her proud history, beautiful heritage and accomplished culture.

The ultimate hope of the 1st National Black TEEN Empowerment Expo is that every participating youth take home the inspiration and confidence to believe, achieve and succeed, and be committed to bettering our people and planet.

This event will incorporate the FAME (fashion, art, music & education) model developed by The Better Detroit Youth Movement and UniTee Design, Inc. FAME helps to rally our communities; demonstrate to our children the power and beauty of the many genres of fashion, art and music; and create an “edu-tainment” event that uplifts participants and audience alike. FAME is an effective way to engage children and teens in positive, productive and constructive “art-ivities” that create critical-thinkers, and more disciplined and well-rounded academic achievers.

The educational component of FAME actively supports the development of professional, social and business skills in our children via teen empowerment, rites of passage, health, fitness and nutrition topics, and entrepreneurial and professional development curriculums. Based on its successes in effectively engaging children, FAME is now being developed as an after-school program in Detroit high schools.

While primarily designed to uplift teenagers, the expo will also benefit many others:

Provides vending, exhibiting and sales opportunities for local businesses, entrepreneurs, artists, artisans and others.

Provides promotional opportunities for community and youth groups, youth educators, motivational speakers and / or others (to share information, solicit involvement, financial support, volunteerism, etc.).

Provides promotional and / or sales opportunities for entertainers, fashion designers, models, hair designers and others.

Provides the general public on ways it can support our youth in each event market and beyond.

WHO: Those of us committed to working together to improve the quality of life and learning for our youth. A variety of individuals and groups will have an opportunity and forum to empower our teen population at this event:

Artists and Artisans
Spoken Word Artists
Performance Artists
Fashion Designers
Hair Designers
Video Game Developers
Community Groups
Youth Educators
Youth Groups
Health, Fitness and Nutrition Experts
Local Businesses and Business Professionals
Community Activists
Community Leaders
And More . . .

WHEN: May, 2009

WHERE: New York City (venue TBD)

WHY: To prove Black America has all the resources necessary to uplift the quality of learning and life for today’s young generation.

HOW: “If we can move a Black Man into The White House, just imagine where, together, we can take our children!”

If you’d like to be a part of The 1st National Black TEEN Empowerment Expo, or for more information, please contact R. Lee Gordon at 734.395.3079 or

UniTee Design is a Black Youth Education & Empowerment Enterprise. Our products and programs uplift our people, and inspire our children to believe, achieve and succeed. We are currently working on a Black Economics initiative to hold our elected public officials (politicians) accountable for their demonstrated contributions to our communities, and a Black Child rites of passage program that will help our children rise above the negative influences of media, society and environment.

The Better Detroit Youth Movement is a volunteer-driven non-profit group that is bringing together caring citizens and providing them many ways to improve the future for Detroit’s young generation. Plans are underway to build greater youth movements in New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Oakland and Los Angeles.

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