Leaders converge on Camden for annual International Summit

CAMDEN, NJ - This week, over 200 leaders from all over the world will gather in Camden for the UrbanPromise International Summit-a 2-day event where staff come together to reflect, connect, and learn from one another.

25 years ago, UrbanPromise founder and president Dr. Bruce Main started a single after-school program in a church basement in East Camden. From those humble beginnings, UrbanPromise has grown from 30 kids receiving homework help to thousands of children each year participating in 6 neighborhood-based camps, alternative schools, creative arts activities, and teen employment programs.

And that’s just the beginning of the story.

As the organization grew, there was a desire to replicate the UrbanPromise model in other cities to combat those issues-educational apathy, violence, and poverty-endemic to so many urban areas.

In the past 7 years, UrbanPromise International (UPI) has birthed 14 affiliate organizations spanning 5 different countries, with sites in Wilmington, DE; Trenton, NJ; Charlotte, NC; Miami, FL; Canada; Malawi; Uganda; and Honduras. UPI exists to support these ministries and to train other leaders who are passionate about transforming their home communities.

As part of that vision, every year UPI hosts an International Summit-a time of renewal and inspiration filled with keynote speakers, engaging workshops, sessions for sharing best practices, and community meals. This year, leaders will be coming from as far as Uganda and Honduras and many are opting to bring younger staff to provide them with a glimpse of the scope of UrbanPromise’s work. “Working with youth in under-resourced communities is demanding, exhausting and potentially isolating,” says Dr. Main. “The Summit is an opportunity for the UP community to find renewal and challenge through fellowship and reflection.” Jimmy McQuilkin, founder of UPI’s newest affiliate site in Charlotte, NC has been looking forward to the Summit all year, sharing that the event “reminds us of why we are a part of UrbanPromise-because we believe that children and youth, regardless of the zip code in which they grow up, have the potential to become leaders that expand God’s kingdom in their communities.”

The Summit will be held on November 6th and 7th on UrbanPromise’s campus at 3700 Rudderow Street, Camden, NJ 08110. Sessions will begin at 8:00 a.m and run through the evenings.

UrbanPromise International is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to prepare emerging leaders to initiate, develop, and sustain Christian-based youth development organizations and to seed their new ministries as they serve vulnerable children and teens in our world’s most under-resourced communities. Learn more at www.urbanpromiseinternational.org.