STAMINA STRENGTH: ‘I Know My Rights Camp’

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

‘I Know My Rights Camp’



KING: Colin Kaepernick’s ‘I Know My Rights Camp’ cements his status as a cultural superhero in the black community KING: Kaepernick’s camp cements his status in the black community
 
San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick spoke Saturday at a camp called, "I Know My rights Camp."
San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick spoke Saturday at a camp called, "I Know My rights Camp."
(Shaun King/New York Daily News)
Shaun King
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, October 29, 2016, 4:51 PM
"Dad. Does Colin still have a game on Sunday?"
The question was a smart one for any football fan to ask - particularly one who's rooting hard for Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers.
It was 12:49 a.m. in Oakland late Friday night. My 10- year-old son, EZ, and I, made the trek there from New York and we were dragging. For our bodies it felt like 4 a.m.
We were invited by Kaepernick to attend a camp on Saturday morning and I had just gotten a text from Colin.
It read, “Hey Shaun. I just wanted to check and make sure you and your son made it safe my brother.”
I replied, “Thanks man. Just now checking in at the hotel. We took a late flight. See you soon bro.”
Daily News columnist Shaun King, his son, and Colin Kaepernick pose for picture after Kaepernick's camp. 
Daily News columnist Shaun King, his son, and Colin Kaepernick pose for picture after Kaepernick's camp. 
(Shaun King/New York Daily News)
And his reply was what shocked my son and I both.
He said: “That's great! I can't wait. I just finished filling all the backpacks up. Glad you made it safe. Get some rest.”
While my son and I were checking in to the hotel late into the night, Colin Kaepernick was packing backpacks for a camp for kids that he helped conceive called, "I Know My Rights Camp."
My son had me curious. Did Colin and the 49ers have a game this weekend? I checked the schedule and this weekend was indeed a rare bye week for Colin and the 49ers. Instead of using it to rest or travel, he was packing backpacks and preparing to launch something truly special.
For the past two months, behind the scenes, Colin Kaepernick and a small group of his friends have been quietly planning this camp for the kids of Oakland, hoping that it can be a model they replicate in cities all over the country.
From left, Miami Dolphins' Jelani Jenkins, Arian Foster, Michael Thomas, and Kenny Stills, kneel during the singing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
 
"Please don't say anything about it online," Colin asked me a few days before the camp. "I'm not doing this for the press and I don't want it to become a media event so that the kids and the families can feel like this is just for them."
When EZ and I arrived at the venue in Oakland, it was immediately clear that that it was the definition of grassroots. Colin and just a few volunteers were actually managing the event, located at Impact Hub Oakland. Even though I've been a fan of Colin for years, and he and I have stayed in touch for most of this year, we had never met face-to-face. He's a tall, strong dude. With his Afro out, he was clearly the tallest man in the room. Quick to smile, his eyes are fresh and intensely focused on whomever is in front of him.
As EZ and I met Colin in the registration line, we first gave each other some dap, then a bear hug. I immediately told him how cool I thought it was that he was up so late packing backpacks and prepping for the event.
"I didn't just want to hire someone to come in and do this. We did all of this ourselves. We even opted out of corporate sponsors because we just wanted the freedom to say exactly what we thought the kids we've brought here today need to hear and learn. I told myself that if I was going to do this type of work, that I was going to actually do it myself,” he said.
Inspired by the Black Panther Party, and their popular 10 point plan, on their 50th Anniversary, the camp created 10 rights that each child has the right to know. They were listed on the back of T-shirts given to each camper. They are:
Hundreds of young black and Latino kids heard Colin Kaepernick speak about how to combat daily oppression.
Hundreds of young black and Latino kids heard Colin Kaepernick speak about how to combat daily oppression.
(Shaun King/New York Daily News)
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.
San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick helped conceive a camp called the "I Know My rights Camp" with a small group of his personal friends. The retreat teaches atendees financial literacy, how to pursue higher education and how to be physically fit and healthy. It also addresses police brutality.
San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick helped conceive a camp called the "I Know My rights Camp" with a small group of his personal friends. The retreat teaches atendees financial literacy, how to pursue higher education and how to be physically fit and healthy. It also addresses police brutality.
(Shaun King/New York Daily News)
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.