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Detroit Urban League event brings history to life for students

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Keynote speaker Brian David addresses students Wednesday during the Detroit Urban League's Youth Dialogue event. Keynote speaker Brian David addresses students Wednesday during the Detroit Urban League's Youth Dialogue event.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

History came to life Wednesday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History.  Young people gathered to hear from "warriors" in human and civil rights.

It's an event designed to inform and inspire.

"It's that inner voice, the voice of the warrior that cries out and says I can do it.  I can make it.  I will overcome," said keynote speaker Brain Davis.

175 high school students attended the Detroit Urban League's Youth Dialogue, an event that puts future leaders face-to-face with the Urban League's Distinguished Warriors.

"When the young people leave, they have something to hang their hats on, they have something to think about and something that might inspire and encourage them to move on.  It might just be one word or one person, but it'll make a difference for them," said Urban League President N. Charles Anderson.

The event brings history to life by bridging the generation gap with real dialogue.

"You get to inquire about what they think and what did they feel.  How do they feel they made a change," said student Balaal Hollings.  "It's an extreme honor, and I'm glad I was here today."

The speakers shared their experiences, their wisdom and advice to help guide these future warriors.

"My message for the young people today is that many others, who went before them, built paths, built bridges, and that they, too, will continue to build pathways," said Distinguished Warrior 2013 Barbara Mahone.

At the end of the day, this impressive group left armed with new knowledge and big dreams of a bright future.

"As a senior coming out of high school, it gives me more motive and more reason to go to college and make something better of our city and of just our people," said student Debra Parks.

"It inspires me to just keep on and represent Detroit well because I am a Detroiter," said student Lamar Allen.

The Youth Dialogue always takes place the day before the Detroit Urban League's Salute to Distinguished Warriors event where several local heroes will be honored.

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