Youth enjoy and benefit from 28th Annual National Training Conference
by West Muhammad
High hopes and excitement filled the hearts of many youths during the National Training Conference in July. Brothers and sisters from all across the country convened in Chicago, Illinois, for the 28th annual National Training Conference held by Grandmaster Abdul Azziz Muhammad and staff.
But this year was special for many reasons.
Junior F.O.I. and M.G.T. participated in the many elaborate workshops ranging from the power of prayer, intellectual artistry in the music industry, to maintaining positive mental health in the Black community.
Brother Mekhi Muhammad, 18, out of Plainfield, New Jersey, shared his thoughts on the “Prayer Peace and Power” workshop moderated by Brother Abdul Qiyam Muhammad, Sister Aalia Muhammad, and Sister Kenya Muhammad. “I think all of us as youth need to understand the power of prayer, attaching yourself to God, and relying on his knowledge instead of our own,” he said.
Other young brothers and sisters asked questions about becoming “believing children” instead of remaining “children of believers.” “Don’t Suffer in Silence,” moderated by Sisters Melanie and Johanna Muhammad, discussed how young brothers and sisters should aid in each others’ journey in overcoming stress, practicing affirmations and the power of sending a loved one a simple, “How are you?” text.
“You never know how much asking a brother or sister how they’re doing can impact them and potentially save their life,” said Sister Nyah Muhammad, co-moderator of the panel.
Young brothers and sisters greatly appreciated the light being shined on mental health and shared their struggles with it.
“My family and I were having some problems, so we joined the mosque. Brother Nuri was there that day and teaching about God, and it resonated with me,” said Jamal Muhammad, 16, from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Since registering, Brother Jamal has excelled in his Lessons and won 2nd Place in 2023’s The Master Competition at Saviours’ Day. Young sisters Alima Saabirah, 13, from Atlanta, Georgia, and Bria Muhammad, 13, of Richmond, Virginia, shared their personal opinions of the topic and the information given.
“In this day and age, I believe mental health issues are normal for children, but that’s not how it should be,” Sister Bria said. Sister Alima shared her mental health struggles and her growth through them.
Subsequent to these workshops and Jumu’ah prayer, Sister Akilah Nehanda moderated a workshop called “Respect the Intellect: The Evolution of a Revolutionary Artist.” During the workshop, youths shared their favorite rap artists inside and out of the mainstream industry, why they appreciate the music, and what could make it better. Brothers and sisters were allowed to showcase their talent via freestyle rap based on the topic of protection.
The concluding workshop: “Being a First Responder,” familiarized participants with techniques to handle medical disasters such as strokes, gunshot wounds, seizures, and others. Firefightamedical technicians (EMTs) there were Dr. Abdullah Hasan-Pratt, Patricia Muhammad, Nehemiah Muhammad, Ray Muhammad, Shi’Quiya X, and Nasirah Muhammad.
The professionals answered questions on how to handle these situations, and demonstrated to the youth how to apply tourniquet, spot signs of a stroke, perform CPR, and the proper use of automated external defibrillator (AED) systems.
Asia R. Muhammad, 13, of Richmond, Virginia, who took a vested interest in the workshop, said the information given will help her family’s history of health problems.
“They’re the type that don’t want to seek information out because they’re embarrassed or ashamed,” she said, “but I decided that I want to break that generational curse.”
Tariq Muhammad, 29, out of Fort Worth, Texas, also shared his opinion. “The information given today was very helpful, because it’s not just for people that want to be in the field, but everyone because you never know when you’ll have to step forward and save a life,” he said.
The following day, children and youth learned an array of defense mechanisms from martial arts Grandmaster Soke “Lil’ John” Davis, founder of Kumite Ryu Jiu Jiujitsu and Sensei Daniel Muhammad’s Lion’s Paw Modern Martial Arts academy.
Brother Cashmere Muhammad, 15, and Sister Amilah Muhammad, 15, both Lion’s Paw Academy students shared their appreciation for the martial arts portion of the training.
Sister Amilah went on to present a fiery demonstration of her martial arts skills and received a whopping applause and a nod of approval from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, whose words to participants of the training had a great impact on all in attendance: “Out of the love that God gave—the gift of Life.”
Sister Azziza Muhammad, granddaughter of Grandmaster Abdul Azziz Muhammad, celebrated her 17th birthday at the awards party and concert where heavy hitters in the Nation of Islam, such as Hecava Mecca, Akilah Nehanda, Hashim Hakim, and Ashe Koran performed.
The conference was deemed “Mid-Summer Saviours’ Day,” by those who attended.
Brother West Muhammad is a 13-year-old Jr. ais also a co-host on the weekly program, WHID-FM (What Has Islam Done For Me) which airs Sunday’s at 7:00 p.m. EDT on facebook.com/ WHIDFM.