Apollo Apprentices Present: MLK Young Changemakers

MLK Young Changemakers: The Beloved Community written on a stained glass window.

The Beloved Community

This year’s MLK Young Changemakers: The Beloved Community explores the roots of Dr. King’s activism and the everyday faith that powered his vision of a beloved global community. The discussion will focus on issues of climate change, global migration and voting rights. Join us as the changemakers of tomorrow share their voices and resources to help the next generation become catalysts within their own beloved communities. With live performances and opportunities for direct action, this is THE space for youth on the National Day of Service. This event is curated by The Apollo’s Apprentices.

Uptown Hall: The Beloved Community is part of The Apollo’s Winter/Spring 2024 season.

This event will have ASL Interpretation.

Ticket Information

Free tickets will be available starting January 2, 2024 at 12pm.

RSVP for Free Tickets

Featured Panelists

Davida Padi Headshot

Davida Padi is a Ghanaian-American storyteller studying Social Media Strategies and Legal Studies with an Environmental Studies Concentration. She works at the intersection of mental health, climate change, and technology. Davida has worked with the UN Foundation’s United To Beat Malaria, MTV, and the Biden-Harris White House Administration. She is also a member of the Common Home Corps, a year-long leadership and spiritual formation program for young adults, led by the Catholic Climate Covenant in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago and Creighton University. Additionally, she works for Truth Initiative, focusing on the connection between tobacco, vaping, mental health, social justice, and the environment. Davida is a Gilman Scholar, Johnson & Johnson Scholar, and a 2021 Martin Luther King Observance Committee Scholarship Awardee. She has been featured in Teen Vogue 21 Under 21.

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Dr. Nyle Fort is a minister, activist, and scholar. He works with organizers, artists, students, educators, faith leaders, and community members to build what Dr. King described as the Beloved Community: a global society rooted in the principles of love, freedom, and justice. Nyle has studied, lectured, and organized across the United States, India, Belgium, The Netherlands, Britain, Palestine, and more. His writing is featured in The Guardian, The Boston Globe, The New York Magazine, Essence, Ebony Magazine, and Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy. Nyle earned his B.A. from Morehouse College and Ph.D. in Religion and Interdisciplinary Humanities from Princeton University. He is currently an Assistant Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University and a faith-based organizer with the Dream Defenders.


Ajani Stella is the founder and leader of Kids Fight Climate Change, a unique climate education group dedicated to teaching young people about the climate crisis. He is a 17-year-old climate activist living in New York City. He was named one of 30 under 30 worldwide for environmental education by the North American Association for Environmental Education, and his work has been recognized through numerous speaking engagements and accolades. US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland invited Ajani to a closed roundtable in July 2023 in recognition of his work. He is a recognized speaker, with over 30 speaking engagements worldwide, and he has been featured on TV news programs six times. Ajani also attended the United Nations climate conference, COP 26, in November 2021 as an observing NGO delegate with the Human Impacts Institute, representing the Youth Advisory Council he co-founded. As part of his climate work, Ajani has been a climate storytelling intern at Columbia University Teachers College, has participated in and moderated panels about climate education and action, and has spoken about his work to numerous organizations. Ajani has been engaged with climate action since he spoke to the New York City Teachers Retirement Fund Board of Directors about divesting from fossil fuels when he was ten years old.


F.L.O.G.I.C is a New York-based Christian duo composed of sisters Breanna and Taylour Dickerson. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, the sisters grew up singing and praise dancing in church, and their Pentecostal C.O.G.I.C. roots are the foundation for what they describe as “Worship Hip-Hop.” The dynamic duo garnered over ten award nominations after the release of their self-titled debut EP, “Favored Ladies of God in Christ,” were featured on Apple Music’s Essentials playlist, and were the first artists invited to perform and speak at the infamous Apollo Theater’s Career Panel: Crossfade in Summer 2022. They have also performed at Sounds of Brazil in NYC, the Paramount Theater, the Pasadena Auditorium after being hand-selected for America’s Got Talent Season 14, and Symphony Space.

Rana headshot

Rana Abdelhamid

Rana Abdelhamid

Rana Abdelhamid is an internationally acclaimed human rights organizer, 1st Degree Black Belt, public speaker, and social entrepreneur focused on the empowerment of marginalized communities. In 2022, she ran for election to the U.S. House of Representatives in New York’s 12th congressional district. Her Justice Democrats backed campaign mobilized thousands of people, received support from over three dozen organizations and elected officials and raised close to $1 million from small-dollar contributions. At age 16, Rana founded Malikah, a global collective of women committed to building safety and power for women through healing, self-defense, economic empowerment, and leadership training. Today she serves as the Executive Director of Malikah. Rana is highly committed to the global human rights movement and was one of the youngest serving Board Members of Amnesty International USA for over six years. Rana curated an exhibition at MoMA PS1 focused on the migration journeys of women from her community in Queens. She received her BA in International Politics and Economics from Middlebury College and her Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Rana has been named a Truman Scholar and a Running Start Rising Political Star, and she has received a NYC Council Proclamation and an International Youth Advocate award from the UNAUSA Foundation.


Brennan Brink

Brennan Brink

Brennan is the migrant shelter and immigration consultant at the Interfaith Center of New York as well as a 3rd year M.Div. student at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Upon matriculating with his M.Div., Brennan intends to continue his work in the non-profit sector to help organizations put community values into action. At ICNY, Brennan helps to strengthen and unify the work of Houses of Worship as they respond to the Asylum Seeker Crisis in New York City. Brennan’s passion for community activism grew in his home state of South Dakota, where he worked on local campaigns to support public education and served as an education intern for a state legislator from the Pine Ridge Reservation. Brennan received a degree in Religion with Distinction from St. Olaf College in 2021.


Fatoumata Thiam

Fatoumata Thiam

Fatoumata, now the Civic Leadership Youth Coordinator at MCN, embarked on a transformative journey from Senegal to New York City in 2009. Driven by a passion for nurturing children’s growth, particularly young girls, she completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science and Public Policy at The City College of New York. In 2018, she founded the Noko-Boku Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing educational resources annually to elementary schools in villages and rural areas. Fatoumata is a vocal advocate for crucial causes, including Mental Health Awareness, Children’s Rights, and Climate Change. Her intellectual prowess shines through her role as an instructor at John Jay Upward Bound, where she shared insights on Humanitarian Development and the United Nations Agenda. Now positioned at MCN, Fatoumata is poised to contribute significantly to the organization’s mission and the growth of youth leadership.


Phil Taitt

Phil Taitt

Emmy-Award-Winner, Phil Taitt hails from Brooklyn, New York, and has served as an anchor/ reporter with NEWS12 networks for the past four years. His true passion is telling the stories of New Yorkers, and the issues that they may be facing from housing to social justice.. along with highlighting various communities, which thread the fabric of our great city! Taitt, is passionate about faith and community founding his giveback initiative,  Dream Reach Inspire, which aims to help the next generation see positive representation up close and personal. This past October, Phil won his first Emmy for the 30-minute exclusive ‘Next Generation Dreams.’ An in-depth conversation with the son and family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., at their Atlanta home. The family discussed voting rights, critical race theory, and the beloved community.

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