The New Orleans Council for Community and Justice ( Anytown Camp )
- Stephanie Bridges - President/CEO
- Mike Tuckerson - Director of Programs
Geographic Service Area
NOCCJ's History of Anytown
Anytown is NOCCJ's oldest and premier youth leadership program. Established in 1956 during school desegregation, the fundamental premise of Anytown has remained the same: to bring together youth from communities of isolation, volatility and/or segregation to learn about one another, break down stereotypes, and learn how to create change. Today, Anytown programs are held in over 40 cities across the country. The program has been experienced by more than 25,000 youth since its inception, and has been featured on the Today Show and Oprah, as well as in the Christian Science Monitor, Business Week, and many local publications across the country annually.
What is Anytown?
Anytown is anything but a typical summer camp experience. During six intense days, diverse teams of youth from high schools in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany and St. Bernard Parishes and its surrounding areas will come together to challenge racism, sexism, ageism, classism, ableism, homophobia, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination in themselves and in their communities. In small discussion groups, students challenge their personal biases, explore the sources of these patterns, and learn techniques for overcoming them. Through interactive workshops, youth develop their cognitive understanding of oppression and connect it to their personal experiences. In experiential activities, youth gain valuable leadership skills involving problem solving, group dynamics, conflict management, coalition building, cross-cultural communication and advocating for change. The program culminates in strategy sessions where student teams create an action plan to address inequity and division in their home schools and communities. Anytown enhances and develops: * Leadership skills * Citizenship * Diversity awareness * Interpersonal relations * Intergroup understanding * Community building skills * Self-esteem * Inter-religious and cultural respect
Anytown has operated nationwide for almost fifty years and has a strong track record of transforming lives and changing communities. In New Orleans, one of the most diverse cities in the world, it is critical that youth learn to appreciate diversity and fight against bias, bigotry and racism. Bullying, slurs, and violence are everyday occurrences in our schools. Youth need training, skills and knowledge that are often not part of the classroom curriculum. "I learned that with the way the world is today, it's going to require us - being the younger generation - to take the initiative and make changes happen and not wait for others to do it." --Anytown Graduate "The challenge was to take responsibility for your thoughts and beliefs without defending or justifying yourself. No one was honored or condemned for how they felt." --Anytown Graduate
Where is Anytown?
Anytown takes place at the Feliciana Retreat Center in Norwood, Louisiana. It's a one week long program.
What Happens at Anytown?
• Discussion groups and interactive workshops • Personal growth and cultural awareness • Action planning to create positive change • Recreational activities • New friendships with people of diverse backgrounds' • Campfires and songs • Skits, art, and dancing
How much does Anytown cost?
The actual cost of Anytown is $250 per delegate. The total cost includes round-trip bus transportation, meals, lodging, training materials, an Anytown t-shirt, and a follow-up networking package. Registration to participate requires an initial $25 registration fee. NOCCJ provides scholarships andfinances the balance, depending upon the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations. If you would like to make a donation towards this program please contact our office to donate. If you have any questions or would like to apply, please submit the Anytown Application to firstname.lastname@example.org.