Well, literally speaking, of course the Muslim Youth Leadership Symposium (MYLS) isn’t your grandma’s symposium, so excuse my attempt at being humorous. Nevertheless, since CAIR Oklahoma adopted the widely popular and annually anticipated MYLS program in 2009, we have offered numerous workshops and panel discussions with community and interfaith leaders, local and state politicians, educators, and others that have covered a wide range of topics affecting the Oklahoma Muslim community. Additionally, we have trained over 250 high school seniors, college students, and emerging professionals, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become the community leaders, defenders of social and civil rights, and interfaith liaisons of tomorrow.

…And again, we have done this in a little over four and a half years. Well, as the new Development Coordinator for CAIR-OK, here’s my take on programming…go big or go home, and I say it’s time for a revamping! Everybody knows the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and MYLS certainly isn’t broken, but let’s see some new faces, new ideas and perspectives, new activities! Without a doubt, MYLS 2013 A Lasting Impression, Building our Legacy is going to be just as awesome as it will be informational and engaging, guaranteed! Just to name a few things, we’ll be exercising teambuilding and leadership skills with the University of Central Oklahoma’s ULEAD (ropes) Course, “Flippin’ the Script on Islamophobia,” hosting a media panel with print, broadcast, and online journalists represented, to discuss and understand the media’s perceptions of Islam and its followers, and how the Muslim community can help educate the industry, plus much more! Of course, attendees will have the opportunity to highlight their masterful, unique, or otherwise random talents in our annual talent show, ‘MYLS Got Talent,’ and other times throughout the weekend. Some things are just golden, such as holding a mock debate in our beautiful State Capitol building, which we will continue with this year.

Remember reading the part about new ideas and perspectives? Well, MYLS 2013 registration is currently open for all Oklahoma residents between the ages of 18-25 through June 9, so contribute some of your ideas and share your perspectives with fellow civically engaged peers, CAIR Oklahoma staff, and special guest speakers!