Each semester, we have a gender separate trip/lock-in for our Freedom Fellows. We believe that it is important to give our young men and women the opportunity to spend quality time together separate from members of the opposite sex. This allows students to really be themselves and creates a safe space where they can comfortably discuss topics concerning masculinity and femininity. When we have a young men's/young women's weekend, one group will have a lock-in, while the other group goes on a trip somewhere. We do this at least once a semester, so that both groups get to have a lock-in together and take a trip together over the course of a school year. This past weekend, our young women and female staff had a lock-in here at the LEAD Center, while the young men and male staff took an overnight trip to Jackson, MS. 

Young Men's Trip

The first stop on our trip was to the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. There, we got to learn all about how plants and wildlife in Mississippi have evolved over the course of many centuries. There were also some cool aquariums which housed baby alligators and giant catfish! Next, we went to High Heaven Trampoline Park for some recreational fun! Our boys had a blast doing dunks on the trampoline basketball court and leaping high into the air to do flips into the foam pits. After working up an appetite, we went to a build-your-own burrito shop, and finished the night off watching movies and playing games at a local church. It was a night full of laughs and smiles that definitely built camaraderie between our male Freedom Fellows and staff members! Check out some pics from the trip below... 

Young Women's Lock-In

For the Young Women’s Lock-In, our female Freedom Fellows and staff hosted the female Freedom Fellows and staff from the Meridian Freedom Project here at the LEAD Center. Together, they built community and discussed issues facing young women in their schools and communities. They based their discussions on poetry by Rupi Kaur and Mahogany Brown, two inspiring female poets. Freedom Fellows then spent time writing their own poetry and prose, as well as expressing themselves through visual art. After a delicious pizza dinner, they played games, watched movies, and spent time hanging out. The overnight event was a big success and definitely brought the women of the SCFP and MFP closer together! Check out some pics from the lock-in below...

Next semester, our young women will take a trip, and our young men will have a lock-in here at the LEAD Center! Until next time, y'all....Peace!!