When Cru staff member Tom Fritz visited Kenya in 1986, he met a man who was surprised to learn there were African-American Christians.
“Then why aren’t they here?” the man asked.
It helped Tom realize that the African-American community had not succeeded in becoming a mission-sending base.
Inspired, Tom returned to the United States and created a conference aimed at mobilizing and equipping African-American college students.
More than 500 students attended the first Impact conference in 1991.
Five years later, The Impact Movement was born, with the vision to see God redeem the African- American community and “to take the truth of Jesus Christ to the campus, community and world by producing leaders of African descent who are spiritually focused, financially responsible and morally fit.”
As the movement has grown, Impact has continued to host the conference biennially, as well as create smaller regional conferences held on alternating years. The audience includes high-school students, college students, and marketplace and vocational professionals.
Their 9th conference, Impact 2008, will take place December 27, 2008 through January 1, 2009 in Atlanta.
“Our national conference continues to both engage emerging leaders with a vision for change, and provide practical training to see that vision become a reality,” says Charles Gilmer, president of The Impact Movement. “People are launching local chapters across the country, and our existing ones are being served as never before.”
Today, The Impact Movement, a partner organization with Cru, has a presence on more than 100 college campuses in the United States and Africa; and recently it launched Impact Music.
"Darnell J. Wilson climbed on a table and said, 'We are The Impact Movement. Who wants a free water bottle?' He started throwing bottles into the crowd. 'Surprisingly, people caught ‘em, but one person got hit in the head,' he said."
Why is it still so difficult for us to embrace and live out Dr. King's dream, even more than 45 years later?
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