An Orangeburg resident who serves as a youth leader and community strategist is poised to make a plea for what she hopes will be the survival of youth with an upcoming rally and youth concert.

Dr. Celestial Davis is the founder and director of Urban Community Education Network LLC, which will present the second annual “Answering Our Clarion Call: A National Plea for Action to Save Our Youth” from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, at Roosevelt Garden Apartments at 1000 Presidential Drive in Orangeburg.

“It’s an outdoor event for youth and families, specifically catering to the Roosevelt Gardens community. It’s a lot of youth there. We want to make sure that they have certain privileges and access to certain engagement opportunities not just with tutoring and mentoring, but this is also galvanize awareness among the parents, as well. So this is a call to action for awareness, advocacy and achievement for the entire Orangeburg County,” Davis said.

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Davis launched the Urban Community Education Network & Training Center, or UCEN, at 1164 Magnolia St. in Orangeburg on March 4. The center provides free tutoring and mentoring services for youth between 11 and 17 in Orangeburg and surrounding areas.

Davis will serve as the keynote speaker at the event, which will also include a unity march, rally and cookout, along with a youth concert featuring special performances by national R&B and hip-hop artists Demetrius Green, Gata Deville and Yashar Israel.

Other speakers and/or performers will include, but not be limited to, the following: Yolanda Buchanan, Roosevelt Gardens community chief officer; Pastor Garrett Hayes of Charlotte, N.C. (“This Isn’t A Skit, This Is Real Life”); Jennice Richardson of Richmond, Va. (“Exquisite Queens for Life”); DJ Craig Mac of Orangeburg, 2022 AOCC Community Ambassador Award winner; Carrie Thomas, community leader and activist; and Joy Vaughn, a youth minister and director of JNV R.E.P.S.P.A.C.E. (Royal Exquisite Peacock School of Performance, Arts, Catering, & Events).

“We’re going to have fun activities for the children such as water slides, bounce houses, face painting, games and then we may have some opportunities to participate in a spelling bee.

“Then, of course, we’ll have speakers from the community, and we’re also going to have some support from our South Carolina National Guard here in Orangeburg, the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and our fire department, as well,” Davis said, noting that members of the ODPS will be surprised with their receipt of a 2023 Community Ambassador of the Year award.

She said her keynote speech will focus on issues that affect youth, including gun violence, and how the community can come together to address them.

“I’ll talk about what’s currently going on among this crisis with our youth, but then I’m also going to take it back from what I see as the best way to approach this. It starts in the homes with education and making sure our children are exposed to certain opportunities,” Davis said.

She said the event is “a call for the community to wrap around the young people there and the parents.”

“We want to give them a day of positivity, hope and peace. It’s a community event. We are just fervently pleading for the community to assist us with this mission,” Davis said.

For more information on this event, contact Davis at 803-662-0599 and

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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