NEW BEDFORD — Eleven-year-old Warren Cappra, a student at Alfred J. Gomes Elementary School, has been selected by the Atlanta-based A.D. King Foundation to appear as a youth ambassador and sing at foundation engagements in the United States and abroad, according to Babs Onabanjo, the foundation president.
The foundation advocates nonviolence in the tradition of Alfred Daniel Williams King and his brother, famed civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and promotes entrepreneurship and youth empowerment.
"Recently, upon consultation with the board of [the] A.D. King Foundation, I felt the need to select and highlight the ongoing efforts of Warren Cappra to bring attention to the global pandemic of 'bullying,'" Onabanjo wrote in an email.
"As an ambassador for the A.D. King Foundation, Warren will be joining us on numerous occasions here in the US and abroad to perform his song and also serve on various panel discussions," he wrote.
Dates and locations are still in development.
Cappra, the youngest of nine children, recorded the song "Bully Proof" with guidance from his father, James Cappra of New Bedford. James Cappra has worked in the music industry and coached several of his children to perform in a variety of venues, including in a talent competition at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Asked to sing a few bars, Warren Cappra sang, "Every time I walked down the street / A bully would approach me / And tell me to give him all I've got / He was much bigger than me / I never thought I'd be free / Till I drew the line, said I'll be a victim for the last time / And now, now I am bully proof / I'm no longer afraid of you."
The younger Cappra said he was once the target of bullying, and he has witnessed pushing and name-calling among his peers.
"I think that bullying should stop," he said.
Asked about his musical influences, he cited Bruno Mars and MC Hammer.
"I kind of like singing when my dad puts on the radio," he said.
The Cappras' connection to the A.D. King Foundation comes through a colleague in the music industry, Gregory McPherson, who is a foundation board member, the elder Cappra said. Cappra said the "Bully Proof" lyrics were written by Lawrence Wedgeworth, and the music by Gordon Worthy.
"To me, this is a big situation here, for him to get this at 11 years old," the father said.