BOSTON, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Wheelock College will bring together a gathering of 400 middle and high school youth, and 100 adults to participate in a powerful and transformative dialogue on Tuesday, April 26 for its 2016 Wheelock Youth Symposium titled: Youth Speak: The Politics of Race + Gender + Equity. The centerpiece of the event to be held at the Wheelock Family Theatre is a high-energy, daylong conference bringing together students from public, private, pilot, and charter schools in Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge to discuss leadership, mentoring, and self-respect. TV producer, writer, serial entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Beverly Bond who is also the founder of Black Girls Rock! will be the special Keynote Speaker.
EBONY magazine listed Bond amongst its Power 100 list from 2008-2012—making it five consecutive years that she's been recognized as one of Ebony's "Most Influential Blacks In America." Bond was recognized as one of ESSENCE Magazine's "40 Fierce and Fabulous Women Who are Changing the World."
"Since our first Youth Symposium in 2007, Wheelock has been at the forefront of helping to both address and find practical solutions to some of the most pressing issues affecting urban youth by engaging them in the process. Bringing together girls and women of color whose narratives reflect those of black and brown boys to make a more inclusive and dynamic gender-balanced solution. I am delighted to play an active role as I complete my tenure at Wheelock College," says President Jackie Jenkins-Scott.
The summit will consist of breakout sessions to dive deeper into the hot issues defined by youth—Jobs, Diversity, Community Violence, and Having a Voice in School— as well as developing an action plan that will be shared with community leaders. Teams will reconvene and report on the results after the breakouts, telling organizers what they feel should be integrated into any future work on these hot issues, for example, a Public Service Announcement, a focus on summer jobs, or on economic development training for teen entrepreneurs.
Wheelock College President Jackie Jenkins-Scott will be leading the summit whose main objectives are:
- To open space for youth to take leadership over the issues that impact them directly and drive the conversations around the topics that matter to them.
- To open public dialogue about Black and Latino male identity.
- To open space in Boston and in the public consciousness for Black and Latino males to play new and expansive roles in the city.
- To begin to shift the narrative about identity among Black and Latino males, provoking all of Boston to see them as fully-fledged members of our communities.
- To engage women and girls of color whose personal narratives can help shape the agenda of the movement.
In partnership with Wheelock College, a coalition of seasoned area educational, philanthropic and social justice groups came together in 2014 to envision an identity campaign that would provide space for a revised "image" template for Black and Latino males in Boston. This initiative was called We Belong, and in addition to Wheelock, its collaborators are Project RIGHT, AbekaM Consulting | Foundation, HoodFit, New England Blacks in Philanthropy and individual members of the Black and Latino Collaborative. Key ancillary support is being offered by the Boston Public Schools and My Brother's Keeper, an initiative led by Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston. Wheelock's 2016 Youth Speak: The Politics of Race + Gender + Equity will build upon this effort.
In addition to the We Belong members, Wheelock is working closely with the Lewis Family Foundation's Youth Advisory Council and their Bigger than My Block Initiative. The council has been instrumental in engaging the youth voice during this process. Boston Public Schools, The Boston Foundation, MassHousing, and the Suffolk County Sheriff's Department are also partners in the Youth Summit.
Wheelock College – Inspire a World of Good
For the past 125 years, Wheelock College has known that improving the lives of children and families isn't always easy – but it's always worth it. We're teachers, advocates, social workers, and agents of change—leaders who are committed to changing the world in the heart of Boston and around the world. We prepare students to lead change in any career they choose. We offer 15 undergraduate majors and 22 minors, 9 graduate programs and a multitude of non-degree program options— all of which inspire a world of good. For more information, visit www.wheelock.edu.
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SOURCE Wheelock College