Y-WE’s annual Youth Leadership Summit is a public forum for all the youth participants in Y-WE’s school year programs to share-back their learnings with the broader community. The youth and their facilitators lead workshops which summarize the skill education, life lessons, community building, and positive identity development that they’ve gained through the last 8 months of programming (Oct 2019 – May 2020). The five programs featured at the Youth Summit are: Y-WE Nature Connections, Y-WE Code, Youth Leadership Council, The Environmental Leadership Council, and Y-WE Lead. Usually, this program takes place in-person at El Centro de la Raza.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, offering an in-person Youth Leadership Summit this May was not feasible or safe. Thus, under the creative and adaptive leadership of Program Director, Reagan Jackson, Y-WE’s Youth Leadership Summit took place online via Facebook Live, over the course of an entire week (May 25-29, 2020). We are thrilled with how widespread these livestreams became. Over all we had 3,191 views!
“I’ve become more certain of my thoughts and ideas and certain that I know what I’m talking about, and that I deserve to have people listen to me, even if they have a position of power over me.”Azure, Youth Leadership Council
Our online Youth Summit was one more manifestation of our foundational organizational commitment to “responsive leadership.” We heard and felt the community’s need to come together in a public forum. The Virtual Youth Summit was truly a demonstration of Y-WE’s creative and collaborative leadership values in action. We are deeply grateful to all the funders, partners, parents and community members who make our responsive and critical programming possible. Thanks especially to Best Starts for Kids for their enduring 3-year investment in our transformative school year programs!
“Y-WE Code really opened up our eyes to how important it is for us as women, and women of color, to shape this field.”Xixi, Y-We Code