Reflecting on the 13th Annual Youth Summit
This year’s 13th annual youth summit hosted over 20, hour-long workshops, which included learning about campaigns like #TreatmentNotTrauma and #StopShotspotter from community leaders, crafting poetry, stories, and songs about freedom and liberation, and discussing the importance of mental health and the well-being of our communities. Workshops like Chicago Politics 101, led by BPNC’s Director of Organizing Andrea Ortiz, and Towards Police Free Schools, led by organizers from Advancement Project and the Alliance for Educational Justice, uplifted students' dreams of a just and joyful Chicago. We ended the day learning from BPNC’s Promotoras de Salud, who shared their yummy recipes for Arroz Puertorriqueno and Enchiladas Verdes!
Our Student Voice Committee (SVC) student leaders from Burroughs, Brighton Park, and Davis Elementary led the facilitation of the event, virtually engaging over 600 students in games and raffles during the opening and closing sessions. Yamileth Miranda, a 5th grader at Brighton Park Elementary, shared her experience as a youth leader. “The youth summit was beyond what I could think of”, she shared. “I was really confident and happy that I talked in front of 600 people.” We feel lucky to share space with so many powerful student leaders who are eager to build youth power. A very special thank you to all the youth leaders that offered their free time and shared their brilliant ideas with us (pictured above are student leaders Serenity Levya, Megan Garcia, Yamileth Miranda, Alex Mendoza, and Jessica Cabrera) .
We were also excited to welcome Alderwomen Rossana Rodriguez of the 33rd ward as our guest speaker for the event (pictured to the right). She shared her powerful stories of community organizing in Chicago and Puerto Rico, reminding us that all movements towards justice are interconnected. Thank you to Alderwomen Rossana and all of our workshop session facilitators for helping us cultivate a joyous and generative virtual gathering with young people. We also want to extend gratitude to teachers and administrators that generously offered their time to support with the coordination of the event. Finally, we would like to thank all of the student attendees from Brighton Park Elementary, Columbia Explorers, Shields Middle, Davis, and Burroughs Elementary. We hope you enjoyed this year's summit, and are looking forward to seeing you again next year!