Teens from the Meadowbrook Teen Center and Lake City Community Center recently attended the seventh annual Black and Brown Summit at Highline College. The summit works to empower and motivate young men of color to excel in academics and to accept nothing less than excellence from themselves. During the summit, participants listened to keynote speakers, took part in workshops, and shared and discussed personal experiences and perspectives.
The summit provides a space to highlight the achievements of young men of color despite the obstacles that they face, to critique social structures that inhibit Black/Brown men from being successful in education, and to give young men a sense of self by contextualizing their identity through social, cultural, historical and political lenses.
AJ Oguara, a teen from our Lake City Young Leaders program, shared the following about his experience attending the Black and Brown Summit:
“The day was one of the best days of my life this year, and it is definitely top five in my early life. What I took out of the event was that I have what is necessary for success; there are many like me who go through hardship and we are all intelligent.
What was also talked about and agreed by everybody was the power of unity that we have. I have had an increased level of self-esteem from this event and know that from the people who presented, there are more people that I have that I can look to for encouragement and help.
From the event, we have knowledge that all of our voices and lives matter. We all have gained an understanding that with our unity, we are all brothers and we should not bring others in our communities down. This event has helped me find more strength and confidence in myself and I seek to attend it for further years.”
The Black and Brown Summit was a wonderful experience for teens in our programs and we look forward to bringing another group of young men to the event next year. Thank you to AJ Oguara for sharing his insights, and thank you to Highline College for supporting this empowering event!
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