That's a wrap!
Last night SWAG hosted the final forum in our Racism in Our Youth series and our students showed out. I only wish that all of Akron could hear directly from our youth the conversations of last night. Oh wait! They can! More to come on that later...
Just a recap: We have now had four forums covering the different types of racism our youth experience in their environments (neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and governments). Special shoutout to Shaunte Wright for planning the forums, the Kent State College students who helped conduct the forums, to NoHi for providing food for the participants, Lock 3 for allowing us to use them as a venue, and to all of our partners for sending their youth to participate in our series.
Something of note: Our youth know what is happening around them, both locally and nationally, and they have something to say about it. I know it sounds cliché, but our youth really are our future. We would show wisdom to take heed to the topics that matter to them, and what they have to say about it. The time has come for our youth to be able to speak intelligently about the laws and issues that will and are affecting them.
I am super proud of the youth that has gathered together over the past two months and expressed their concerns on a very important topic. We know that in Akron, racism is a public health crisis, but how many of our young people were considered when making that determination? Do you know how they feel? If they think its real? Did you consider what changes they would want to see with this new determination?
These forum gave our youth a voice in an area and topic where they felt they had none. They spoke, and we listened. And now its time to make a change.
We are pleased to announce that we will be handing over a Youth-Led Strategic Plan to the city of Akron on October 1, 2021 to address the racism our students are experiencing in their most essential routines. There is still room for participants and if you are interested in being a part of this plan, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can use the Contact Us tab on the website.