2019 Program

2019’s theme was “Speak Up! Speak Out!” We welcomed a record 95 students from 23 schools. We focused on empowering teens with the tools and confidence to get involved in causes important to them.   Here are the highlights:

  • We are were honored to welcome Barbara Smith, an author, activist, and independent scholar who has played a groundbreaking role in opening up a national cultural and political dialogue about the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. She was among the first to define an African American women’s literary tradition and to build Black women’s studies and Black feminism in the United States. She has been politically active in many movements for social justice since the 1960s. Read her recent New York Times article here.

  •  Equitable access to a quality education is a right of every child in New York State. Joe Rogers, Director of Public Engagement and Government Affairs at the Center for Educational Equity (CEE) at Teachers College, Columbia University led teens in a discussion of students’ right.

  • Audrea Din, New York State Director of Youth Climate Strike U.S. shared with participants what they can do to support environmental justice. Learn more about her work in this Times Union article.

  • Margaret Scatena, founder of the Theda Project, an economic development initiative designed to create job opportunity in Yaxhachén, Yucatán, discussed with participants her work in Mexico partnering with communities and working in schools.
  • We were joined by the Youth Economic Group (YEG), a team of young leaders who run a youth-led cooperative business to raise awareness of issues of injustice and advocate for a more just world for all. Learn more about their work here.

To learn more about our program, visit our “About” page.