Wheelock College Youth Symposium
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Youth Speak | The Politics of Race + Gender + Equity
April 26, 2016, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
This year, students will dive into the intersection of "Politics of Race, Gender, and Equity." Together with their peers, they'll consider the hot issues important to them and the impact on their neighborhoods/community, media, schools, and higher education.
Location: Wheelock Family Theatre
May 7, 2016, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
Talk-Back with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will continue the conversation started on April 26th by engaging with students at the Youth Symposium..
Location: Wheelock Family Theatre
About the Youth Symposium
Wheelock's Youth Symposium offers an opportunity for young people to contribute to an ongoing dialogue via three convenings: Pre-Symposium Planning Session (to determine "hot issues" in the community to be further explored at the Youth Symposium), the Youth Symposium, and the Post Symposium Talk-Back (to share recommendations with community leadership).
The impact of the work is:
- To open space for youth to take leadership over the issues that impact them directly and drive the conversations around the topics that matter to them.
- To open public dialogue about Black and Latino male identity.
- To open space in Boston and in the public consciousness for Black and Latino males to play new and expansive roles in the city.
- To begin to shift the narrative about identity among Black and Latino males, provoking all of Boston to see them as fully-fledged members of our communities.
- To engage women and girls of color whose personal narratives can help shape the agenda of the movement.
The centerpiece of the event is a high-energy, daylong conference that brings together several hundred middle and high school students from public, private, pilot, and charter schools in Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge to discuss leadership, mentoring, and self-respect.
2016 Symposium Keynote Speaker Beverly Bond
As a TV producer, writer, serial entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Beverly Bond has blazed trails in the music, entertainment,and social entrepreneurship industries. A true art and culture connoisseur, Bond's passion for music and her uncanny ability to read the crowd has solidified her as one of the world's premier celebrity DJs. Over the last decade, Bond, a former Wilhelmina model, has brought her versatile talents to the most highly exclusive events and to a myriad of celebrity clients including Prince, Alicia Keys, Sarah Jessica Parker, Erykah Badu, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Derek Jeter, Jessica and Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Z, Martha Stewart, and more.
In 2006, Bond founded BLACK GIRLS ROCK! and the annual BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards to mentor the next generation of Black girls, to showcase empowering images of women of color and to promote positive role models for girls. Within a few years of launching her vision, Bond partnered with BET in 2010 to share the successful BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Awards on a world stage. As the creator/executive producer of the televised show, Bond's platform is now reaching approximately over 10 million viewers annually and has received recognition as a 2013 and 2014 NAACP Image Award winner.
Bond's work as a businesswoman, mentor, philanthropist and community leader has earned her a number of other prestigious recognitions. EBONY magazine listed Bond amongst its Power 100 list from 2008-2012—making it five consecutive years that she's been recognized as one of Ebony's "Most Influential Blacks In America." Bond was recognized as one of ESSENCE Magazine's "40 Fierce and Fabulous Women Who are Changing the World" placing her in the company of such notables as First Lady Michelle Obama; media mogul and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey; President of the Republic of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; singer, actress and CoverGirl, Queen Latifah; global pop icon, Beyoncé; and many others. Bond was also featured in Variety Magazine's Spring 2014 Women of Power issue and Elle - UK's 2015 Feminist Issue.
Bond has continued to expand her empire with the recent launch of BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Africa and BONDVISION Media—a media production company. She also founded additional advocacy and empowerment based platforms: GIRLS ROCK TECH, a STEM initiative for women and girls; ROCK LIKE A GIRL, a music, film and arts education initiative for women and girls; and KING ME! a holistic youth development program for Black boys.
Bond has shown a niche for success as she's crafted a winning blueprint for women's empowerment, built a dynamic career in the music industry, and created meaningful media content for television. Her outstanding body of work, across sectors, has made her one of the most celebrated DJs, producers and social innovators of our time. Her work stretches far beyond ordinary boundaries and is a true testament to reaching for the stars.
2016 Talk-Back Keynote Speaker Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
She thereafter served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979-1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she was an associate and then partner from 1984-1992.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992-1998. She then served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998-2009.
President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.
Sotomayor photo courtesy of the Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States
Youth Symposium Has Lasting Impact
The Youth Symposium features a specially developed curriculum that all students complete before attending. In addition to expanding horizons for the students who attend, the previous symposiums resulted in the foundation of SPARK the Truth, a student-created and student-run organization that has worked with Wheelock's Pre-Collegiate Office to bring nearly 5,000 young people to events on the Wheelock Campus that focus on leadership development, mentoring, social justice, academic support, coursework, and college success planning. Members of SPARK the Truth were also an integral part of planning for the 2010 Youth Symposium.
Learn About Previous Youth Symposiums
2010 Event Featured Award Winning Actor/Author Hill Harper
The 2010 Youth Symposium, titled "Bridges to Our Future: The Next Generation of Leaders," was led by award-winning actor and best-selling author Hill Harper and legal scholar Charles Ogletree. Harper told students attending the Symposium to seek out people who will support their goals and dreams, such as teachers, family members, or other mentors. "No one gets there on their own," he said.
2007 Event Brought Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu
The 2007 Youth Symposium, titled "Bridges to Hope and Understanding: Exploring Truth and Reconciliation," was led by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and featured an address by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.