Youth Fellows January Meet-Up

On Saturday, January 28, the Desmond Tutu Center Youth Fellows came together for their first meet-up of the new year at Christian Theological Seminary. Youth Fellow Ghemaiya Bradley kicked things off with an icebreaker called “The Question Game,” in which partners had to hold a conversation consisting entirely of questions.

The group followed this game with a period of reflection on recent events. Having not met as a group since October, prior to the 2016 Presidential election and inauguration, the Youth Fellows and mentors certainly had a lot to discuss. One mentor described the discussion as “cathartic” — taking the time to consider, as a group, the election, protests, and political changes this nation and the world have seen recently, and how they relate to social justice, was an important step toward understanding our roles as aspiring leaders.

The Youth Fellows followed this conversation with updates from their individual projects. Burgandie hopes to create a space at school for youth to meet and study. Jaina is developing a workshop series for elementary age schoolchildren to begin thinking about careers. Jamela is planning an art exhibit which will highlight the minoritized identities of many of her peers at school. Ghemaiya is in the process of launching workshops to promote personal empowerment for high school girls of color. Diana is developing a social awareness campaign to call attention to the systemic failure of the foster care system to adequately prepare foster teens for independent living, as well as a resource fair targeted toward foster teens. Finally, Paige is planning an initiative which will help provide menstrual care products to homeless people, as well as advocacy on issues relevant to the homeless population.

As usual, the group concluded by summarizing the meet-up in a few words. One theme of the meet-up was resource sharing – each Fellow and mentor had something to bring to the table, and the network of resources available to each Youth Fellow was demonstrated each time someone spoke up to offer assistance with another Fellow’s project, whether it was a piece of advice, a contact, or a venue for an event. The attitude of helpfulness and optimism was inspiring. Another good day for the Youth Fellows team!
By: Olivia Pratt

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