Blog

First Annual International Congress of Youth Voices

Their great writing skills and passion for social justice scored two 826LA students a seat at the first International Congress of Youth Voices in San Francisco, CA !

Over the weekend of August third, a pair of 826LA students, Gabriela R. and Ashla R., joined nearly one-hundred  student delegates from within the 826 Network and around the world at the first annual International Congress of Youth Voices. Hosted in San Francisco, California, this event connected students with celebrated activists, writers, and elected officials, empowering them to better serve themselves through literacy education.  

We thought, ‘Let’s gather these exceptional young voices … and let them meet mentors, fellow writers and activists … and find a pathway to combine their skill with the written word and their ability to affect real change.” – Dave Eggers

Gabriela and Ashla were selected to attend the event based on not only their writing skills, but also by their infectious commitment to fighting for social justice within the Los Angeles community. At the International Congress, the students met with 826 National co-founder, Dave Eggers, and non-profit leader, Amanda Uhle, the hosts of the event. The event’s creators designed the three-day meeting as a way to collaborate and communicate the connection between storytelling and advocacy. “We thought, ‘Let’s gather these exceptional young voices … and let them meet mentors, fellow writers and activists … and find a pathway to combine their skill with the written word and their ability to affect real change,’” Dave Eggers said.

“Overall it was a fun experience and I met two really funny students that I passed the time with. I did get to meet Mr. Sam Lewis since I got to do an online interview with him I wanted to see what he was like.” – Gabriela

The first annual event began with dinner and a Q&A with Honorable Congressman and Civil Rights advocate John Lewis. On Saturday the student delegates gathered at the San Francisco Public Library where they were surprised with an exhibition of their own work displayed at the entrance, showcasing their talent in literacy and educational growth. The students then spent time with writers and activists, Khaled Hosseini, Jose Antonio Vargas, and others, where they were were given powerful advice on mental health and global issues. Gabriela and Ashla collaborated with the rest of the delegates on the third day to write a manifesto about their experience as delegates and their plans for the future in social justice. Their manifestos were published in the Guardian shortly after the event!

Gabriela was very honored to be one of the first people to be a part of the Youth Conference. She had a great time despite being sick that weekend. She said, “Overall it was a fun experience and I met two really funny students that I passed the time with. I did get to meet Mr. John Lewis. Since I got to do an online interview with him I wanted to see what he was like.”

To learn more about the International  Congress of Youth Voices click here! 

This entry was posted in Events, General, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.