I am a leader

Teen Health Mississippi, together with our partners, hosted the 2020 Mobilizing Youth Summit (MYSummit), on Saturday, June 6.

Mobilizing Youth Summit

The goal of MYSummit can be found in the name—to mobilize youth with the skills and tools to advocate for themselves and their peers. The summit was a chance to provide young people the opportunity to increase their awareness around issues affecting youth. The workshops equipped young participants with the skills and tools to build community-level advocacy campaigns for the rights of young people.

“Your age does not define what you can do.”

Kelly Bates, Mississippi Youth Council member and advocate for youth sexual health

The one-day summit focused on:

  • Developing the leadership and advocacy skills of youth participants.
  • Increasing the knowledge of youth participants about youth rights and what they can do to protect these rights.
  • Developing strategies for organizing with other youth from across the state on issues, including anti-LGBTQ bullying policies, comprehensive sex education, comprehensive non-discrimination legislation, etc.

Thank you to the 150 young people who participated in the event and the 2,700 viewers who watched on Facebook after the fact.

Keynote Speaker Samantha Fuentes

Samantha Fuentes, a Parkland School shooting survivor and gun rights activist, was a keynote speaker and shared her experience with advocating for youth mental health and against gun violence. She spoke about how important self care and community support is when it comes to working toward change.

“When you become an advocate for something you care about, you’re going to be surrounded by people who care about it, too.”

Samantha Fuentes

Common Themes

Throughout the day-long virtual event, the same themes appeared in regards to advocating for youth rights: be patient, be persistent, and know when to move on to other strategies. Change doesn’t always happen as intended, but there is a way to make a difference.

Graphic that reads: Be patient, be persistent and know when to move on

Watch MYSummit

Watch a recording of the summit on Facebook or check out our Twitter thread on the event.

To help navigate through the video and better understand what’s covered, check out the MYSummit agenda.

It was a powerful day of learning and sharing different experiences and perspectives among our participants, presenters and facilitators. We hope you’ll join us at the next Mobilizing Youth Summit!

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