On Saturday, February 24, middle and high school students from all over Washington D.C. enjoyed a day of conversation and activity at KIPP DC’s first annual Young Men’s Empowerment Summit!
In partnership with Mayor Bowser’s DC Commission on Fathers, Men, and Boys, KIPP DC welcomed 200 young men and their fathers to a day of empowering discussions, panels, and activities around how to be productive young men in today’s society.
The Summit kicked off with a powerful opening address from inspirational speaker, Mr. Brian Heat. With an abundance of energy, Brian encouraged students and adults to find and ultimately unleash their potential by overcoming personal barriers to discover their undeniable talents. From there, students moved into the Activism & Civil Responsibility panel. The panel was moderated by 93.9 WKYS-FM on-air personality DJ Flava and included influential members of our community:
- Mr. Kymone Freeman, activist, founder of WeACT Radio
- Mr. Robert White – D.C. Councilmember At-Large
- Burnell Holland, My Brothers Keepers / Obama Foundation
- Tony Dugger, Mayor’s Commission on Men, Fathers, and Boys
- Rahman Branch, Mayor’s Office on African American Affairs
Panelist engaged students in conversations about current social events and social justice topics that affect urban communities in D.C. and across the country. Students took advantage of the chance to thought partner with men who have made their mission to impact and change communities.
With this framework in mind, students chose two smaller sessions to explore topics more in-depth. Sessions included Media & Literacy in a Digital Age, Barbershop Talk: Health & Hygiene, and The Entrepreneurial Mindset. Each session created a safe space where genuine connections and conversations were created between students, parents, and community members. In the afternoon, students got their limbs moving with some physical activity! Yoga Instructor and Coach, Bethel, led students through breathing, yoga, and meditation exercises – while members of Step Afrika introduced students to the art of “stepping” and the rich African history that’s embedded in dance moves. Students also had the opportunity to participate in a NBA2K video game Tournament by ElietGamingLive or a 3 vs. 3 Nike basketball tournament!
Thanks to all of our students, families, and volunteers who pitched in to create such an impactful day. Special shoutout to The Grater Caters, Guerilla Arts Ink, and the barbers at Changing Faces, for helping make the first annual Young Men’s Empowerment Summit a success.
Find more photos from the Young Men’s Empowerment Summit.