First Black Youth Engagement Summit launched in Leeds as part of International Youth Day 2020

The first Black Youth Engagement Summit has been announced in Leeds, hoping to create a platform for 'young black voices to be heard'.

Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 12:14 pm
The virtual event will highlightthe 'exceptionalwork' ofyoung people in Leeds in fighting racial inequality.

Organised as part of International Youth Day on August 12, the virtual event will highlight the 'exceptional work' of young people in Leeds and across the country in fighting racial inequality.

The event is hosted by Leeds charity Angel of Youths in partnership with Black Lives Matter (BLM) Leeds, the FindYours Project, Youth Strike 4 Climate and Shape History.

Young activists aged 15 to 24 will feature at the summit, hoping to encourage other young black people to open up about the key problems they face.

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Marvina Newton, founder of Leeds charity Angel of Youths

There will be additional key speakers and organisation heads from the charities involved, with the event split into three parts: Unite, Heal and Educate.

The 'Unite' section will feature Zoom webinars and panels with youth leaders and speakers, as well as opportunities for young people to engage in conversation, ask questions and discuss shared issues.

Following ‘Unite’ is ‘Heal’, a creative segment featuring videos, poems and music.

The final part of the day will be ‘Educate’ where a group of speakers, chosen for their involvement in youth engagement and tackling racial inequality, will discuss their work.

Marvina Newton, founder of Angel of Youths and Black Lives Matter Leeds, said: "This summit exists to give young Black youths a voice and a platform to talk about the key problems they face and why they feel the lack of engagement with services is detrimental to their voice and influence in the UK.

"The Black Lives Matter movement across the UK has been led by 15-25-year old’s and yet they seem to be consistently left out of the conversation as policies are written with no input from them - policies that will make the difference in their future.

"We believe this should be highlighted and addressed.

"We want the summit to offer the opportunity for young people to unite as one voice and come up with a strategy for a year long process of programmes that will tackle racism, build resources and to set an agenda written by them, with their own aims.

"An agenda that addresses the issues we know, through our work, young Black people need to see tackled at a societal level: decolonising the education system, ending the over-policing of our communities, defunding the many practices that are not conducive to the well-being of young people nationally and internationally.

"I hope this will give young people both Black and white, the opportunity to come together and to create a youth summit board that reviews Black youth development on a regular basis.

"We are, with them, creating a platform to publicly showcase the struggle, create a solution and heal from past wounds – we are not innocent in the UK and we are saying clearly, young Black voices need to be heard.”

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Laura Collins