YouthSpeak 2011: A Forum of Young Minds

By Emily Drakage, Children in the Fields Campaign North Carolina Regional Coordinator, AFOP

Farmworker youth council Poder Juvenil Campesino (Rural Youth Power) is organizing and leading a community forum on problems they face in the community and proposing collaborative solutions with the public at an event titled YouthSpeak 2011 on November 30, in Kinston, North Carolina. The youth council has been preparing for the event following their inspirational involvement in a teen Town Hall meeting that occurred this past spring.  This event was designed to allow the young farmworkers to express their opinions, concerns, and experiences with members of the community, and share their perspectives on how to bring about positive change within the community.

YouthSpeak 2011 is a youth-led forum organized by a group of tomorrow’s leaders. Youth will be leading discussions about the lifestyles and challenges facing the most important demographic in our nation, delivered by those who know best: our children. The audience will hear the inside realities of the struggles rural youth face in and out of school and they will have the opportunity to participate in the discussion.

The event consists of three panel discussions led by youth on  access to education, child labor in farm work, and issues surrounding at-risk youth. Youth will voice their opinions, concerns, and personal experiences with members of the community and offer solutions to the problems they are experiencing. The youth also seek support and guidance from the public in order to develop a more active role for themselves within the community to overcome such challenges.

In addition, there will be an exhibition of photographs by youth as well as video screenings featuring youth council members. YouthSpeak attendance is “a must” for community leaders, health care providers, educators, and others with an interest in serving rural communities.

YouthSpeak 2011 will take place on November 30, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lenoir Community College in the Waller Building at the Culinary Arts Center, located at 231 Hwy 58, South in Kinston, NC.

Refreshments will be served.  If you plan to attend, RSVP by November 23. Space is limited!

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