The Social Justice Symposium Turns Five!

By Erin H. RSS Mon, December 21, 2020

Planning and hosting the Free Library's Social Justice Symposium for young people has become an important tradition at the Philadelphia City Institute Library. We held the first Symposium in 2016 and have scheduled one annually since then. Each year, we continue to be inspired by the young people who present and participate.

This year, because of ongoing Covid restrictions, our program will be different—it will be held virtually—but the best parts of the program remain.

Here's a rundown:

  • A young person, Brandon Gonzalez, will deliver this year's Keynote Talk. Brandon Gonzalez is a Queer AfroLatinx writer and organizer based in The Bronx, New York. They are a sophomore at Oswego State University, with positions ranging from Director of Programming for the Black Student Union and Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Focusing on educational Equity work in their earlier activism, Brandon now has a hyperfocus on Racial and LGBTQIA+ Justice through digital teach-ins.
  • Workshop topics were selected by members of a Young Planning Committee that met early in the pandemic and by some of this year's Teen Leadership Assistants at the Free Library. This year's topics include: "Race and Slavery in the United States", "The Art of Resistance", "Where Do I Start? How to Find Your Place in the Movement for Liberation",  and "Global Perspectives on Social Justice".
  • Local organizations will be present during the program to talk to young people about their services and programs, including The Mazzoni Center, Community Legal Services, Philadelphia's Office of Youth Engagement, SEPTA's Youth Advisory Council, and more.
  • We'll still close out the day with a prize raffle, it'll just be a digital prize raffle this year!

Past participants of the Social Justice Symposium have said this about their experiences:

 “I learned more about my rights as a person of color.”

“I learned it is okay to be scared to stand up, but standing up for what you believe in is a good way to get something done.”

“I liked learning about different issues in the community and realizing that as a teen my voice is powerful."

The Social Justice Symposium is for young people age 12-20, and will take place virtually on Monday, December 28, from 12:00p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Register now for an afternoon of empowerment and inspiration!

Lea la versión en español sobre este evento en el siguiente enlace:

The Social Justice Symposium program has been generously funded by the Philadelphia City Institute Board of Managers since 2017.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2020