Instead of attending the regular Saturday Institute on 2/10/18, Girls Justice League attended the Second Annual Philadelphia Black History Collaborative Conference at Kensington CAPA. This year’s theme was Youth Driven Solutions: Student Ownership of Education and Community Issues. The girls first attended a workshop entitled Student Activism: A Missing Link, facilitated by Sharif El-Mekki – principal at Mastery Charter School-Shoemaker Campus. He shared his experience on implementing a Social Justice class as a mandatory course for all 8th graders. It is designed to help students learn the history of student activism and prepare them to rise up as the next change makers of tomorrow.
In response to his lecture, we asked the girls for their first reactions.
“I think that my school should have a class like this because people of different races and ethnicities will get to learn more about the African American experience. However, it should be an elective so kids who are actually interested in these topics can learn more about it. I like that the course is hands on.” Kierrah, 16
“Girls Justice League should do more workshops based on different social justice issues such as education and discuss ways in which we can help apply them to school classrooms. This will provide more knowledge to the students who are interested in education justice. The student will be involved in something they want to do” Sydney, 16
Overall, the conference was a success, giving the younger generation a platform to discuss modern activism, the power of education in our communities, and the preservation of African American history as seen through the eyes of Black Americans. We enjoyed our time and look forward to continuing to learn about the history of social justice movements throughout the world.