The halls of Wasserstein buzzed with excitement as a group of high school students from across Massachusetts took part in a day-long summit on April 19 featuring workshops on ways they can make change in their schools and in their community.
The Students Speak Youth Summit was organized and hosted by the Education Law Clinic and Advocates for Education at Harvard Law School, in partnership with student groups from Haverhill High School and Chelsea High School, among others. The event included spoken word poetry, student-led sessions on topics including racial injustice and youth voice, and a keynote from a Floridian student activist.
“We wanted this to be something that would enable us to come together … to amplify each other’s voices and center the focus on [the student’s] voices, said Christina Breitbeil ’23, a co-organizer of the summit.
“We are here because we share the common goal of making the world a better place,” said Will Larkins, the keynote speaker, a 17-year-old student leader, organizer, and activist from Winter Park High School in Florida. “We are here because we see each other and everyone else as people. We’re here because we are the future.”
“Young people are the experts of their own experiences,” said summit co-organizer Patrick Cremin ’22. “They’re experiencing major things going on in the world and doing work at the local level, and there’s so much shared knowledge there. Hopefully this can be a starting point for a broader continuation of this work, and we can keep building on this.”
For more coverage of the Summit and Harvard Law School’s ongoing clinical partnership with youth advocates, go to: https://clinics.law.harvard.edu/blog/2022/04/experts-of-their-own-experiences/