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Training the next leaders of the social-justice movement: Youth Leading Change

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October11/ 2011

Building Change: A Convergence for Social Justice on Oct. 13-15 is being billed as “the first-ever gathering of people and organizations from across Southwestern Pennsylvania … who share a common goal of advancing social justice and change in our region and world.”

Among the “first evers” is the Convergence’s Youth Leading Change track on Oct. 13 at the Heinz History Center. It is designed “to make sure we’re speaking to youth directly about how they can be effective in their communities and how they can use their skills,” says Willa Paterson of the Three Rivers Community Foundation, which organized the event.

More than 300 students from 32 schools will team with 28 nonprofits to create plans for community service projects to be accomplished throughout the coming year. At lunchtime, youth from the YMCA Lighthouse project, Royal Tribes, and Terrance Moses will perform.

Local labor experts Charles McCollester and Rosemary Trump will present Lessons in Leadership, a series of readings about local history – who are the historical leaders of social change in the region, and what did they accomplish? Workshops will cover everything from community organizing, coalition building and civic engagement to fundraising and social entrepreneurship, as well as media, marketing and social networking.

Concludes Paterson: “We need to engage our students at a younger age with community activities.”

Writer: Marty Levine

Source: Willa Paterson, Three Rivers Community Foundation

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