2019 NATIONAL SYMPOSIUM YOUTH STRAND

The Youth Strand of the Symposium represents our strategic approach to connect with youth and young adults in the community in the work of civic engagement and reconcilaition. 

YOUTH STRAND KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Jahkil Naeem Jackson

Social Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Creator of Project I Am Providing "Blessing Bags" to the Nation's Homeless

Project I Am was created by 8-year-old Jahkil Naeem Jackson.
Jahkil, now 11, has a heartfelt desire to help those in need. After
helping his aunt distribute food to the Chicago homeless, he knew
that he wanted to do more to make a difference.
It quickly became Jahkil’s mission to build awareness of
homelessness and to help Chicago’s homeless population by
offering them what he calls “Blessing Bags,” a giveaway filled with
wipes, socks, deodorant, hand sanitizer, granola bars, toothbrush,
toothpaste, bottled water, and more.
Jahkil has donated Blessing Bags to those in need at Cornerstone
Center, Franciscan House, Pacific Garden Mission, Covenant
House, Teen Living Center, Inspiration Kitchen, Olive Branch
and True To Life Foundation. With adult supervision, Jahkil also

does hand-to-hand distribution throughout the Chicago and most recently Skid Row in Los Angeles, CA.

In 2016, Jahkil, along with his friends and family, distributed over 1,600 Blessing Bags. With a goal of 5,000 Blessing Bags distributed, Jahkil surpassed the goal, giving out 5,140, which
includes blessings to orphans in Mbabane, Swaziland, as well as hurricane victims in Florida, Houston and Puerto Rico. In 2018, he wants to distribute 6,000 blessing bags. Jahkil also wants to help duplicate Detroit’s tiny homes initiative for the homeless in Chicago. Additionally, Jahkil hopes to join forces with youth from across the country to give back, encouraging them to give back.  To make this happen he is asking the public for supplies and monetary donations.


Summer 2016, he was named a Youth Ambassador for Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, working in communities in the U.S. and abroad to serve those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. Winter 2017, Jahkil became a member of the WE International Youth Council. WE is a movement that exists to make the world a better place. WE Day is also a celebration of youth making a difference in their local and global communities. Jahkil was a guest speaker for 2017 and 2018.
Most notably, Jahkil and Project I Am was acknowledged as one of three influential people of 2017 by President Barack Obama and the Obama Foundation. Jahkil was also tapped to participate in Lebron James’ #AlwaysBelieve 2018 campaign.

YOUTH STRAND PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Join us for 2 days filled with engaging activities designed to encourage our youth to join the work of civic engagement and reconciliation.

 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Symposium Opening Session

The Symposium Opening Session begins with Kenneth B. Morris, great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington shares his story of civic engagement through the rich legacy of his family.

 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

 

Morning & Afternoon Session

  • Powerful Keynote Speaker Jahkil Naeem Jackson

  • Interactive Youth - Focused Workshops

  • Reconciliation Cafe designed to spark discussion on how to implement civic engagement and reconciliation

Evening Activity

  • Powerful Youth Civic Engagement Rally

  • Performances from local artists in poetry, song, spoken word, and art

  • Recognition of civically engaged high school and college students

  • Distribution of Blessing Bags 

Friday, May 31, 2019

Morning & Afternoon Session

  • Gilcrease Museum Tour

  • Power of One Presentation

  • Reconciliation Cafe 

  • Hope Medallions presented to each youth participant by Sen. James Lankford

 

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In the spirit of Dr. John Hope Franklin, the Center promotes reconciliation and generates trust through scholarly work and constructive community engagement.

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