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