Changemakers, thought leaders, advocates – mark your calendars for Friday, June 4th. That is the date of Empowering Changemakers, hosted by EYEJ. This virtual event brings together national changemakers from the fields of sports, politics, fashion, and more! Get your tickets HERE – and gain access to a vast slate of roundtables featuring professionals working to enact sustainable change in communities throughout the US. More details below!
NOTE: Many thanks to Mai Moore and EYEJ for providing photos, media and background information for use in this post.
Empowering Changemakers: Virtual Symposium
The Empowering Changemakers virtual symposium runs from 5 – 8:30 PM on Friday, June 4, 2021. Headliners are entrepreneur/investor David S. Rose and Boyah Farah, an acclaimed poet, world traveler, and author. Six primary agenda areas will be addressed, including The Digital Divide, Criminal Justice Reform, Politics, Fashion, Social Media Influencing, and Sports.
There are far too many highly credentialed panelists to highlight in one post so I’ll share a select few below. Get your tickets now (prices go up May 23rd) and be sure to catch your favorite industry change-leaders.
The Digital Divide
40 million people in America lack high-speed broadband access. The disparities of that reality became even more apparent during the COVID pandemic.
Michael Daniels, Director of Federal Government and Industry Relations at Land O’Lakes, Inc., is a Digital Divide panelist. He brings a wealth of experience from his prior role as Director of Government Affairs for NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association. Expect this conversation to provide you with sound strategies and resources to enhance your current advocacy programming work.
Criminal Justice Reform
Nearly 10 million Americans—including millions of children—have an immediate family member in jail or prison. The impact on families can be devastating. In a country that incarcerates its citizens more than any other, the question is, how do we address a system built on historical racism and inequities?
Bridget Brennan, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Ms. Brennan will be one of five panelists speaking on “The Power of Youth Demanding 21st Century Criminal Justice Reform.”
More than fifty years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act to address systemic oppression, the country is now faced with a new wave of policies geared at disenfranchising the votes of millions of citizens. With continued distrust in the electoral system, how can governmental representatives work to establish authentic trust and relationships within the communities they serve?
This panel discusses the issues of voter suppression, building stronger community relationships, and the very heated Mayoral race in Cleveland. Esteemed panelists include:
- Justin Bibb; Cleveland Mayoral Candidate
- Zach Reed; Cleveland Mayoral Candidate
- Sandra Williams; State Senator, District 21
- Anushka Khanna; Co-Chair, EYEJ Millenial Taskforce
Fashion has always been a way for people to make a statement. In spaces where people could not use their voices, fashion relayed messages of civil disobedience. For others, footwear demonstrated cultural pride and became a tool for expressing your perceived upward mobility. “Sneakerheads Unite!” will bring together sneaker aficionados and other fashion industry changemakers to explore the innovations that young people are bringing to fashion. Discuss the views young people seek to make with their fashion and how it speaks to the political, social, and economic changes they’re striving for in their communities.
Social Media Influencing
Social Media has become an integral part of our everyday life in America. Today’s most digitally connected and most online generation – Gen Z – uses social media to discuss culture, entertainment, activism, politics, and other views not always reflected in traditional media. It is essential to understand the power of social media on creating systemic change in America.
Brittney Moffatt Oddo, Marketing Strategist is one of six panelists discussing how young people can elevate their voices through social media.
I’ve had the opportunity to meet Brittney in person and have taken her online content challenges. She really knows her stuff and I can’t wait to hear her perspective on this panel!
From the raised fist of sprinters, Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympic games to the outspoken and unapologetically Black pride of Muhammad Ali, athletes have used their platforms to enact change across the national landscape. “Shut Up And Play” will feature former and current sports players discussing their experiences of being changemakers in professional sports. Panelists include former Super Bowl XLIX Champion Timothy Wright and NFL tight end Seth DeValve.
EYEJ (Empowering Youth, Exploring Justice) was founded in 2013 by citizens that were concerned about the disconnect between society and resources, the pervasiveness of poverty, and the degree of violence within the African-American youth community. While their work is concentrated on the Cleveland Municipal School District, they offer assistance to young people nationwide. The organization’s focus is to provide life and personal development skills to youth that range from 6th grade to age 25, while also acting as a connector between children and their community.
I became acquainted with Mai Moore, a co-founder of EYEJ and its Executive Director, via a local women’s networking group. Mai’s commitment to her work and passion for “an equitable and inclusive world” is contagious and stems from her own experiences growing up as a bi-racial youth in Cleveland Heights. Be sure to give Mai and her team a follow at the social media links shown below!
“There’s something wonderful just in
being human and sharing, and it has nothing to do with color or age or socioeconomic background. I know that this is powerful, and I know that this is needed.” -Mai Moore
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi