Local high school students from the Youth Advisory Board of Berks County Community Foundation and Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading are hosting a virtual event on Saturday, April 24 to show national support of racial equity and the importance of diversity and inclusion.
The event, called “Stand Up & Stand In for Social Justice” will be broadcast via Instagram Live (@yvcreading) from 2:00 to 3:30 PM EST (1:00-2:30PM CST).
YVC student advocates from across Berks County will be joined by students from other regions including Kansas City, Mo., Newport News, Va. and even Hamburg Germany.
Students in all locations will participate in mini projects that demonstrate their support of social justice. The broadcast will highlight these projects as well as include educational content and video messages from influential adults in support of this youth movement.
“I think that what’s so exciting about this event is that it is run by youth for youth. It provides a platform for teenagers to both educate themselves about racial injustice while being active to speak out against it” said Lauren Clymer, a senior at Kutztown High School and member of the Youth Advisory Board.
“I know that all of us at [YVC] have put a lot of time and effort into planning this event to make it as interactive and educational as possible, and we hope that everyone will join us on Saturday!”
The event was developed by over two dozen Youth Advisory Board members as their capstone service project for this school year. As members of YAB, these students steward the Youth in Philanthropy Fund of Berks County Community Foundation, which allows them to grant money to local organizations to effect change in student-chosen issue areas.
This year, the students chose racial equity as the issue area to address. The “Stand Up & Stand In” event was developed in collaboration with the wider Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading network to support the youth Stand Together Against Racism (S.T.A.R.) movement.
Since September, this movement has engaged hundreds of people in education and awareness initiatives as well as projects supporting racial equity. Projects of note include the Stand Together Against Racism pledge, the development of the educational www.yvc-star.org website, the “YVC Voices for Justice, Equality, and Inclusion” public art installation currently on display at Berks County Community Foundation, and more.
Groups of 2-15 people are encouraged to register and officially participate. Registration and more information can be found at yvc-star.org/stand-up-stand-in.
“Every individual, [who chooses] to stand, represents their community change against racism. We are better together” said EliAnna Bermudez, a junior at Oley Valley High School and an original member of the YVC Stand Together Against Racism movement.