THE EAST PALO ALTO "GOIN' SMART" YOUTH SUMMIT - 2007 (3/10/07)
East Palo Alto has done it again the "Goin' Smart" Youth Summit - 2007 was a smashing hit and true to the commitment: One community where residents are celebrated for their diversity and are engaged, informed and empowered to attainŠand maintain a good quality of life.
Over 50 organizations and numerous other bodies participated by having station tables and spreading information to address quality of life issues. There were hundreds of youth and adults - many parents, teachers, artists, doctors, and politicians, others all willing share and bring peace and concrete progress to East Palo Alto (EPA).
All Islanders Gathering As One (AIGA1) from San Francisco, participated and we did our best to encourage local Polynesian Groups be it those from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Hawaii to empower themselves and be proud of their culture. Build support groups to improve quality of life living standards and to excel as a community. Contribute to society by stemming violence and work hard to bring about healing.
We encouraged the many Latinos, African Americans, and those who chose to visit our table and asked questions to contribute positively to society, go to school, attain careers, help the community, and help stem the crime and violence plaguing our towns and cities all over America.
There were a number of workshops, shows, and panels - the Listen Panel, work shop on: "Who Does Hip Hop Owe?"; So you want to get to College: How to know you are taking the right classes in High School to get you ready for college; How to get out of the game: Exit strategies for Street life, Latino Education: Challenges and Opportunities.
Police Encounters: Knowing your rights and obligations; Bridging the Cultural Differences and Dissolving Hidden Friction; Youth voices being heard: Poetry and the Spoken Word; It could never happen to me: Making Smart and Health Decisions; What does Hip Hop Owe? Freedom of Speech versus Social Responsibility brought to you by Bay Area Rappers Care. Prominent rappers were in the house. Environmental Justice: What you do not know about your community. There were so many tables with the best material to support and educate the East Palo Alto (EPA) constituents. Kudos to all.
I had the opportunity to meet Chris Stampolis the Director of Community Education and Government Relations. He works for ROMIC and many constituents want to understand the operations of this Environmental Technologies Corp. As the Director of Environmental Justice Advocacy - I am prepared to facilitate and bring about some mitigation and abatement resolutions when called upon.
I also had the opportunity to speak with the Mayor of the City of East Palo Alto and offered my services to address Environmental Issues all over East Palo Alto. Right now one very critical issue is the ground water that was always respected by the First People as was the air, the land, the water, the sky, and everything living and non-living. Some where along the line, we all have forgotten that we ought to leave this Earth a better place for those that come after us. We here right now living today as just care takers the sooner we understand that the better.
The panels linking questions posed by the youth were the best. We must always remember that the present problems that the youth face are squarely the problems and issues of all adults. Adults cannot pretend to run away from death, the killings, the violence, the lack of proper nurturing, the downward spiral linked to education, health, and safety issues with taking full responsibility. Adults tend to go on the defensive and less to come out with solutions and admit we all have made many serious mistakes.
The holistic way is to embrace our youth and tell them that we LOVE them. Impress upon all that no Love can be bestowed with Sacrifice. That we human do have the ability to bring out the worst in us - but we also have the ability to bring about resolutions and solutions. We are after all Homo Sapiens - we have the ability to reason, love, act, and make good stuff happen. Kudos to the many organizers to those that first met and had the Peace March that has led to this Goin' Smart Youth Summit - 2007 held at Costano Elementary School, 2695 Fordham Street, East Palo Alto, California 94303 - March 10, 2007.
It is only right that another event be held with six months to keep the fire burning. When we bring good folks together something good happens and when good happens the best of best things happen. Talofa.
Marcel taking notes and being good.
The two behind the Summit.
The youth working hard.
AIGA1 crew and EPA Mayor David Woods.
Mayor Woods and Francisco.
Hundereds attend Youth Summit.
Rappers in the house.
Panel of City Leaders.
Bridging the Cultural Divide.
Anthony, DJ, and Emille - EPA.
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