Black Youth Leadership Summit 2023

What: Black Youth Leadership Summit

When: Rescheduled for April 10th due to weather safety concerns

Time: 9 AM – 2:45 PM

Where: Southern Oregon University, Ashland

Cost: Free to 6th-12th Graders in the Southern Oregon Education Service District

On behalf of Southern Oregon University’s Racial Justice Office and the Southern Oregon Black & African American Student Success Grant Team, we would like to invite your participation in the 6th Annual Black Youth Leadership Summit being held April 10! This one day conference will be held in person in Ashland, Oregon on the SOU campus and centers on Black and African American cultures.  This year’s theme is “Better Together” which not only examines our relationships with each other and those that support us, but also the intersection of our blackness within systems that  have roles in shaping the Black experience. This Summit will examine blackness & wealth, blackness & mental health, and other multifaceted ways that Black people exist in today’s society. 


About the Conference

Join us April 10, 2023 to discover the unique history, explore personal growth, and build connections with your fellow students who either identify as Black/African American or want to learn more about Black identity, culture, strength, and history. The goal of the conference is to promote the beauty of blackness and to also provide a space for Black/African American  identified students to caucus in order to discover the issues of today that impact them the most. Participants will have an opportunity to hear from Black professionals, students, and allies on topics such as self care, personal empowerment, and community engagement. By offering this one day leadership conference, the Summit will demonstrate the power each student possesses, building themselves into the best person they can be, as well as, highlighting the importance of Black connection through our shared history, experiences, trials and victories. 

The Summit will feature presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and keynote speakers from Southern Oregon and beyond, around these three themes:

  1. Cultural Awareness
  2. Community Engagement 
  3. Personal Growth & Self Efficacy  

This conference is open to all 6th-12th grade students interested in learning about Black culture, history, and pride! While the conference is centered on the black experiences of the Black community and will highlight our Black/African American students, all students are welcomed to attend. 

Those students attending will have an excused absence from their district. Transportation will be provided from each District and lunch will be provided also.

This year’s highlights are: 

  • The True Black History Museum: A traveling Black History exhibit with artifacts dating from the late 1700s to the 21st century
  • Keynote speaker, J’reyesha (Jay) Brannon, Professional Civil Engineer from Portland, Oregon whose work and commitment is as diverse as the communities she serves. You can learn more about J’reyesha at her website,


Registration can be completed at the link below starting January 1, 2023. The Summit is free and open to all 6th-12th grade students supported by the Southern Oregon Education Service District.