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Event Recap: Unapologetically Black: Building Pride, Power & Privilege

Last Saturday, in honor of Black History Month, we celebrated Black heritage and Black pride at our Unapologetically Black event in the Bronx.

We partnered with the YMCA to host the February 18 event, which featured workshops, panel speakers, music, dance, and poetry. BLVD Bistro NY provided refreshments for the event. High school and college students participated as peer advocates, offering workshops.

Executive Director Letecia Stewart delivered opening remarks. “Remember, every face that is in here is in here for you. These adult faces, they are here for you,” Stewart said. “You are important. You matter.”

Executive Director Letecia Stewart delivers opening remarks.

Zaiden Samroo performed his poem, “Young King,” to audience applause. Another performer, Roosevelt Mitchell, sang “Get It Together” as the audience participated by singing and clapping to the music.

Four workshops were held for youth and adults: Unsung Stories of Black Excellence, for ages 11-13; Black Youth Rise, for ages 14 and over; Art Workshop, for ages 5-10; and Pride, Power & Privilege, for adults.

Our panel speakers were Asia Lee, Elaine Aboni, Tomiko Moore, and Freddy Patterson.

Attendees learned more about Black heritage and Black history, as well as ways of becoming a youth mental health advocate.

“Everyone was fully engaged with what was going on . . . There was a sense of oneness in the room,” Stewart reflected in a livestream about the event. "It's about community, unity, togetherness," said I'RAISE founder and CEO Shanequa Moore.

Quincy Wise, school social work intern, and Letecia Stewart, executive director.

We would like to thank YMCA for hosting this event, BLVD Bistro NY for providing refreshments, and all of our speakers, performers, volunteers, staff, and attendees for a terrific event!

I’RAISE is hosting a second Unapologetically Black event in Atlanta, Georgia on February 28. Please spread the word and help support Black youth mental health! To learn more, or to register for the event for free, click here.


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