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

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

On February 28, we held our second Unapologetically Black event in Atlanta, Georgia, celebrating Black heritage, Black pride, and Black excellence.

The event took place at the Villages at Carver Family YMCA, and featured workshops, peer advocates, motivational panel speakers, and performances of dance, art, music, and poetry. Black youth also learned more about Black heritage, helping them to build confidence and pride.

Julian Smith facilitated the workshop Black Men Healing Through Music. A Georgia native, Smith teaches eighth-grade history at DeKalb County Schools, and provides professional music services to the Metro Atlanta area.

Julian Smith, Black Men Healing Through Music.

The workshop Mothers Advocating for Better Healthcare, geared toward mothers, was facilitated by Whitney O’Hearn.

Resilience and Black Girl Magic was a workshop led by Sydney Hill. Hill focuses on self-development and identifies as a service-oriented leader. She says, “I believe that anyone can achieve his or her optimal greatness through the power of having a resilient mindset.”

Dr. LaDena Bolton, panelist.

Johnny Simpkins was the workshop facilitator for Generational Wealth and Financial Literacy, a workshop that educated youth and parents on financial topics, such as savings and investments.

Additional workshops were Pursuing Success as an Entrepreneur, Film, Communication, and Media, and Black Youth and Civic Engagement.

Workshop: Pursuing Success as an Entrepreneur.

Our panelists were Whitney O’Hearn, Dr. LaDena Bolton, Erika Y. Mitchell, Samone Mingo, and James Carroll.

Erika Mitchell, panelist.

Thank you to our partners, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta and Spotlight South Cobb News. Thank you to our performers, volunteers, staff, and attendees, who made the evening a success!

Click here to learn more about I’RAISE’s upcoming events.

Your donations support the success of Black youth through our programs this month and all year round. Go to to donate today.

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