HOUSTON, June 22, 2020 – Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston (BGCGH) just launched its new teen social justice initiative called Be The Change You Want 2 See with three events last week to educate and inspire teen Club members to be catalysts for social change and racial justice in Houston and our nation. The objective of the initiative is to amplify youth voices and activism through critical and intentional conversations, artistic expression and service learning projects. The youth-led initiative uses the hashtag #bethechangeBGCGH.
“Recent events have demonstrated a need for change to ensure basic rights for black people and any others who face systemic injustices in our nation,” says Kevin Hattery, president and CEO. “Boys & Girls Clubs has always been a catalyst for change. This requires us to come together to listen, share and educate, especially with our teenage Club members.”
“We have launched a groundbreaking teen social justice initiative called Be The Change You Want 2 See, which pairs teens with community leaders to discuss racial inequality and how we can all effect change by specific positive actions,” Hattery continues. “Our three events last week give me great hope that meaningful social change is not only possible but will happen.”
The pre-launch events and official launch featured:
Q’D Up Show with Patti Smith
(June 15 via Zoom)
Harris County – Houston Sports Authority’s (HSA) Vice President of Communications, Patti Smith, hosted eight BGCGH Teen Members on the Q’D Up Show featuring noted rapper and activist Bun B, Houston Texans football player Justin Reid and former Texans player Travis Andre Johnson. The teens from Wharton Teen Scene, Houston Texans Teen Club, Best Buy Teen Tech Center and Galveston Teen Club engaged in conversation with the panelists on sports, race, culture, activism, social justice and more. In addition to HSA, partners included ABC13 and SportsRadio 610, while Energy Ogre donated $1,000 to Be The Change You Want 2 See. A recording of the show aired on June 18. BGCGH board member Chris Canetti coordinated the conference.
“Young & Black in Houston” Town Hall
(June 17 via Zoom)
BGCGH Teen Members engaged in courageous conversations in a town hall format, joined by BGCGH board chairman Julius Young. The conversations covered sharing of personal experiences, race, gender, burdens, challenges, success, healing, activism, reflection and being a teen. The Town Hall will be used internally for programming, with relevant content shared publicly as appropriate.
Be The Change You Want 2 See Official “All the Way Live” Launch
(June 19 via Zoom and social media platforms)
BGCGH launched the official Be The Change You Want 2 See initiative, featuring a distinguished panel including celebrity photographer Fred Agho; RadioOne online editor Brandon Caldwell; teen psychotherapist Andranique Goodman, M.A., LPC; Director of Leadership & Service and Health & Wellness for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and author of Dear Black Boy: It’s OK to Cry Ebony Lewis and Texans Teen Club Member Reggie Banks.
Through this youth-led programming, teen members gained valuable insights and became empowered to be the change that they would like to see in their communities as they explore the impact of racial and social injustices.
“The time for change is now! I’m looking forward to working with my Club to do my part in ensuring this change happens,” says Isaiah Limuel, Jim & Barbara Morefield Club – Best Buy Teen Tech Center member.
BGCGH plans additional events related to the Be The Change You Want 2 See initiative during the summer, including collaborations with Boys & Girls Clubs in other states, the Empowerment Town Hall and a culminating Town Hall to explore what has been learned and what actions were taken.
For more information on how to be a part of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston or to learn about programs, go to www.bgcgh.org.
About Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston
Our mission is to inspire and enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. Our vision is to put success within reach for our Club members and keep them on track to graduate high school. We help them realize a positive plan for the future that includes good character, citizenship, workforce readiness and a healthy lifestyle. Each year, more than 26,000 youth ages 6 to 17 walk through our doors for our after-school and summer programs. At our Clubs, youth are provided meals, strong role models, homework assistance, organized athletics, character development and access to the arts. Membership costs just $5 per school year and $25 for the entire summer. We are a United Way agency. Great Futures Start Here.