Summer ’09 Memories

 

Institute Scholars

Institute Scholars

I have numerous vivid and wonderful memories from this summer. Here are some of the special moments I shared in summer ’09.

This summer I graduated from my two summer leadership program for African American male college students, The Institute for Responsible Citizenship in Washington, D.C.. Through the program, I received a unique opportunity to participate in hour long round table discussions with General Colin Powell, Congressman Arthur Davis, crisis management consultant Eric Denzehall, Republican Party National Chairman Michael Steele, the Vice-President of the College Board, renowned surgeon Dr. Ben Carson and many more.  The highlight of this summer, as it was last summer, would be the significant amount of time I spent becoming further acquainted with the other talented students in the program. We were housed on the campus of American University for two months together. There we often burned the midnight oil, having conversations on social issues as well as engaging in all sorts of silly conversations on life. In the end, I know that the brothers in the program will do great things. In the future, I know we will work together as prophetic voices of peace, love, and justice.

2009 Institute Scholars

2009 Institute Scholars

I conducted a research internship with the Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Community Museum in Southeast D.C..  I joined a team of student researchers in a community mapping project that traced the history of Houses of Worship in southeast D.C.. It involved collecting comprehensive surveys and all sorts of data collection of HOWs in southeast D.C.. This research complemented my current academic studies because I have considerable interest in preserving African American history. The project I worked on made an attempt to make the southeast D.C. community (predominately African American neighborhood) aware of their history through a community documentation center. It also empowered me on how to best collect archival information. I most especially learned how to utilize archives.  I would like to extend a warm thanks to Smithsonian Institution Office of Fellowships and Minority Awards for making this research internship possible.

Summer 2009 Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Community Museum Interns

Summer 2009 Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Community Museum Interns

Furthermore, I became the President of Philadelphia’s Youth Action Team. Youth Action, is a youth led community based non-profit organization that I co-founded when I was 14 years of age at the Tavis Smiley Foundation National Youth to Leaders conference in Washington D.C.. Our organization works to empower young African Americans to become socially, economically, and civically aware. We believe that when young people are acutely aware of problems in their communities, they will be encouraged to better themselves and their communities. But the best part of Youth Action is that, the organization is solely led by high school and college aged youth. This year, as President, I will focus my attention on helping the team build the administrative end of our non-profit, while continuing to elevate our community service to the city of Philadelphia. I know that I will be taking on a large responsibility this year, yet I’m prepared for it.

Youth Action Executive Board with Tavis Smiley at their 2009 Charity Gala

Youth Action Executive Board with Tavis Smiley at their 2009 Charity Gala

Lastly, I devoted much consideration and time to preparing for either graduate school or the professional world after Bates. For years, I have told people that I have this intense desire to receive a PhD in African American Studies. Therefore, I’m reviewing masters and PhD programs for the degree. In addition, I’m also thinking about possible career opportunities that I can do once I graduate from Bates in May. We shall see what happens. I’m hoping for the best. However, I do know that Plan A is to enter a graduate program in African American Studies.

As you can see, my summer has been quite fruitful, eventful and very busy. But I’m pleased with how I spent and managed my time this summer.

 I will be back at Bates in a week! Time for Senior Year!

 Yours in the struggle, I am

 Brother Phillips

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Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

National Council for Black Studies Writing Award

 

National Council for Black Studies student awards luncheon

National Council for Black Studies student awards luncheon

In March, I received a student writing award for an essay that I wrote for the National Council for Black Studies student essay contest. I submitted a paper entitled: Origins of the African American Experience: The African American Resistance Struggle. The paper examines how original tactics used in African American resistance struggles directly influenced protest methods employed by African Americans in proceeding resistance struggles. I argue that immense planning, along with immense pain, and immense struggle, filtered with agitation are crucial ingredients that can be found within African American resistance struggles. Spelman College professor of history, William Jelani Cobb PhD nominated my essay for the contest.

I placed third out of numerous student essays that were submitted, received a check for $125 and an opportunity to attend the National Council for Black Studies conference free of charge.

I want to encourage students of African American studies to apply for this writing contest sponsored by the National Council for Black Studies. To learn more about the contest visit http://www.ncbsonline.org/student_essay_contest

Yours in the struggle, I am

Brother Phillips

Published in: on August 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Breaking News from my Non-Profit Organization

 
Tavis Smiley to attend Youth Action's 3rd Annual Gala
Tavis Smiley to Attend Youth Action’s 3rd Annual Gala

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Tavis Smiley will attend Youth Action’s 3rd Annual Charity Gala. The event will also honor the West Philadelphia YMCA’s outstanding service to the community. The creation of Youth Action is attributable to Smiley as the organization was founded six years ago by alumni of the Tavis Smiley Foundation. The event serves as the culminating event to the group’s two-year project to raise awareness about public health and as fundraiser for the organization.

Tavis Smiley is a widely celebrated journalist, PBS show host, philanthropist, author and activist. On both his PBS talk show and PRI radio show, Smiley interviews world leaders and entertainers about some of the most pressing issues concerning society today. In addition, Smiley’s involvement in current affairs extends beyond the studio to include work with youth leadership development with the Tavis Smiley Foundation, the documentary STAND, best selling book Covenant with Black America, and the All-American Presidential Forums. Smiley is truly one of America foremost leaders as evident by his 2009 TIME magazine recognition as one “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.”

The West Philadelphia YMCA located at 5120 Chestnut Street is a valued community member that helps it club members and local neighbors by operating a number of vital programs including nutrition, healthy living, and fitness classes. Managing Director James Jones states, ” At our upcoming gala we will honor the West Philadelphia YMCA not only for what they do inside their facility, but their work outside the walls of the YMCA.” “At the Gala, Youth Action will salute the YMCA for their willingness to improve the livelihoods of citizens young and old that Youth Action will salute at our Annual Gala,” he continued.

This year’s Gala will be held at the Hilton Philadelphia at 4200 City Line Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. The event will kick off at 6pm on August 15, 2009. Individual ticket cost is a minimal donation of $60. Youth Action is a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization, all donations are tax deductible. Proceeds benefit Youth Action’s yearly community service projects. Sponsors include First Bank of Delaware, Marian R. Jones, and Health Partners. For more information about the event or how to purchase tickets, please contact James Jones at 1(888) YOUTH- 90 ext 903 or jjones@youthactionteam.org.

About Youth Action
Youth Action is a not-for-profit community organization founded in 2003 by alumni of the Tavis Smiley Foundation and consists of young African American teens and young adults aspiring for positive change in their communities. What sets Youth Action apart from many other community organizations is that aside from a handful of adults who are involved, high school and college students solely run the organization. These ambitious and dynamic youth are committed to making an effective change in their communities. Youth Action’s mission is to empower young African Americans to become socially, economically and civically aware. Through organizing innovative events and programs that raise public awareness about issues in underrepresented communities Youth Action is committed to the social uplift of young people. For more information about Youth Action and its outreach programs, please contact spokesperson James Jones at jjones@youthactionteam.org 1-888- YOUTH- 90 or visit us at: www.youthactionteam.org

About the Tavis Smiley Foundation
The Tavis Smiley Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1999 by media personality Tavis Smiley to enlighten, encourage, and empower youth by providing leadership skills that will promote and enhance the quality of life for their lives, their community and the world. Since its inception, more than 5,500 youth have participated in the foundation’s leadership workshops and conferences. The foundation is based in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.youthtoleaders.org

Published in: on August 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm  Leave a Comment