Looking for something exciting to do this Friday and Saturday? How about a crash course in grassroots community organizing and politics?
It’s available Friday and Saturday at the Tennessee Regional Black Millennial Convention’s “Black Millennials Unbossed & Unapologetic Summit” that kicks off with a Friday banquet from 7-10 p.m. at Sage.
Saturday will feature a day of panel discussions on such topics as “Modern Education and the new Jim Crow;” “The Dos and Don’ts of Running for Public Office” and “Sparking Revolutionary Movements Through Intersectional Organizing.”
DeVonté Peyton is on the planning committee of the conference and is also with Memphis Urban League Young Professionals. He said the conference is all about getting like-minded people together to make the most of their efforts at making changes.
“This is an opportunity for young black millennials to come together and have conversations about things that impact our community,” Peyton said. “To move from us working separately on this issue to working more collaboratively.”
Peyton said it’s not just a gathering for young millennials in politics. “We welcome all,” he said.
Peyton hopes to make the convention an annual event in Memphis, “to spark collaborative work” among grassroots groups working for change.
Jamal Whitlow, a planning committee member who will also moderate one of the panels, also described the convention as “millennial-based,” but open to all.
“We’ve got some renowned leaders like Tami Sawyer and Latricea Adams,” he said about panel members. “Individuals will have an opportunity to network and to hear from national leaders on issues relevant to black millennials.”
The first Black Millennial Convention was held in Washington, DC in 2018, where Sawyer and Adams both received inaugural awards for their commitment to community organizing and political advocacy, a release on the convention said. Adams is CEO and president of Black Millennials for Flint.
Memphis is the home of the first Tennessee Black Millennial Political Convention, according to its website. Other than Sawyer and Adams, other millennial leaders include: State Sen. Raumesh Akbari, State Rep. London Lamar and many others. They partnered with the Black Millennial Convention to build solidarity of black millennials from elected officials, nonprofit leaders, activists, philanthropists, scholars and others.
In addition to Friday’s reception and banquet and Saturday’s convention, there will be a post-convention afterparty and reception Saturday night at 1524 Madison.
Convention honorees include the Ida B. Wells Award of Truth won by Malik the Martian, photojournalist; the Harold Ford Sr. Award of Integrity went to Danny Glover, founder and principal developer of One South Community Development; and The Lois Deberry Educational Excellence Award went to Archie Moss, Jr., Shelby County Schools principal at Bruce Elementary.
The Maxine Smith Award of Courage, went to Jeneisha Harris, organizer and co-founder of National Black Action Committee Millennial Leader to Watch, itself an award which recognized Victoria Jones, founder of The CLTV (Collective).
Conference registration is $60 and student conference registration is $50 plus a $3.34 fee. For more details on the Tennessee Regional Black Millennial Convention, visit blackmillennialconvention.com. Tickets are transferable but nonrefundable.