37th annual Conference for Aspiring Youth held at the University of Toledo
The conference was free and open to the public.
TOLEDO, Ohio — Saturday morning, the 37th annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth was held at the University of Toledo. Hundreds of area youth attended, all to hear from guest speakers including actor Hill Harper and journalist Jeff Johnson.
The conference was all about inspiring and motivating Black youth in the community to pursue their dreams, despite what anyone else thinks. Harper focused his remarks on just that.
“I can build the exact family, community, school, city that I want,” he said.
Especially at a time in the Glass City when we’re seeing youth die as a result of gun violence, Johnson says it’s important for parents to listen to their kids. Even bringing up a few young audience members to share their perspective.
“This baby just taught y’all — in two sentences. So my request to you is be excited about something you’re ignorant about today,” he said.
He says he wants to instill in the youth the idea that no matter your circumstances, age, and number of degrees behind your name, you are a leader.
“I refuse to say that you’re leaders of tomorrow because you’re babies, because you’re young, because you don’t have a degree yet. There are people in this room and people around the city that have titles but don’t do anything,” said Johnson.
Harper adds that after developing a plan for the future, you must manifest it.
“Manifesting something is creating something in the future. Creating a future reality that is different from your present reality,” he said.
Both speakers say at the end of the day, parents need to allow their kids to have a voice and try to learn from them.