Throughout the United States, students of color are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a harrowing truth given the hurdles minority children faced even prior to the global health crisis. But as schools and households gradually adapt to a new normal, Step Up Together, a Los Angeles based mentoring organization is stepping in to fill in the gaps.
On Thursday, September 9, Step Up will host its 2nd annual digital summit Step Up Together. The fundraising event will help create mentorship opportunities for the 2021 school year and beyond. The day-long summit will feature speakers in the areas of relationship building, career building and social justice, as well as dedicated supporters like Gabrielle Union and Phoebe Robinson, and the incredible Step Up teens who benefit from the resources Step Up Together offers.
“We may not be able to gather as a large community in person yet, but Step Up Together digital summit was created in 2020 to provide mentorship for this moment that unites our global community virtually,” says Delores Druilhet Morton, CEO of Step Up. “It’s distinctive in that it amplifies the voices of teens and women alike, highlighting and fostering multigenerational conversations that are necessary, impactful and inspiring.”
Step Up is hoping that the day of dialogue, open to everyone, will make a significant impact at a time when students are returning to school as pandemic precautions pose countless challenges for young adults pursuing their dreams of success. The organization notes that girls of color, especially, are more inclined to face systemic barriers as they develop the skills, relationships, and access needed to graduate high school confident, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of leaders. Step Up Together helps these young people build their personal and professional skill sets, grow their network, and offer critical mentorship.
Our world continues to change dramatically with each passing day and the past year has inflicted a level of trauma that will likely be unknown for years to come. Organizations like Step Up are hoping to be a bright light in dark spaces, helping those students move past the unsettling change and form goals and plans that will guide their path forward.
Visit suwn.org to register for the 2021 Step Up Together virtual summit.