The Power of New Ideas and New Leadership

The Justice Committee and the Anchorage School District are presenting a Youth Conference as part of the Bettye Davis Summit on Friday evening, February 9th, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at the Bettye Davis East High School Auditorium. The conference theme is “Youth and Civic Engagement: The Power of New Ideas and New Leadership”.

This year’s community-wide youth leadership event is primarily for youth grades 6-12, young adults ages 18-25, and the organizations that support and work with these groups. This is a free, family-friendly event, and all are invited. Our event will feature a special screening of the award-winning documentary “The Body Politic,” with commentary after the film on the power of voting by the film’s director/producer, Gabrielle Francis Paz Goodenough. The film follows Baltimore’s idyllic young Mayor into office, where he puts his personal and political future on the line to save his city from chronic violence. Here is a description of the film:

The Body Politic is a harbinger of hope in a country plagued by gun violence. Brandon Scott, a young Mayor who grew up during Baltimore’s most troubling years, now sets out, with unyielding

idealism, to change the course of his battered and beloved city. Scott is elected Mayor amid the George Floyd uprising, and he introduces an ambitious plan for violence reduction and police reform that he promises will lower the city’s murder rate, 348, the total murders Baltimore had the previous year, more homicides than NYC, a city 15 times its size. After entering office and barely getting a chance to enact his first safety reforms, violence surges to new highs. As the media and political foes attack his holistic approach, Brandon” ‘s commitment to his principles put his future as a politician at risk.

This film should inform and inspire our youth (and adults) how participating in our democracy can make a difference. The film’s director, Gabriel Francis Paz Goodenough, will attend a Q&A after the film and join a panel to discuss the film and the issues it illustrates. The Alaska Black Caucus and Anchorage School District have invited youth citywide to attend, and all are welcome to attend.