Ninth annual D214 Black Teen Empowerment Summit set for April 19

Inspiring youth to be “unapologetically BLACK” is the theme for the ninth annual Black Teen Empowerment Summit on April 19 at Rolling Meadows High School.

Chicago native Allen J. Bryson — an author, poet, spoken-word artist, motivational speaker, and educational specialist — will deliver the morning’s keynote speaker; wellness sessions will be conducted in the afternoon.

Organized by District 214’s African American Leadership Team, this summit brings together students from all District 214 schools.

Bryson’s speeches and spoken-word performances have provided inspiration for over a decade, and he has shared the stage with speakers such as Harry Belafonte, Les Brown, Danny Glover and Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. He fuses spoken word and motivational speaking to deliver a powerful message to his audiences. His mission is to write, inspire, elevate, educate, heal and empower.

Bryson has over 20 years of experience working in mentoring initiatives such as the STARS program, Alpha Academy mentoring initiative, The Boys and Girls Club, The UIC Black Male Initiative as well as The Genius is Common movement. Bryson is the author of two books, “Sleeping with My Eyes Open” (2004), “The Ministry of Motivation” (2008), and currently working on his third publication “The Vernacular of Victory.” You can see more of his work at

In the afternoon, students will have wellness sessions that focus on Cultivating/Strengthening Mind, Body, and Soul. Also, there will be activities that focus on Black joy.

For information regarding this event, please contact Ami Relf, Buffalo Grove High School teacher,

The summit is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Rolling Meadows High School, 2901 W. Central Road, in Rolling Meadows.

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