August 5, 2022 - Fort Wayne UNITED today, in partnership with Mayor Tom Henry and collaborating organizations, announced the launch of United Front Youth, the newest installment of the United Front Initiative to bring the community of Fort Wayne together to attain racial healing, equity, education, and organizational transformation by developing shared knowledge and understanding around various topics related to diversity and inclusion.
Youth and family advocates will be invited to attend educational sessions in order to empower them with the ability to value diversity, assess their environments, and implement interventions that will enhance their inclusive cultures, motivating people to work together toward community shared goals. Those interested may register at https://www.unitedfrontinitiative.com
As part of the United Front Youth launch, United Front is hosting two events that will feature Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, a sought-after expert on issues of race, culturally responsive education, and diversity. Dr. Sealey-Ruiz works with K-12 and higher education school communities to increase their racial literacy and move toward more equitable school experiences for all students, with special emphasis on our Black and Latino populations. Dr. Sealey-Ruiz will present her talk on the Archaeology of Self in Education while also discussing her theories on Racial Literacy Development which include topics like Historical Literacy, Reflection, Humility and Love.
On August 8, noon – 4:00 p.m., Dr Sealey-Ruiz will help United Front host its inaugural event for United Front Youth. The United Front Youth and Family Advocate Summit will seek to help individuals navigate today’s climate while discussing Race, Equality, Inclusion and Belonging, by introducing them to the common language of Shared Humanity.
Summary of the presentation: We all have natural bias, and we know it’s what we choose to do with these biases that make the difference in our culture. We believe that starting the conversation with advocates will in turn allow us to effectively get this valuable information and the language of Shared Humanity into the hands, ears, eyes, and mouths of our local youth. Through amazing partnerships with local school systems, we can influence our young people and lead them down a path where racial tensions are less likely to influence daily activities and experiences. We also hope to take these lessons directly into the classrooms by developing curriculum and assisting students with the engagement aspect of this hot topic.
On Tuesday August 9 at 9:00 a.m., United Front will host their quarterly keynote, again featuring Dr. Sealey-Ruiz. This keynote marks the first time United Front will share its stage with a national speaker. This will also be the first time all the presenters will be female. Local leaders such as Dr. Debra Faye Williams-Robins, Tamyra Kelly, Brenda Gerber Vincent, Lisa Givan, and Lanitra Berry will join Dr. Sealey-Ruiz on stage to create an atmosphere that will allow participants to unpack the Archaeology of Self narrative even deeper. United Front will also present local community leaders with two prestigious honors: the United Front Community Ambassador and the Shared Humanity awards.
Interview opportunities with Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz:
- Monday, August 8, 2:00 p.m., Mirro Center, Parkview Regional Medical Center, 10622 Parkview Plaza Dr.
- Tuesday, August 9, 10:30 a.m., Clyde Theatre, 1808 Bluffton Rd.
Fort Wayne UNITED is a Mayoral initiative that places two national efforts, Cities United and My Brother's Keeper, under one umbrella. It is designed to answer the call to enhance opportunities, advance youth advocacy and help create a safer city for all, but more specifically for black men and boys. By bringing together a group of passionate and committed leaders, the initiative will educate, inform and engage the community in an effort to make positive change one neighborhood at a time.
Fort Wayne UNITED’s vision is for every black male in Fort Wayne to be respected and valued with an opportunity to reach their full potential. The mission is to advocate for and implement policies, practices and procedures to ensure equity and opportunity for black fathers, brothers and sons at home, work, school, and the community through collaborative efforts.