People Of Color Leadership Summit Recap

My Overview of the Day

The day started pretty early! We were at the Discover Portsmouth Center by eight and there was a lot of last minute prep activity from those pulling the summit together. With this being the first summit like this in NH, they had obviously worked very hard to create a safe, inviting, and engaging environment for all participants. When we arrived there weren't many attendees there yet, but as the time crept closer to the official registration time, the center filled and there were more than enough people to ensure a day filled with varied ideas and planning filled with diversified input. I'm really excited that it was a success and that they will be able to hold a follow-up summit, so participants can continue the work started and so the cause can branch out further.

There was an opening welcome and a plenary session after a lovely continental breakfast and networking . Each opening speaker inspired and added context to the event. Youth were a huge focal point from start to finish and the seasoned adults weren't just giving them lip service. There were four working groups planned for the day. Education, criminal justice, politics, and health were the group topics and each group was led by a supervising facilitator, who very quickly turned most of the administration of each group over to a youth facilitator. They were well prepared and in each workshop we brainstormed and outlined action plans based on a SMART goal system. Each group session was about an hour and a half, but could easily have extended to two hours. Both of the workshops I attended were a little rushed because of the time limitation, but the interaction and personal stories were alone worth attending the sessions and at the conclusion of each workshop we had a strategy forming for the group's chosen action item. After lunch we switched out to attend a different session or people also had the choice to go on the Portsmouth Black History Trail Tour. Finally, all attendees reported back to the main room for a closing plenary session.

I saw online that some people were not excited about the registration fee, but having attended the summit I think this was money well spent on my part. I'm hoping that the next summit has even greater attendance and perhaps they will be able to expand a bit further with more offerings and facilitators/speakers. The facilitators, speakers, and organizers of the People Of Color Leadership Summit deserve many accolades for brilliantly executing such a wonderful idea and giving residents of New Hampshire a compelling way to work on social justice in our state.

From the program:

What is the New Hampshire People of Color Leadership Summit?

The New Hampshire People of Color Leadership Summit (POCLS) was created to strengthen the racial justice movement in New Hampshire and to respond to ongoing issues experienced by people of color within the institutional structures of the state. This Summit is a groundbreaking effort to mobilize people of color and groups representing them for action throughout New Hampshire. While a number of issues will be addressed, the Summit will emphasize the importance of participants to identify those people and/or groups that are committed to social change within the criminal justice, education/employment, health and political systems. 

Why attend the New Hampshire People of Color Leadership Summit?
  • Move past dialoguing about existing problems to creating solutions by developing action plans
  • Improve your communities and promote unity and self-empowerment
  • Coordinate, collaborate, and cooperate with like-minded individuals who are committed to social justice
  • Strengthen the racial justice movement in New Hampshire
  • Obtain a clearer understanding of community resources and organizing strategies
Who should attend the New Hampshire People of Color Leadership Summit?

The New Hampshire People of Color Leadership Summit will bring together community leaders, parents, teachers, individuals, and organizations who are committed to social justice, self-empowerment and facilitating change. A special invitation is being extended to youth to encourage them to be successful and positively engaged in their communities.