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HTXYouthSummit to Examine Hurricane Harvey Recovery, Social Justice

“There’s so much untapped talent and energy,” Valeria Alvarado said

About 100 Houston youth are expected at the HTXYouthSummit this weekend.
About 100 Houston youth are expected at the #HTXYouthSummit this weekend.

When Valeria Alvarado and her fellow organizers posted the sign up for the #HTXYouthSummit on social media, spots filled up in less than two weeks.

That told her: “There’s so much untapped talent and energy.”

So much, there’s a wait list of high school and college students from the Northside, Southeast Houston, Third Ward, East End and other parts of Houston — all who want to get involved in social justice issues in their communities.

At the day-long event Saturday, about 100 youth will have examine Hurricane Harvey, why recovery has been uneven for certain communities, like undocumented immigrants, and issues like environmental racism.

“And what that means for the city of Houston and city planning? Like, why did some areas flood more than others? Was it an accident? Or did Harvey just hit there harder?” Alvarado said.

David Jasso, another organizer, said that as a high school student, he didn’t find spaces for activism and organizing. With the second #HTXYouthSummit, Jasso and other are trying to change that, especially for young people of color.

“We’re lifting the youth’s voice so that we are no longer just on the sidelines, sitting around and letting the people who we see as representatives in our communities, or older adults, working in our communities,” he said. “We want to have a voice as well.”

Jasso said that participants will learn from experts in fields like public health and environmental justice and also create action plans to solve issues in their own communities

 

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Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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