This summer, Project Exploration, in conjunction with the Chicago Westside Branch NAACP,
R3 Westside Collaborative Project and Bright Leadership Institute, is hosting its first annual
Westside Youth Empowerment Conference (WYEC), a youth leadership experience designed to
engage 100 high school students in a myriad of workshops that stimulate their growth as student
leaders and innovators.
WYEC is being held on August 6-7, 2022, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel downtown
and will feature workshops on violence prevention, mental health, and leadership, a student
mixer, and a closing banquet. The goal of this experience is to teach students the importance of
civic engagement and using their voices to bring about change within their communities.
This conference will be filled with opportunities where, working together, like-minded youth can
feel empowered to come up with innovative solutions to combating violence. They will actively
learn and share in a variety of participatory environments. They will learn to take appropriate
actions that lead to successful outcomes. These students will return to their communities
enlightened and motivated to create positive change in their surrounding neighborhoods.
Below is a letter from the Mayor Lori Lightfoot, made out to the conference’s attendees:
In addition to Mayor Lightfoot, the following community leaders have also written in support of WYEC:
- Chicago Westside NAACP Branch President Karl A. Brinson
- Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin
- Bright Leadership Institute President Vera G. Davis
- Illinois State Representative La Shawn K. Ford
- Illinois State Representative Camille Y. Lilly