Welcome to the 2nd Annual Black Youth Leadership Summit

Creating a welcoming space for all Black/African American identifying youth remains our top priority, and we are thrilled to return for our second year hosting this summit. This event aims to unite students, parents, educators, and community members for a culturally immersive day. Below are three key initiatives planned for the day: gaining insights into contemporary Black leaders, offering support to parents of Black youth through facilitated discussions and collaborative problem-solving, and exploring the artistic expressions of our youth. This day is completely free for all attendees, and registration is available at the bottom of this page.                         

Learning the great contributions of Black leaders nationally and locally. Financial literacy/Homeownership | Navigating special education | How to continue education through Santa Barbara City College with opening speaker Dr. Keith Mayes.

Dr. Mayes is a Professor of Black Studies at UC Santa Barbara who received his Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. Hailing from the University of Minnesota where he was the former chair of the Department of African American & African Studies; the Director of the Center for Race, Indigeneity, Disability, Gender & Sexuality (RIDGS); Associate Dean of DEI Initiatives in the Office of Undergraduate Education; and the Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor.

His presentation will include essential information about Black History that every Black parent should be aware of.

In the afternoon, students will be encouraged to delve into their artistic expression through a variety of art forms, led by Black leaders from within the community.

LaVell Baylor - Artistic Vision Board
 Group Leader

Deputy Director of Freedom 4 Youth, is a dynamic artist and social justice abolitionist for youth and women, dedicated to dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, eliminating racism, empowering youth, and advocating for compassionate solutions to break the cycle of harm from punitive systems. As a woman impacted by the system, LaVell leads the Freedom 4 Youth Policy and Advocacy Program, mobilizing youth for meaningful change through civic engagement and community organizing. 

Audrey Gamble
 - Returning West African Drumming Group Leader

Co-Executive Director for Gateway Educational Services since 2009. She has 22 years of experience in business and finance. She holds a B.A. degree in Business, Entrepreneurial Studies and Education from Antioch University. Her role with Gateway includes daily operations, business development, finance, training, and College Readiness. Audrey is the Secretary and an Executive Committee member of the Santa Barbara NAACP.

Ademola Oyewole-Davis - Poetry Workshop Group Leader

A Brooklynite, poet, singer, activist, screenwriter, orator, and educator. As a performer, he’s performed on as many stages as he could since he was 2 years old. Ademola is featured on his father Abiodun Oyewole’s album, Gratitude. Currently, Ademola is working on his debut R&B/Soul and Poetry album, while residing in Santa Barbara.

Tayllor Oyewole-Davis - Returning Poetry Workshop
 Group Leader

A poet, writer, educator, performer, activist, and founder of Sisterhood (verb), Inc. A published poet, she has been writing and performing her poetry and written works for over 15 years. Tayllor's journey fighting for justice and healing as a Black woman in America led her to create Sisterhood (verb), Inc., a creative consulting business dedicated to finding sustainable creative solutions in education communications, and community engagement.

Bethany Sutherland Sakoda - Returning Dance Workshop Group Leader

A multi-disciplinary artist, dance instructor, choreographer, educator, and community builder who resides in Santa Barbara, California. With over 10+ years of experience in leadership across for-profit and nonprofit industries, her versatile background includes initiatives in arts education, social emotional learning, health and wellness, medical technology, diversity, and STEAM. Bethany enjoys choreographing, performing, and teaching dance in the community. She has a passion for unlocking individuals' creative potential, reaching underserved youth, and modeling dance as a means of freedom of expression. She has recently co-founded a new adult dance company called SYNRGY Dance Collective.

Kristen Wells - Puppeteering Workshop Group Leader

Has been a puppeteer for 35 years. She's traveled around California teaching and performing with her team. She has recently started working with schools to help spread anti-bully awareness through puppet shows.

Dauri Kennedy - Choral Singing Workshop Group Leader

Has taught in Santa Barbara public and private schools for fifteen years and is a faculty member at Santa Barbara City College (Adult Education) where she teaches performance and leads several choirs. She is a revered teacher at Marymount where she teaches music (singing, reading, appreciation, theory) to students K-8. Ms. Kennedy attended the renowned New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and later received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Illinois and a Master of Music from UCSB. Ms. Kennedy is an alumna of the Music Academy of the West and was a featured soloist with the SB City College Jazz Band, Chamber Orchestra, and Grand Opera. Her extensive opera performances include lead roles with Seattle Opera, New Orleans Opera, and recently Des Moines Metro.


8:30 AM - Summit Begins

11:40 AM - Lunch (Smashburger, food trucks and more!)

12:30 PM - Artistic Expression

3:00 PM - Student Showcase

5:00 PM - Summit Closes

All students will receive a complimentary backpack by the end of the day.

Black Youth Summit 2024



Channel Island YMCA

Santa Barbara City College Foundation

Lewis-Towbes Family



Max Per Order:30

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