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May 18, 2016
A Youth Action Leader and Action Scholar with Children’s Defense Fund-California was one of 100 individuals invited to participate in the Brioxy White House Summit for Innovators of Color.
Sarai McKenzie represented herself, her community and CDF-CA Action Scholars at the conference from April 29-May 2 and made the most of her first trip to the East Coast.
“I definitely took so much away from this trip,” she said. “Being in a safe space like that gives us those moments to just BE – be ourselves entirely, to be able to make mistakes and not be put down for them but encouraged to try again and do better.”
The inaugural Brioxy Summit convened 100 of the country’s top innovators of color in their 20’s and 30’s working to build opportunity for young people of color.
One important topic that was discussed at the convening was the Medicine Wheel. The Medicine Wheel is a common framework for many indigenous nations and represents the cycles of life. Sarai said the framework is important because it provide us with another way to see the world.
“It also provides perspectives through which we engage groups,” she said. “The Medicine Wheel has given me great insight on the ways we approach one another in our work spaces and having that knowledge can enhance our capacity to work together effectively.”
Sarai also sat on a panel and discussed the power of storytelling through spoken word, music and art, which she is very familiar with as a rapper, singer, writer and musician herself. The 18-year-old artist says she uses art to tell her story and to heal. Her music also reveals her deep passion for social justice.
Sarai culminated her trip at the White House, meeting with senior White House Officials.