On Saturday, October 3rd the California Legislative Black Caucus hosted an online youth forum titled “The Pandemic of Health and Hate.” This forum was led by Dr. Shirley Weber and featured members of CLBC as well as youth advocates in both high school and college. They covered a wide range of topics including Black Lives Matter, COVID-19, education reform, health resources, and many others.
They made it clear that this forum was intended to give the youth of our country a voice that they may not have had otherwise.
“Some of the best ideas have come from young people… it’s really important for us to listen to you… be careful what you say to us because it might become a law one day,” said assembly member Reginold Byron Jones-Sawyer.
The CLBC members only talked for about 20 minutes before giving the floor to the Youth Panelists that they had selected to speak during the call. These panelists were collectively concerned with the effects of COVID-19, racism, and government reform.
Richard Tirado, a second-year student at UCLA, did a study in partnership with the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities to see how COVID-19 affected students at UCLA.
“We found that 87% of low socioeconomic students at UCLA had trouble fulfilling their educational responsibilities,” said Tirado.
He went on to call upon UCLA, the state government, and the federal government to do more to understand and find the best way to offset these effects.
Pearce Whitney is a high school senior from San Francisco California who is mostly concerned with the current battle for social and political reform needed to help combat racism in America.
“The whole Black Lives Matter movement is not new. It was like a sleeping giant,” said Pearce Whitney.
Whitney went on to say that if she could influence or change three things in America they would be to change the history curriculum in schools, legal reform for the justice system, and revamp police training, education, and even their roles in certain communities.
These are only a few of the youth panelists that spoke during this forum, however with youth like this at the helm of the new generation, it seems to indicate a massive social, economic, and political change coming sooner rather than later.