Island Voice Presents: The 8th Annual Know Your History!’ Youth Empowerment Summit


Island Voice presents “The 8th Annual ‘Know Your History’ Youth Empowerment Summit!” on Saturday, February 22, 2014 between 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Check-in will begin at 11:30 am at the Registration Table. The Summit will take place at the Grymes Hill campus of Wagner College,
630 Howard Avenue, Staten Island, New York, in Spiro Hall Room 2.

This year the Summit’s theme is mentorship, which will be highlighted during a panel discussion with Michael Webb, Co-Founder of the International Youth Leadership Institute; Heather Abreu, Program Director of the Advocate, Intervene, Mentor (AIM) Program; and Daniel Gloglower,
Strategic Alliances for PassPorts.

As the impact of technology and social media gains popularity, human interactions diminish. This continues to reinstate social ills in our lives, including widening gaps between parent and child and an increase in deviant behaviors amongst the young population on a peer-to-peer level.

Cyber-bullying has become an epidemic. Gone are the days when it took a village to raise a child. Today it appears increasingly that, even with great teachers in schools and good parents at home, our youth can be overly influenced by the wayward streets, wackiness of cyberspace, lack of intervention by society, vultures in pop culture and reality TV.

“One of our best chances for positive role modeling is through mentorship. This requires dedicated, motivated, and determined individuals who are willing to commit to guiding a younger individual, nurturing and advising them. Caring and sharing can make this practice with roots in antiquity popular again,” says Bobby Digi, Island Voice, Inc Founder and CEO.

This year’s youth summit will be hosted by Tracy G., a New York City radio personality on Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s Sway In The Morning. The Summit will feature keynote speakers, workshops, presentations, and performances from Staten Island R&B artist Kofi Black, Native American Tribute by Red Storm Dance Troupe, Femi NYC, The UN, The Asian American Student Advocacy Project, The Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council, NYC Arts Cipher, El Centro, Project Hospitality, Staten Island Boy Scouts, The Staten Island Children’s Museum, Justice Community League, Children’s Literacy Society, The Role Call, 49 Strong, P.S 57, I.S 49, and The Eye Openers. Photography by FE Photos and Ade Olisa Photography, Video by Janelle Abrams from VH1, live broadcast & audio recording by UDR Radio.

There will also be other local and New York City-based community organizations; artists; small businesses and elected officials, including Assemblyman Matthew Titone; Nontraditional Employment For Women; North Shore Business Association; Universal Temple of The Arts; Wagner College; Eye Openers; the NYPD; the NY Fire Department; HealthCare Amerigroup; Stereotype Inc; So Angeline; Council of Young African Leaders; SNAP; From A Fatherless Father To His Sons Book Signing; New York Urban League; African Restaurant Week; and more.

We would also like to thank our sponsors which include Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery, The Eye Openers, Poets & Writers, Assemblyman Matthew Titone, and former council member Dominic M. Recchia Jr.

“I’m honored to offer my support again this year to Island Voice’s youth empowerment summit. The most important thing we can do to ensure a prosperous future for Staten Island is to invest in our younger generations, and that is exactly what this event aims to do. By motivating our youth
to become engaged in the community in a meaningful way and with support from positive role models we are paving the way for them to succeed and for our community to succeed for years to come,” says Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.

This year Island Voice, Inc. will have their 2nd annual Island Voice Golden Image Awards that will be awarded to four outstanding individuals, role models and institutions that have contributed to inspiring and empowering the youths on Staten Island and greatly impacted our community. The
honorees include Dr. Lori Weintrob, Chair and Professor of the Wagner College History Department (Island Voice Cultural Enrichment Award); Sadja Mussawir – Ladner of Universal Temple of The Arts (The Shirley Chisholm Award); Carlo Vargas (The Capt. John Jackson Pioneer Award); The EF International School for their volunteerism on Staten Island at the aftermath of SuperStorm Sandy (The Habiba Halilu Cultural Excellence Award); and Nelson Mandela Humanitarian Commemoration.

This year the Summit will also introduce the “Mr Phil” Educational Scholarship, in memory of Mr. Phil, a long time supporter of Island Voice, Inc. and close personal friend to its CEO. The award of $1000 will be presented at the Summit to an outstanding junior high or high school student by Rebecca Gebbia, the wife of the late Philip Gebbia.

Island Voice, Inc. is a nonprofit organization based in Staten Island. Its mission is to act as a resource actively engaged in community development through offering solutions that promote economic development and empowerment opportunities; strategies to engage youth; and to cultivate a positive environment of unity amongst the African, African American, Caribbean, and immigrant communities in Staten Island.

Island Voice, Inc. develops a series of special events to encourage and support financial literacy, community development, job training and education – especially to benefit the community’s youth. The organization plans to engage and partner with political, religious, community civic and business leaders to help create a platform to advance economic empowerment and create and sustain a vibrant arts and education platform that will
benefit a largely underserved constituency.

Island Voice, Inc. initiatives are acutely focused on economic empowerment, youth advocacy, training, promotion, and celebration of cultural history;
all of which are strengthened through the Annual Staten Island Black Cultural Arts and Heritage Day Festival & Parade (the first, original African Heritage Parade in Staten Island), the Annual “Know Your History!” Youth Empowerment Summit, empowerment workshops, cultural events, small business information sessions, and numerous community town hall meetings.



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