Impact Seminars for Youth
Several social issues are addressed by Impact Seminars for Youth as outlined below. Ours is an umbrella approach — rather than a concentrated focus on one isolated problem. These are elaborated upon within the material referenced, copies available upon request.
1. First and foremost is the mechanism we have to achieve our vision “Empower America to Inspire Every Child!” In doing so, we establish a new performance standard that excludes no one — no child and no adult. Once embraced by a corporate leader s/he could lead their company to set an example the nation will follow.
2. The NY Times Magazine underscored how “the problem” lies outside schools and identified three critical issues: 1) Children are isolated by poverty; 2) Their isolation makes them gratifyingly invisible to the rest of us; 3) The question is, “Are we going to take ownership of the problem?” The process by Impact Seminars for Youth directly addresses & engages all three. (Ref. “Schools Are Not The Answer” Jan. 16, 2000 and our generic letter sent to many, Feb. 18, 2000.)
3. Beyond the Classroom, a ten-year study on why school reform has failed documented the impor-tance of peer pressure, both good and bad. A letter from one of the authors noted Impact Seminars takes an intriguing approach. Rather than coaching children on how to resist peer pressure, we address it at its roots with our goal being to modify it. (Ref. B. Bradford Brown’s letter of Sept. 23, 1996 and op-ed columns on their book in The Wall Street Journal and The Detroit News, July 11, 1996 and Sept. 4, 1996, respectively.)
4. William Raspberry in “No-Excuses Education” identified three things schools must provide for children: 1) Shift student peer pressure, 2) Show kids learning does matter, 3) Tell children we believe they can learn. Here also, Impact Seminars addresses all three. (Ref. his column in The Washington Post, Feb. 5, 2001 and our letter to Raspberry, Feb. 28, 2001.) Ten years ago Wlm. Raspberry wrote a column on Impact Seminars, Ref. The Post, April 6, 1992.
5. John McWhorter, author of Losing the Race, Self-Sabotage in Black America, calls for “a new black history.” He notes we often overlook the stellar examples of ordinary citizens, and that they, vis-à-vis larger than life figures, can do far more to inspire children regarding the value of educa-tion. This is precisely what Impact Seminars does. (Ref. The Baltimore Sun, Feb. 11, 2001 and our letter to McWhorter, Feb. 26, 2001.)
6. The decline in civic engagement has a deleterious effect on our society, the so-called “bowling alone” phenomenon. Impact Seminars also addresses this issue, and in addition . . .
7. Help bridge racial differences — via a joint application of our process by two churches, one black the other white. (Ref. letters to Detroit News, 2-14-2001 and Packard Foundation, 2-19-2001.)
8. Marian Wright Edelman boldly challenged us thirty years ago to “Leave No Child Behind.” Impact Seminars for Youth directly supports this, and a quote from Ms. Edelman validates what lies at the core of our approach. (Ref. The Measure of Our Success, page 9, and letter to her, April 24, 2001.)
9. And there is more. We can: 1) Enable high school students to inspire younger students, 2) Address all but six of the Search Institute’s Forty Developmental Assets for Children, 3) Help generate political will to address education issues – by raising constituency demands for action, nationwide.