2021 Young Leaders Institute: Social Justice and Civic EngagementVIEW EVENT DETAILS
2021 Summer Youth Programs
In a world more globally connected than ever before, leaders need to be well prepared with the right knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors to be successful. Asia Society's Young Leaders Institute (YLI) is a week-long summer program for high school students that promotes global competence, elevates leadership skills, and connects students from across diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Since launching in 2016, the Young Leaders Institute has provided new perspectives and strengthened skills for over 300 students. The Institute's sixth year explores some of the most timely, relevant global issues for young leaders facing a world transformed by COVID-19.
What skills will students learn from the Young Leaders Institute?
During the Institute, students will engage in the four tenets of global competence, as defined by the Asia Society Center for Global Education: investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas, and taking action.
Throughout the week, students will deepen their knowledge of the global policy issues of the day, then work in teams to research and develop solutions for challenges facing the world. In their groups, students will practice their communication and collaboration skills, strengthen their written and oral presentation skills for the future, and engage respectfully and thoughtfully with peers to expand their views and understanding of the world.
In addition, students will have the opportunity to learn new approaches to leadership and practice the different skills demanded of leaders — not only taking initiative but also collaboration, empathy, and overcoming differences.
What activities should students expect during the Institute?
During the Institute, students will hear lectures from experts in the field, engage in team-building or leadership activities, and work in groups to research, debate, and present policy solutions for challenges facing the world. While students will be provided time to work during the session, some work outside of Institute hours will be expected.
On the Institute's final day, student groups will present their policy recommendations developed from all they have learned throughout the week before a panel of impartial judges. A top group will be selected and honored for their policy presentation. Students will be mentored throughout the week by Asia Society staff, receiving feedback on guidance on topics, teamwork, and presentation skills.
Session 3: Social Justice and Civic Engagement
Schedule: Monday, July 26 – Friday, July 30, 2021; 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT Daily
Place: This session will take place on-site at Asia Society Texas Center (1370 Southmore Blvd, Houston, TX 77004)
Students accepted for this session will receive an email approximately one week before the start date with an informational packet. Health and safety measures will be in place onsite for all students, staff, speakers, and volunteers for the duration of the Institute. Learn more »
What topics might be discussed during the Social Justice and Civic Engagement session?
- What does social justice mean to you and why is it important?
- How does social activism change the world around you?
- What are specific actions that individuals or communities can take?
- How the government or private sector can make an impact
- Role of empathy and interpersonal relations
- Role of intersectionality and coalition building
- Impact of civic engagement such as political activism, protests, community service, voting, and more
- How and why social justice looks different in different countries
About the Speakers
Deborah Y. Chen, Esq. is a community activist with OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates for 20+ years and an expert on SMWDBE Government Contracting/Supplier Diversity. As a former Sr. Executive Staff Analyst at the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Business Opportunities, she worked to promote equal opportunities, fair treatment, and capacity building for SMWDBEs and was the Certification and Contract Compliance Division Manager for MWDBE & Affirmative Action at the Human Relations Department of the City of Kansas City, MO where she served on the Missouri Regional Certification Committee. Debbie received her JD from South Texas College of Law and is a recipient of the Lyndon B. Johnson Civil Rights Award, the State Bar of Texas Appellate Section Distinguished Service Award, and the Garnet F. Coleman AmeriCorps Civic Volunteer Award. In her volunteer life, Debbie started as a student leader at the University of Texas–Austin advocating for an Asian American Studies Center, hiring AAPI mental health counselors, and including AAPIs in scholarship considerations. As Executive Vice President of OCA National and past OCA-Greater Houston Chapter President, Debbie is the OCA-GH Civic Engagement Programs Director, serving on the OCA-GH Development, Programs, and AAPI Film Festival Committees, focusing on citizenship, voter engagement, Census/redistricting, youth, social justice, education, and leadership programs.
Irfana Hussain is the Director of Outreach and Education at Daya Houston – a local nonprofit whose mission is to empower South Asian survivors of domestic and sexual violence with culturally specific services and educate the community in an effort to end the cycle of abuse. Irfana has managed community outreach, educational programming, youth prevention, and awareness campaigns at Daya since 2016. She is a member of the Houston Coalition Against Hate, Multi-County Interagency Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and Fort Bend County Crime Victims Response Team where she holds a leadership position. Irfana has also participated in the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) Prevention Coaching Group for the past three years. She has a decade of experience working with various nonprofits in the areas of program management, event planning, and community engagement. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a background in South Asian studies.
Karim Farishta currently serves as the Chief of Staff of The Asian American Foundation. Most recently, he served as Associate Director for the Office of the Vice President-elect for the Presidential Inaugural Committee and as the Texas AAPI State Director for the Biden for President campaign. Karim began his work in public service at the Obama White House, where he served as Program Manager on the presidential transition and personnel teams. Building on his work in government, he was campaign manager for Sri Kulkarni’s bid for US Congress in Texas, executing a 27-language minority voter outreach program.
He was also a Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka, where he launched an urban collaborative in Colombo to convene government, corporate, and community leaders to address shared concerns. A native of Houston, Texas, Karim’s family hails from Bangladesh, Burma, India, and Pakistan. Karim holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and graduated summa cum laude in International Affairs as a Harry S. Truman Scholar from The George Washington University.
1370 Southmore Blvd
Houston, TX 77004