Students Participate in Quaker Youth Leadership Conference 2019

Tandem Upper Schoolers Maya Goldstein, Jess Snelling, Emma Johnson, Harriet Caplin, Elyse Jabalee-Farrell, and Meridith Frazee, and their faculty chaperones Trefor Davies and Amanda Evans headed to Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC to represent Tandem at the 2019 Quaker Youth Leadership Conference January 31-February 2. The theme of the conference, co-hosted by Sidwell Friends, Friends School of Baltimore and Sandy Spring Friends School was 'higher ground through common ground.' The conference included workshops, speakers, meetings for worship, service projects, and a visit to The Newseum. Friends schools from all over the east coast, from south to north and one from Canada (over 25 schools), were in attendance.  

Students slept in the Sidwell gym and were placed into 'family groups' they ate and performed service work with; the groups included members from different schools.The keynote speaker on Thursday evening was John Biewen, who serves as audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and hosts the podcast Scene on Radio. He spoke about how to effect change and how not to contribute to racism.

Participants visited The Newseum and attended special workshops there that focused on First Amendment rights as well as media ethics. There was also an interactive workshop presented by Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) on how to lobby for causes that are important at the school, local, state and national levels. Tandem students reported that there was a whole section of The Newseum devoted to recent events in Charlottesville. During lunch one day, they managed a visit to the National Portrait Gallery as well. There were various service projects, including writing letters to politicians, and a speaker who talked about first amendment rights in schools. There were student-led workshops on perspective, stress management, social media and more. There was even a talent show.

This year's QYLC provided our attendees, all of whom serve on our Friends Council, with much food for thought and they returned tired but feeling energized and enthusiastic about all they learned and experienced.