FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- High school students across Fort Wayne were taught ‘The Danger of Silence.’
Indiana Tech hosted the third annual Youth Symposium for Peace through Equity and Justice on Thursday.
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“We really wanted to help the kids take a look at areas in their own lives, in their schools and in their greater community where voices are not being heard,” said Heather Case, Director of College Counseling at Canterbury School.
The danger of silence theme is rooted in the Martin Luther King Jr. quote that reads, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent.”
“I believe that change occurs when we hear other people's stories and you can understand their perspective,” Case said. “We really want to teach those civil engagement skills so kids hear, talk, and share stories opposed to trying to debate and convince somebody else.”
The day started with a welcome from Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and was followed by three educational sessions pertaining to situations where one’s voice cannot be heard.
“I came into this conference with the mindset of learning more things about our environment, community and how all of us are put together,” said Amayah Singpradith, Wayne High School student.
The topics covered were; where silence exists in our community, how silence impacts our community and overcoming the danger of silence.
“One of the big things I learned about being here today is the privilege that I have,” said Rhylee Jones, Homestead High School student. “I realized being in my group that not everyone had the opportunity, even people that went to my school.”
The goal of the symposium is to send students back into their school settings with a new understanding of what it means to be heard and the tools to make sure everyone has a voice.
Mayor Henry said he was encouraged by the forward-thinking conversations Summit City students are willing to have and what that means for the future of Fort Wayne.
“The future starts now and I think it is very important for us to have the education so we can implement it in our city,” said Shiniah Jones, Canterbury School student. “Right now there is a lot going on in the world and us as a generation we know that we can make things happen.”