AKRON, Ohio — The LeBron James Family Foundation is starting a new initiative in Akron.
“As the nation and communities across the country continue to struggle with systemic injustices, the LeBron James Family Foundation is launching the 'I Promise Huddle,' a reoccurring forum focused on convening diverse perspectives and opposing viewpoints to share learnings and best practices, ask hard questions, highlight solutions and accelerate transformative models to dramatically improve communities, systems, and education for all students and families,” the organization announced Thursday morning.
The event kicked off Wednesday morning with a conversation around breakfast, which you can watch in the player below:
Organizers say the Huddle will gather differing viewpoints to turn dialogue into immediate action with tools for change that can be used throughout every community. It takes place Oct. 6-8.
“To create real change, we must have an open and honest dialogue about what is actually happening and model actionable ways to fix these issues,” said Michele Campbell, Executive Director of the LeBron James Family Foundation. “The purpose of the Huddle is to not just talk about these injustices that have held some members of our communities back for so long. We want to bring together people to share our passion for this hard work and engage and empower them to activate their own communities. Because our country and our communities need action, and we believe we’ll have a dynamic group of people, ideas, and models at the Huddle to continue this movement we’ve started in Akron.”
The Huddle will feature science and health scholars, business leaders, educators, advocates, investors, philanthropists, students and youth activists in a variety of discussions. Here is an outline of the Huddle’s confirmed speakers and plans:
- A roundtable with Tim DeRoche, author of “A Fine Line: How Most American Kids are Kept out of the Best Public Schools” and Rebecca Sibilia, Founder of EdBuild, on the separate and unequal reality of America’s public schools.
- An in-depth look at what it means to be color brave with Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments.
- A conversation with Dr. Victor Rios, award-winning professor, author, and former high school drop-out and juvenile delinquent turned founder of Project GRIT, moderated by one of LeBron’s high school “330 Ambassador” students.
- A student-driven town hall with youth activists from across the nation including student activists from yes. every kid., Student Group on Race Relations, and the I PROMISE program highlighting the youth leaders defining a new goal for public education.
- An intimate conversation with I PROMISE School Principal, Brandi Davis, and an I PROMISE family about the trauma of American poverty and how it impedes learning.
- A conversation with Rajiv Vinnakota, President of The Woodrow Wilson Foundation, about the importance of engaging young people in civic learning to address communities’ biggest challenges.
- A conversation about leadership, building coalitions and bridging divides with Michelle Campbell, Executive Director of the LJFF and Evan Feinberg, Executive Director of the Stand Together Foundation.
Explore the full agenda below: