Still We Rise: A Conversation with Young Leaders

Still We Rise: A Conversation with Young Leaders

Erin  Reynolds

This event was part of our People, Place & Power series, made possible by support from the San Francisco Foundation’s Bay Area Leads Fund. Presented in association with KQED.

Being a teenager is difficult in the best of times, but the universal work of figuring out your identity, your passions, and your path and place in the world can be even more daunting for some. Youth of color, immigrants, LGBTQ community members, and those with disabilities or in low-income households are just some of the populations who face unique challenges.

Place those against the backdrop of a Bay Area where inequality is rising, long-time residents are being displaced and the tech sector (literally) towers above, and you’ve got a whole generation grappling with unprecedented questions. So how are young people surviving and thriving in a changing region? What happens when their identities are intersectional and don’t fit into a simple narrative? How are they raising awareness on critical issues to change perceptions, influence policy and spur civic engagement—and how can we better listen?

Bay Area youth will take the stage to tell us just how they’re addressing questions of representation, activism and equity as they grow up in this beautiful region of contradictions. Join us to hear the next generation speak for themselves.

  • Samuel Getachew, Junior at Oakland Technical High School; 2017, 2018 and 2019 Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam Champion; Co-Founder, Oakland Tech’s Student Activism Club; Author, New York Times Op-Ed
  • Kelly Huang, Senior at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco; Dancer; Activity Therapy Volunteer, Laguna Honda Hospital; Bayview District Native; Incoming Freshman, UC Berkeley
  • Keshkoli Attakai Perez, Second Year Student, Laney College; Graphic Design Major; Foster Youth; Member of Ogala, Dine and Ho-chunk Nations; Native Youth Leadership Council Member, Intertribal Friendship House
  • Nicholas Brandon Soriano-Smith, Senior at Westmoor High School in Daly City; Youth Advisory Board Member, KQED
  • Moderated by Senait Hailemariam, Creative Producer, Bayview-Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology (BAYCAT)


Erin Reynolds
Erin Reynolds