Govie Leadership Summit

The Govie Leadership Summit was Friday, March 1, at Johnson Senior High. With 20 sessions and over 37 presenters, this year’s summit focused on three categories: social justice and racial equity, developing your leadership style, and building healthy communities.

The summit began with an amazing and hilarious improv show by a group called Blackout Improv. After the breakout sessions, we discussed in small groups the strengths, challenges, and opportunities of our schools and student voice. At the end of the day, Mayor Carter spoke and challenged us to make Saint Paul a better place.

Highland’s own Dare 2 Be Real group presented on “Stereotype Promises vs. Stereotype Threat.” They covered different types of stereotypes and how to combat the problems they raise. D2BR believes this is important, because stereotypes are everywhere, even at schools, where everyone should be treated equal and fairly. For example, teachers may look at an Asian kid, see the smart Asian stereotype, and offer them more help, whereas they perceive another kid as less smart. Teachers may do this without even knowing. This affects the students in the support they receive and their self-esteem. When a minority is faced with a stereotype threat, it is harder for them to succeed and puts more pressure on them.

My first session was “Boss Up,” led by Talea Plata. We began by describing ourselves in the future, beyond just jobs, but also hobbies, how we look, and so on. Then we had a conversation on self-love, the little ways in which we can do it, and why it is important.

My second session, “No One Can Say It Like You Can” empowered us to speak our personal truths. Presenter Annie Humphrey performed songs about their own personal truths. Annie told us not to let others stifle our voice, to not judge others, and to not let our lives be ruled by fear.

My third session, “Screen Scholar — Rethinking How We Watch and Read Stories” led by Tri Vo, was about why diversity in media matters. We started with looking at the basics of storytelling: background, characters, plot, and production value. Then we talked about how we need to have diversity because representation is power. We see people in media and expect others to be like them. We need to be able to see ourselves in media. We can’t not think about representation, because so much of our lives revolves around media.

The summit was enjoyable, and I can only see it getting better and better over time.

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