RFK Young Leaders Join Inaugural Titan Generator Summit at SXSW

On Saturday, March 9th, over 120 youth activists from around the country gathered for a day of capacity building and networking at Google’s headquarters in downtown Austin at the inaugural Titan Generator summit hosted by Generation Titans and RFK Human Rights. Joined by our 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights laureates, and student leaders from our university-based RFK Young Leaders program, participants engaged in a series of workshops that focused on identifying challenges and potential solutions to social issues through a market-based lens.

Thomas Wilson (NYU) and Markell Shaw (Clark Atlanta University)

“The atmosphere was nothing short of inspiring,” said Thomas Wilson, a junior public health major at New York University. “I was surrounded by a group of people from Color of Change and United We Dream, people who are on the frontlines of the fight for social justice and equity, and was really in awe at the ways in which they are leveraging partnerships, resources, and media to propel the movement. It made me take a better look at what I am doing in my own community to battle white supremacy and open doors for queer men of color like me. I left with a deeper understanding of how I can use the tools I have right now to elevate the issues that matter to me the most.”

2018 HRA Laureate, Thomas Lopez Jr who serves as the Communications Director for the International Indigenous Youth Council and Douglas Avery (Howard)

Douglas Avery, a sophomore studying music theory and composition at Howard University in Washington, D.C., said he felt like the most impactful part of the summit was the connections he made. “I’d never heard of many of the groups who were in the room and it made me consider the ways in which marginalized communities too often work within our own silos. We are collectively fighting against forces that maintain poverty, sexism, racism, xenophobia, and homophobia; it’s essential that we have opportunities like this to connect and build with one another.”

“Being in a space with other RFK Young Leaders from chapters all over the U.S. gave me so many ideas about things I want to do on campus now,” said Diontre Jones, President of the New York University chapter of RFK Young Leaders. “The UPenn students are spending their semester focused on refugee issues and are hosting a cooking class that will feature recipes from refugee communities in and around Philly. I’m definitely stealing that idea from them!”