YCC Conference

Youth Cultural Champions’ Leadership and Networking Conference, 20th March 2024.

Youth Cultural Champions’ Leadership and Networking Conference, 20th March 2024.

45 Youth Cultural Champions from 4 Devon secondary schools attended this exciting and innovative  Leadership and Networking Conference, funded by the Grocers’ Charity.

Youth Cultural Champions are young people from Black, Asian, dual and minority ethnic back grounds. The YCCs training programme provides a safe space for them to explore and celebrate their heritage and issues around racism and prejudice which affects them in their school life. This builds their self-esteem and self-confidence and leads to improvements in the school environment.

The aims of this project were to bring together YCCs from secondary schools across Devon; to share their experiences; to build a network between the young people and between their teachers;  and to inspire them by introducing them to successful leaders from minority ethnic communities, who work in Exeter and Devon. YCCs also had the opportunity to share their culture and heritage with peers. 6 students took this challenge.

Schools which attended were: Okehampton, West Exe, Clyst Vale and Coombshead

The guest leaders were:

Ms Bindu Arjoon, CEO of Exeter City Council.

Krish Madray, CEO of ‘Care Matters. Training and Development’ working with the care sector.

Kalkidan Legesse, a young woman, already a highly successful social entrepreneur, founder of the Exeter-based ethical fashion retailer Sancho’s and the clothing resale platform OWNI.

Agnieszka Szpinda, since arriving from Poland has set up Polish-British community groups and now works for the NHS on diversity issues. 

Somin Dave, a young man, already a successful creative sound artist and also a well-known DJ, working with all genres of world music, using the professional name Somatic.

The guests are all local people and offered to provide advice to anyone requesting it.

This was  a very successful conference with the young people immediately making connections and forming informal networks. Teachers also welcomed the opportunity to discuss issues common to all their schools.

There is much more work to do, but this was an exciting and successful event.

This work was funded by a grant from the Grocers’ Charity,