Reflections on the I Can Children's Global Summit

The power of student agency and the strength of student voice are reverberating around the world as we dust off our “I Can Children’s Global Summit” t-shirts from the conference last week. The DFC USA team spent four days full of joy and gratitude – alongside 225 students, families and educators across 10 states in urban, suburban and rural regions from charter, public and private, tribal grant schools and youth-based nonprofits. As we settle back into our work stateside, we are all making meaning of this opportunity to learn from and share stories of change collectively with nearly 2,000 youth from 40+ countries. We are humbled to continue to share reflections from the summit.

First, Tracey Joyce from Mounds Park Academy notes,

Attending the I Can Children’s Global Summit was definitely a life-changing experience for me and, I argue, quite possibly all those in attendance. Besides the individual impact of each of the students’ participation in their DFC solution, the group impact made possible by the global conference will resonate beyond anything I think we can imagine.  Participating in the global conference has changed the way I see the world. Meeting students from all over the world who have both very similar & very  different issues than students I know & teach— both experiences sit in my heart and are equally influential in the way I will teach. If there is one thing I have learned in this experience it is that we are more similar than we are different & that we need to listen more and focus on connection & empathy.”

And Sarah Ritzenthaler, Visitation School mentions that the summit brought

a renewed attention to our shared responsibility to care for both our neighbor and our common home, proof positive that the brilliant minds and open hearts of our world’s children hold the possibilities and the promise of a better future for us all.” And she goes on to say, “We (adults) should listen more and talk less—our children have important things to say about solutions to urgent problems in their world. I am grateful for an international platform from which they are heard and their ideas celebrated!”

Thank you Tracey. Thank you Sarah. And thank you to our entire DFC USA network who continues to elevate student voice in local communities and around the world.