Report from the Dream Brave Summit

Feb. 3, 2013 / By

I didn’t really know what to expect when I met with other young people from Long Beach to go to the Dream Brave Summit.

When I got there the first thing I  saw was this big colorful bus, which we were told was Lady Gaga’s tour bus. When I heard music blasting from the DJ, I felt instantly that it was a celebration.

There were tons of other youth from all over California and there was nothing but positive energy flowing through there. We even got to watch the inauguration while we ate our breakfast.

They had different youth-led workshops for us to participate in until the summit started. I was asked to do a interview related to school violence. While the place was set up like a movie set, there was nothing scripted about our  testimonies. The energy we had in that room almost felt like we were at an award show. We shared messages of bravery, healing, acceptance, wellness and activism.

Below is a video of one the interviews that took place:

Mama Gaga (Lady Gaga’s mother) marched together with us from the California Endowment to the Staples Center. For three miles over 200 youth people walked full of energy telling everyone watching to dream brave! It was a proud moment for us to marching on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, especially because I got to march with an elder from Long Beach who marched with MLK.

Once we arrived at the Staples Center, where the event was being held, we were greeted by news cameras and the fans who did not attend the summit. There were different workshops there being held by groups like Big Brothers, Big Sister, who focused on suicide prevention. All in all, the summit and the whole experience was very uplifting and motivating.

For more information about the summit, go HERE.

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Alyson Bryant

Alyson Bryant was raised in Long Beach and is a graduate of Long Beach Poly High. Alyson has learned and seen a lot since high school, witnessing first-hand gang violence and the effects it had on her friends and fellow classmates– from going to jail to being killed. As a result, she has a strong passion for at-risk youth and her community. She is a youth mentor for at the California Conference for Equality and Justice and focuses her work on Long Beach youth in schools and detention centers. Since high school, she has obtained a A.S. degree in criminal justice and is now working on her B.A. With the opportunity she has be given by VoiceWaves, she is able to tell story about Long Beach and the issues it faces and speak for the communities whose voices are often marginalized.