Coffee with a Purpose

“It’s essential to encourage youth to use their voice for good. It’s equally essential to have productive conversations where we listen, understand, and take appropriate actions to ensure an equal and great future for all of Michigan’s youth.” – from Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates equality statement.

By way of taking action, “Coffee with a Purpose” was created; virtual conversations exploring a range of youth education and employment related topics with guest speakers who share our passion for Michigan’s young people. By giving youth this platform and encouraging them to use their voice for good, these productive conversations will enable us to listen, understand, and take appropriate actions to ensure an equal and great future for all of Michigan’s youth.

We invite you to share this invitation with others in your network. 

You’re Invited!

Coffee with a Purpose
Striving for Racial Equity: Youth Voice on Education and Employment

September 30, 2020 • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. EDT

Part 2 of a 3-Part Webinar Series

Register here >>>

In part two of our three-part series “Striving for Racial Equity,” a panel of Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) youth will continue the conversation on racial inequities with a focus on education and employment. Join co-moderators Kristin Harrington, Executive Director of Youth Solutions, and Camille Pierce, Head of Global Inclusion and Diversity at Whirlpool Corporation, as they lead a conversation between employers, educators, and youth. We will discuss what is working and what needs to change within the construct of these relationships.

Coffee with a Purpose, Striving for Racial Equity: Youth Perspectives, Concerns, and Calls to Action

Part 1 of a 3-Part Series

On August 13, we began the conversation “Striving for Racial Equity,” the first of a three-part series focused on racial inequities that plague our nation. A panel of two JMG Specialists, Stacey Brown-Smith and Amanda Althouse along with three outstanding Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) youth; Tamia Clay, Mikya Coleman and David Carter Jr., shared their perspectives, personal stories, concerns and ideas for moving toward racial equity. Kristin Harrington, Youth Solutions Executive Director and Deborah Taylor, Workforce Program Manager at Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, led this engaging and eye-opening conversation.

During the discussion, Tamia expressed, education is the building block for all change and these conversations are how education happens. Our youth’s powerful stories spoke to the inequalities faced and expressed the need for people to understand the challenges of growing up as a person of color in America. As Mikya explained, “we have to fight to prove who we are and work a lot harder because of our skin color.”

If you were unable to join us, we encourage you to watch the recording of the conversation and listen to the voices of our youth. We hope by watching and listening, you are impacted by the discussion and gain new insights and perspectives to carry forward to help facilitate change.

Did you miss the first Coffee with a Purpose?

June 24 was our first listening event in our newly created virtual series, “Coffee with a Purpose.”  Youth Solutions Executive Director, Kristin Harrington, was joined by JMG Specialists; Danny Jennings, Carolyn Miller, and Meagan Staton, and their exceptional young people; Michael (Mike) Kirby, Delann Pillivent, and Kyra Gibson to discuss the topic, COVID-19: The Pandemic’s Impact on Michigan Youth. Their inspirational stories and powerful voices spoke to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as looking to the future and making their mark. Our youth expressed the need for adults to understand the new challenges of social isolation, the difficulties of pivoting to online learning, and the loss of extra curricular activities.

“Some things we value have been taken away from us or put on hold, like sports or hanging with friends,” stated Mike, a rising junior at Benton Harbor High School. As a testament to his persistence, he continued, “We will all exit the pandemic stronger and wiser.”

Delann, Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates Class of 2020 and incoming freshman at the University of Michigan stated during the conversation, “We are the future. You guys should pay attention to us.” Yes, Delann, we most definitely should, which is why we created this platform to listen.

We encourage you to watch the recording of the conversation and listen to the voices of our youth.