3:15 – 4:00 pm

SESSION THREE: Activism, Organizing—and Hope

Youth Activism Panel

Youth have a lot to say about the state of our country and our communities. Are we willing to listen? Join us for a panel of youth activists as they discuss their personal stories of activism, how they came to take action, their views on the Black Lives Matter movement, and what they see as the ways in which the pandemic has revealed deep fractures in our society. 


Workshop Goals: The goal of the workshop is to elevate the voices of young people in our communities and enable participants to hear the perspective of young activists.



Sally Brothers, National Board Certified Teacher, has been teaching English at Arcadia High School since 1997. In 2014, Sally worked with a group of students to create the first Black History Month Celebration and then expand the idea into a proposal for a new course designed to create a learning community that focused on building leadership skills, and that made student voice, student choice, current events, community interaction, multicultural literature, and creative options for sharing or demonstrating learning foundational. This course was approved by the district, quickly began as a club as well, and has since grown, spreading throughout the district and the greater Rochester community. The work of Mosaics, as the course and club are called, has been featured in national reports, publications, and conferences, including a U.S. Department of Education report to Congress, as well as through many professional development offerings within the Greece district and throughout the greater Rochester area.


Mary Callahan is an English teacher at Greece Arcadia High School and a Greece Central School District 9-12 Equity Coach. In this role she facilitates district- and building-level culturally-responsive education and restorative practice training, and works to create more space for all stakeholders to participate in decision-making processes. She also volunteers as a co-chair for Citizen Action of New York – Rochester Chapter Education Committee, which is involved in organizing for local and statewide political action around racial and social justice in public education, especially for the Rochester City School District. Mary is always moved by the power of the voice and perspective of students, and has great appreciation for their civic engagement and activism.