Student-led Civic Discourse
Speak Truth is honest and respectful discussion about contemporary social issues – by students, for students.
Each program brings students together from all over the District – public, public charter, and private schools – to engage in a dialogue that exposes them to a diverse array of perspectives.
Through student-facilitated conversations, participants learn to productively and respectfully discuss current, controversial topics. The thought-provoking conversations at Speak Truth teach students to defend their stances on a myriad of issues and help them develop and recognize the power of their voices. As a national model for civic discourse and dialogue among young people, Speak Truth seminars have the power to shape a generation of socially conscious future leaders and citizens who will be responsible for building a better future for us all.
Transformative Education Opportunity
Prepares students to thrive
in a university classroom, where they will engage in similar high-level discourse
Creates space for dialogue
where students can safely share their voices and experiences
Exposes students to a variety of media
through speeches, essays, movies, news articles
Provides community service hours
to students who facilitate discussions and write follow-up papers
Models Inspired Teaching in action
emphasizing student-directed classrooms
Attend or Facilitate at Speak Truth
Speak Truth Seminars are unique and invaluable opportunities to talk about important, current topics with students from a range of backgrounds and experiences. Designed for students, by students, each conversation allows students to meaningfully engage with a text, topics, and their peers.
Thursday, February 28, 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Wilson High School, 3950 Chesapeake St. NW, Washington, DC 20016
Virtual Seminar Opportunities: Beginning this school year, Speak Truth has expanded its reach beyond Washington by holding monthly virtual seminars in addition to our in-person seminars. These discussions take place using Zoom videoconferencing and function in a similar format as our in-person seminars (except students can easily tune in from anywhere on their computers or phones). Convening students online allows Speak Truth to broaden its impact and promotes greater diversity of thought and experience on the part of the participants.
Past Speak Truth Seminars
February 7, 2019 Seminar
• History of Blackface and its Presence Today
• Blackface: The Birth of An American Stereotype
• These 5 politicians also recently faced their own blackface scandals
• Erin Burnett: One of these people is the governor of Virginia
Ally or Accomplice? Where non-Blacks fit into BLM
• Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice
• What Is Performative Allyship?
• Is This Your Queen? Ellen Pompeo, Growth and Performative White Allyship
Kamala Harris’ Controversial Criminal Justice Record
• Kamala Harris was a Tough-on-crime Prosecutor in a Black Lives Matter Era
• Can Kamala Harris Repeat Obama’s Success With Black Voters? It’s Complicated
January 30th, 2019 Seminar
• Peaceful Sudanese Protests Turn Violent
• ‘We call it the Sudanese revolution’: Protests maintain pressure on Omar al-Bashir to step down
• Sudan protests: Thousands move against Omar al-Bashir
• Clash on the Capitol: The MAGA Hat Kid & Native American Veteran Controversy
• Outcry Results After Video Appears To Show Students Mocking Native American Man
• Believing What We See: The Covington Catholic Video and Competing Narratives
January 17, 2019 Seminar
- Women of the 116th Congress
- Minors charged as adults in the criminal justice system
- Racially restrictive housing covenants and their impact today
- Natural hair discrimination in schools
- Shades of color(ism)
- The government shutdown
- Surviving R Kelly: Separating the art from the artist
December 20, 2018 Virtual Seminar
- “Destroyed”: Mishandling rape kits
- What is Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome? And is PTSS real?
November 24, 2018 Virtual Seminar
- The Murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Freedom of the Press
- Climate Change in a Cup: Starbucks’ Decision to Ditch the Straw
October 24, 2018 Virtual Seminar
- Roles of Celebrities in Politics
- An examination of the STARZ documentary, America to Me (Episode 1)
October 18, 2018 at Georgetown Day School
- Brett Kavanaugh and DC Prep School Culture
- The upcoming 2018 Midterm Elections
- “Studying While Black”: An examination of the STARZ documentary, America to Me
- Role of Celebrities in Politics
September 20, 2018 at Cesar Chavez Public School (Capitol Hill Campus)
- The Super ImPACt of Money Politics
- “Checks over Stripes?”: Colin Kaepernick and the Nike Boycott
- Impact of Social Media on Self-Esteem
See discussion topics and readings from last year here.
Education needs to cover EVERYTHING. Leaving out things bc of discomfort is doing a disservice to youth.