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BFS Turns 150

BFS Global Youth Service Day 2014 – Upper Schoolers Raising Awareness and Inspiring Action!

Today was Global Youth Service DayThe goal of this day throughout the world is to have a positive impact on young people and on our communities through meaningful, youth-led awareness, service, advocacy, and philanthropy projects that meet community needs in the areas of health, education, human service, human rights, animal rights, and the environment. Today young people in 110 countries and 50 U.S. states engaged in 1,918 service projects around the world.

BFS Global Youth Service Day: Raising Awareness, Inspiring Action in
the Upper School was an opportunity for our students to
work with community partners in raising awareness about a broad range of
justice and equity issues and inspiring students to take action through
service. 
We are building accountable, reciprocal relationships that will evolve into ongoing meaningful service opportunities.  
We started the day at 8am in the Pearl Street Meetinghouse with an amazing keynote speaker: Ms. Staceyann Chin


Everyone then transitioned to Willoughby to participate in one of 14 concurrent student-led workshops with community partners to raise awareness and inspire action!
Students invited and partnered with guest speakers for their workshops who represent a range of organizations including the Gowanus Canal ConservancyDefy VenturesHealth and Education Alternatives for Teens (H.E.A.T.)GrowNYCAudre Lorde ProjectQueer Detainee Empowerment ProjectDress for SuccessNYClass, Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (H.E.A.R.T.)Justice Committeeand Urban Word

After lunch, we gathered in the Pearl Street Meetinghouse for a Locks of Love collection organized by P.E.A.C.E. activity group.


We walked to Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights to hear a recently discovered audio recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from February 10, 1963, and his powerful words moved students to consider the interrelatedness of our service and justice efforts. Students then led a collective reflection process with interactive activities, sharing, and closed our day with a powerful call to action, Marianne Williamson’s inspiring poem “Our Greatest Fear” and Michael Jackson’s song “We are the World.”

As we heard in Dr. King’s speech at Plymouth Church this afternoon, “Human progress comes through the tireless efforts and the persistent work of dedicated individuals.Many dedicated students contributed to our BFS Global Youth Service Day event today – as organizers, as leaders, as artists, as facilitators, as participants, as supporters, as friends. Our students were absolutely fantastic and we are proud of their enthusiasm, passion and energy!

As 10th grader Abrielle shared in her closing speech:
“Our generation can and will make change in this world. It is our innovation, our open mindedness, our technology, and every other positive addition we will go on to insert into our society; that will truly make a difference…And there’s absolutely no time to be apathetic. If we wait, the world waits. It’s time to do something; it’s time to be that someone, because the world is depending on it.”