Leadership Summit Takes on Youth Summit and other Major Changes

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The Leadership Summit is back after a one-year hiatus and Eat Smart Move More South Carolina (ESMMSC) staff couldn’t be more excited! The planning committee and staff have been working diligently to learn best practices related to hosting a virtual conference, brainstorming some fun factors, and taking on the Youth Edition, formerly known as the Youth Summit.

The Leadership Summit for Healthy Communities + Youth Edition will be May 12-13 on your computer. You can kick back, relax, and take in the valuable information our speakers will present to you. This year’s Summit is focusing on historical and cultural influences that impact perceptions on healthy eating, active living, and health. This annual event is also focusing on the importance of cross-collaboration between community coalitions and youth advocates. Youth may just be the key to unlocking local initiative success! 

Going Virtual
Virtual conferences aren’t optimal but given the continued risks of spreading and contracting COVID-19, it’s the best choice for ESMMSC. “We just couldn’t go another year without providing an outlet for our community and state partners to network and learn best practices and lesson learned around the latest initiatives happening in the state,” says Kelsey Allen, manager of community initiatives.

The virtual Leadership Summit will provide opportunities for attendees to network through the virtual platform. There will also be pre-conference networking opportunities focused on specific topics scheduled for May 10-11.

+ Youth Edition
In the past, ESMMSC hosted the Youth Summit, a one-day conference for youth from HYPE teams and youth-serving organizations to convene and learn about HYPE projects, social justice, and youth advocacy. The 2020 Youth Summit was live streamed on Facebook over four weeks and drew a good crowd of youth and adults. Rather than hosting separate virtual events, staff thought combining the events would increase interest across both audiences.

“I’ve always wanted to find a way to get youth to the Leadership Summit to network with and learn from community coalitions and public health professionals,” says Trimease Carter, manager of youth engagement. “The virtual Summit is the perfect opportunity to make that happen. My hope is that youth will participate in the Leadership Summit and coalitions and public health professionals will participate in the Youth Edition.”

Three Keynote Speakers
Building on the theme of Understand. Influence. Change.: Understanding yesterday to influence today for a better tomorrow, the Summit Planning Committee approved three keynote speakers. Queen Quet, Dr. Kathryn Silva Hyde, and By the Hand Club for Kids/Austin Harvest will provide inspiration for youth and adults to engage with each other and make a healthy difference in their communities.

Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State of The Gullah/Geechee Nation
Wednesday, May 12 | 1:10 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

For centuries, the Gullah/Geechee people have endured inequities and unfair treatment that have negatively impacted their quality of life. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, will present on how her people live an active life that supports overall healthy living. She will reveal how public health advocates and community coalitions can work with the Gullah/Geechee people to increase access to healthy eating and active living resources and improve health outcomes.

Dr. Kathryn Silva Hyde, Chair and Assistant Professor of History in the Department of Humanities at Claflin University
Thursday, May 13 | 1:10 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Why are African Americans skeptical about health and healthcare? How does African American history and culture influence today’s perspectives? Dr. Kathryn Silva Hyde will explore the history and treatment of African Americans over the course of centuries. She will provide insight into why, in today’s world, African Americans are hesitant to trust, not only healthcare providers and public health professionals, but also leadership, new ideas, new initiatives, and new resources implemented to help shape health outcomes.   

By the Hand Club for Kids and Austin Harvest
Thursday, May 13 | 4:40 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.

Austin Harvest is a youth-led open-air fresh market that provides fresh produce to the residents of the Austin neighborhood in the far west side of Chicago. Austin Harvest grew out of a desire for youth to lead the way for positive community change. Due to decades of racial inequities highlighted by the killing of George Floyd and the COVID-19 crisis, By The Hand Club for Kids youth gathered in healing circles with local police and athletes to process recent violence and brainstorm solutions for their community in June of 2020. The students challenged the stakeholders to think about systematic reform but also expressed the need to do something now. This led to the idea of Austin Harvest and the transformation of a looted liquor store into a fresh market. More than providing fresh food to a neighborhood that historically lacks access to healthy and affordable produce, the aim of Austin Harvest is to bring people together and bring hope not only to their neighborhood but to inspire other communities that they too can make change.

Pre-Conference Activity
In-person networking is a major part of the Summit, and ESMMSC staff were concerned about attendees missing out those opportunities. That’s why the planning committee agreed to offer Pre-Conference Networking. Like a Zoom meeting, participants will be able to logon and see each other as they interact around specific topics:

  • Chapter Chairs Best Practices, Lessons Learned, and Future Directions
  • Challenges & Best Practices for Project Implementation During a Crisis
  • Legislative Update
  • Capacity Building: Creating Strength and Sustainability for Your Coalition
  • Collaborating with Local Youth Leaders
  • How can our work be more intersectional?

All of the sessions are optional registration items and will be moderated by ESMMSC staff.

In addition to Pre-Conference Networking, an optional Pre-Conference Workshop will be available to anyone interested in learning more about disability inclusion. Inclusive Strategies for Working with Individuals with Disabilities: Empowering Equal Access, produced by the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability and the University of South Carolina, provides instruction on the rights of people with disabilities, how to include people with disabilities in your work, and the etiquette you need to consider. This training has a pre-test that will be emailed to registrants prior to the training, as well as a post test that will be emailed following the training.

On-Demand and Continuing Education
One of the benefits of virtual conference is the opportunity to provide on-demand videos. After the Summit ends, registrants will have access to all sessions for up to six months. That means registrants can view as many breakout sessions as they want, so there’s no missing out on a session. Note that pre-conference activity will not be available on-demand.

“The only drawback is that continuing education credit will only be available for the live session,” says Meg Stanley, executive director. “CEUs will not be available for on-demand sessions, so participants should be selective when choosing which live breakout session to attend for CUEs.”

To be eligible for continuing education credit, participants must be in a session and complete the session evaluation. Once those actions have occurred, CEU documentation will be available to the participant in their name. ESMMSC is applying for continuing education in the following areas: CHES/MCHES, Social Workers, and Registered Dieticians. Certificates of Attendance will be available for all other certification programs.

In addition to keynote speakers, Youth Edition, pre-conference activity, there will be two general sessions and four concurrent sessions featuring four sessions each. There will also be door prizes and a hint of something new happening for ESMMSC. Registration and more details for the Leadership Summit for Healthy Communities + Youth Edition are coming soon, so save the date and check your email inbox!