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ISC and its partners organised the 9th edition of the Science Summit around the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78) on 12-29 September 2023.
The role and contribution of science to attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the central theme of the Summit. The objective is to develop and launch science collaborations to demonstrate global science mechanisms and activities to support the attainment of the UN SDGs, Agenda 2030 and Local2030. The meeting will also prepare input for the United Nations Summit of the Future, which will take place during UNGA79 beginning on 12 September 2024.
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Friday, September 15 • 5:30pm - 8:00pm
[VIRTUAL] Mobilizing Grassroots Youth Advocacy for Mental Health with Education Institutions: the Future of Global Social Justice, Community Building, and Youth Flourishing (151701)

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Video Recording: https://youtu.be/amhZjXWARG8

Our Take on Mental Health Crisis: Grassroots Advocacy By the Youth For Youth Flourishing

It is the worst of times. One in seven young people under 20 is experiencing a mental disorder globally. 18-25-year-olds felt they were worse off across every aspect of well-being: happiness, health, meaning, character, relationships, and financial stability in the US alone. We are in a crisis.
It is the best of times. Youth is smashing mental health stigma. Gen Z is more open to talking about mental health and self-care than any other generation. Youth activism is on the rise. 70% of Gen-Zers today are involved in a social or political cause. 1.4 million global youth participated in a single climate strike. We are taking charge.

To us, activism means something beyond fighting for what we believe in and giving back to the communities that have nurtured us: to advocate is to venture out of our comfort zones, to make connections, and to exercise our agency–the keys to our own flourishing.

This session brought together 10 leading youth advocates in mental health, climate change, and youth empowerment. And we have a dream: to mobilize more grassroots youth for advocacy, thereby, with our own hands, advancing a sustainable globe, engaging our local communities, tackling mental health crises, and bringing flourishing to all youth.

Speaker List:
  • Marx Wang, Executive Director of ForYouPage.OrgMaddie Freeman. Founder of NoSo NovemberTamaki Hoshi, Miss World Japan 2021
  • Yoelle Gulko, Director of “Your Subscription to Addiction”
  • Sahith Kancharla, President of Active Minds at VT
  • Bruny Kenou, Co-founder of DukeLine, Founder of Lay Mental Health Advocates
  • Mariama Bah, Founder of Nation of Diversity
  • Brandon Bond, Well-Being Student Advocate Consultant at UMichigan
  • Maksim Batuyev, Director of Climate Cafe LA

From promoting mental well-being through artistic and musical expressions, to spearheading a month-long campaign against the grip of addictive social media, and from orchestrating dialogues to address climate-induced anxiety, to constructing mental health frameworks within higher education establishments – this session will exhibit our distinctive endeavors in championing youth mental health and advancing sustainable future from a multitude of approaches and perspectives. By recounting our personal trajectories towards becoming advocates, our intention is to demystify youth advocacy, createing a culture where every grassroots community action is recognized, celebrated, and valued as a vital part of youth advocacy.

The initial segment will feature young leaders sharing their personal stories, unique initiatives, and insights gleaned from their advocacy journeys, detailing not only their impactful work but also how they channel their unique passions and strengths to advocacy.  In the subsequent panel discussion, we will delve into strategies for galvanizing grassroots youth to champion mental health causes and harnessing the power of educational institutions to facilitate our work, propelling the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal objectives and bringing flourishing to all. This is our take on mental health crises. This is by youth, for you.

avatar for Maksim Batuyev

Maksim Batuyev

Director, Climate Cafe LA
Maksim is an artist and activist working to center resiliency and wellbeing in the climate movement while helping others imagine new futures. He founded the Climate Cafe LA initiative, serves as the Communications Director for Isaias Hernandez and the Queer Brown Vegan platform, sits... Read More →
avatar for Brandon Bond

Brandon Bond

Mental Health & Well-Being Student Advocate, University of Michigan
Brandon Bond (he/him) is responsible for assessing the needs of students, advocating for systemic-level changes, and implementing solutions that produce health-promoting environments in his role as a Mental Health & Well-Being Student Advocate Consultant at the University of Michigan... Read More →

Connor Farrell

Youth Leader, ForYouPage.org
Connor Farrell is a youth activist, community organizer, Eagle Scout, and budding entrepreneur. As the Director of Youth Leadership at ForYouPage.org, he does work in the NRV community to provide people with what they need and empower other youth to do the same in their communities... Read More →
avatar for Maddie Freeman

Maddie Freeman

Founder and CEO, NoSo November
I founded NoSo November, a social venture aimed to provide an educational resource to students in middle/high schools and universities that spreads awareness about the manipulative attention-for-profit business model utilized by popular social media apps that is fueling the mental... Read More →
avatar for Yoelle Gulko

Yoelle Gulko

Director, Our Subscription to Addiction LLC
Yoelle Gulko is a filmmaker and entrepreneur whose stories center on the power of human connection. She is the creator and director of the upcoming film "Our Subscription to Addiction," which documents her raw experience of phone addiction and how she found her place in the emerging... Read More →
avatar for Sahith Kancharla

Sahith Kancharla

ForYouPage.org, Active Minds at Virginia Tech
avatar for Bruny Kenou

Bruny Kenou

Co-Founder of DukeLine and Founder of Lay Mental Health Advocates, Lay Mental Health Advocates
Bruny Kenou is mental health activist and medical student at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences who graduated from Duke University in 2020 with a Distinction in Neuroscience. She has worked as a researcher at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH... Read More →
avatar for Marx Wang

Marx Wang

Executive Director, For You Foundation
Marx is an Activist, Entrepreneur, Designer, and Researcher, advocating Equity, Wellness, and Authentic Connection For All.At the age of 16, to advocate for better space for teenagers' after-class activities and emotional skill development, he founded a city student org coalition... Read More →

avatar for Marx Wang

Marx Wang

Executive Director, For You Foundation
Marx is an Activist, Entrepreneur, Designer, and Researcher, advocating Equity, Wellness, and Authentic Connection For All.At the age of 16, to advocate for better space for teenagers' after-class activities and emotional skill development, he founded a city student org coalition... Read More →

Friday September 15, 2023 5:30pm - 8:00pm EDT