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‘Community Conversations for Change’

By Voice Up Berks

‘Community Conversations for Change’

‘Community Conversations for Change’ is a Youth Volunteer Corps program to help youth address racial inequality in our community.

Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) of Reading is launching a virtual youth-directed series of discussions on inequality, police relations, and personal stories which will culminate in a session on youth action. The six-part series called Community Conversations for Change will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in July via Zoom beginning July 2. All youth age 14-18 interested in gaining a greater understanding of the issue and being part of a youth-lead project to address it are encouraged to participate. 

“This project is important because we want youth to have a better understanding of BlackLivesMatter and systemic racism… If youth are willing to have an open mind while engaging in uncomfortable conversations concerning racism we can stand together and fight for all to be treated equally.” Said Collette Gilmore, YVC Project Coordinator and member of this series planning committee.  

The series begins with a session entitled “Hear My Story,” where youth of color share their experiences while youth allies listen and bear witness to the feelings and stories of their peers. Session 2 entitled “Educate Us” will cover topics such as systemic racism and implicit bias while reflecting on the history of racism in our county. In Session 3, police officers will join the conversation to listen to youth concerns and engage in dialogue about growing tension. Session 4, “Getting to Know Each Other” will have participants working on small group projects, creating the opportunity to get to know other youth in the community who are different from themselves. In Session 5, “A Call To Action” the participants will develop a group project that addresses racism and brainstorm additional action items that can be taken to advocate for change. Session 6 concludes the series with a celebration of youth unity and support. 

Registration is required for participation in the series. Visit for further details and registration information.  

For more information on this 6-part series, visit

VOiCEup Berks, a fund of Berks County Community Foundation and an affiliate of Youth Volunteer Corps, is a local organization dedicated to connecting all sectors of Berks County to volunteer opportunities through service learning. As an affiliate of Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC), VOiCEup engages youth ages 11-18 in meaningful community service through Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading.