Chicago — There’s a lot of competing narratives about Chicago's young people.
Some see the younger generations as leading the charge on political and social justice fronts that will either drive the city into the ground or towards needed change. Others look no further than news headlines about violent weekends in the city to draw conclusions about the resources they need or the values they lack.
Zuri Yearwood and Xiah Bryant, 19-year-olds who grew up in the city’s South Side, came of age acutely aware of those kinds of stories and were inspired to create an event that would allow young creatives to tell their own — From The ‘Go Fest. The third annual event, hosted by youth advocacy organization True Star Media, came as a way to celebrate all aspects of media and its young creatives within the community.
For Yearwood it’s a way to “change the narrative.”
“From what I’ve seen going off to college and meeting new people from different states, all they think about is the violence, things some of the mainstream artists talk about and just a lot of things that don't really represent what our city really is,” she said. “We wanted to change that and shed a more positive light, giving people a more positive platform.”
Bryant, agreed, noting she wanted the event to serve as a safe space and beacon of positivity.
“The events have also happened in the summer, a season where violence is prominent in young people’s lives, so we just want there to be a day curated to focus on positive things and spread a message of anti-gun violence and to promote taking care of your mental health.”
This year the free event, slated for Saturday at the DuSable Museum from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. CT, will feature performances by a variety of artists and DJs, a tribute to women in Hip Hop, offer content creation opportunities, a vendor fair for local entrepreneurs and more. It’ll also feature a live broadcast studio run by teens, live t-shirt printing, a meet and greet with influencers and a special appearance by Chicago Sky player Isabelle “Izzy” Harrison. Additionally, it’ll be hosted by Genesis Denise Hale of Showtime series “The Chi” and True Star influence Danny Barksdale.
Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter: @noahwritestoo.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett