More than 150 Buffalo middle and high school students will visit SUNY Buffalo State on Tuesday, September 10, for a hands-on examination of social justice during the Anne Frank Project (AFP) Youth Conference.
The conference will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Social Hall.
September 11–13 marks the fifth year that Buffalo State has hosted this multidisciplinary event, but the first time that a youth conference has been included. The conference will plug students into visual, performing, and digital arts activities with professional artists to explore how intolerance, bullying, and worldwide oppression manifest themselves in their day-to-day lives.
“The whole idea is to give students and teachers active ways of learning about tolerance, forgiveness, and genocide,” said Drew Kahn, AFP director and founder and professor of theater.
For the youth conference's pilot year, students from Tapestry Charter School, Oracle Charter School, Nardin Academy, McKinley High School, and the Buffalo Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts were invited to attend.
“Our hope is to learn as we go forward and grow the youth conference,” Kahn said.
One impetus for the youth conference comes from the success of Buffalo State's AFP in the Schools initiative, where theater students use storytelling to convey social justice issues to Buffalo schoolchildren.
“The students and teachers love it, and it’s making a real impact,” Kahn said. “We wanted to provide a nontraditional way of giving human rights lessons at a time when teachers are trying to pay homage to national testing standards.”