2020 Black Lives Matter Teen Conference + Teen Night Open Mic

Sat Feb 8, 2020
10:00am to 10:00pm Eastern
Free, but registration is required

The Schomburg Center's fourth annual Black Lives Matter Teen Conference (BLMTC) convenes young people (ages 11-18) from across New York City and the Tri-State area to celebrate and affirm their voices, build community, and provide today and tomorrow's leaders with the tools and knowledge to responsibly make the world a better place.

This conference is inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement founded by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi in 2013, and the incredible young people who are committed to justice, equity, and happiness for all. The day includes activist teach-ins, youth-led panel discussions, teen performances, and interactive arts and media workshops, and a Teen Night Open Mic Edition.

All workshops are first to come, first seated. Registration opens at 9am.

Special Note: Teen Night Open Mic & After Party @ the Schomburg, from 6pm-10pm, is open to youth ages 14-18. This is a space for young people to express themselves freely and unapologetically. Parents/guardians are asked to respect this intention and refrain from attending/participating in the event. If any parents/chaperones plan to attend the open mic, they will be encouraged to sit in the rear of the auditorium.

BLMTC 2020 Workshops & Presentations:

Opening Performance by Olutoyosi Ajanlekoko, Urban Word NYC
Olutoyosi Ajanlekoko is a 2019 NYC Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador with Urban Word NYC, a youth program that offers free workshops and performance opportunities for youth all over the city.

Keynote Remarks by Tochi Onyebuchi
Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of Beasts Made of Night, its sequel Crown of Thunder, War Girls, and the upcoming Riot Baby, which is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.


The art of flying while Black: Toni Morrison once wrote that “if you wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down." In this workshop, teens have the hard conversation around how if we want the Black community to fly, we got to give up sexism, heterosexism, homophobia, and transphobia that continue to weigh us down.

Self-Care in the Age of Black Lives Matter (All Ages): Taking care of ourselves is important now more than ever. The workshop explores self-care practices that include sensory awareness, breathwork for emotional clarity, and movement as meditation.

Screening of PUSHOUT: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF BLACK GIRLS IN SCHOOLS: Pushout is a feature-length documentary that takes a close look at the educational, judicial and societal disparities Black girls face in the United States. Inspired by the groundbreaking book of the same name by the renowned award-winning author and social justice scholar, Monique W. Morris, Ed.D, the documentary confronts the ways in which the misunderstanding of Black girlhood has led to excessive punitive discipline which in turn disrupts one of the most important factors in their lives, their education.

"What lies between Justice & Just-Us":  Explore the ways in which the identity youth of color develop is in-part influenced by their personal experiences and environmental factors that contribute to the decisions they make.

Youth-led Bystander Intervention Training (All Ages): Activate your inner activist in this youth-led workshop that teaches participants how to identify warning signs of racism, sexism, and sexual violence, and explains effective techniques for safely stopping hostile situations or supporting someone in need.

Dance for Liberation (All Ages): A fun-filled and uplifting dance class journeying through styles of the African Diaspora including West African, Hip-Hop and House.

YVote - Youth in Action: Learn more from this leading youth voting movement through which young people connect their passions and beliefs with how they can make a difference, at and beyond the ballot box.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
** Activity dates/times are subject to change. Please click through to the activity website to verify.
** Please keep your family and others safe by wearing masks and social distancing. If an activity appears too crowded, try using the "nearby" search feature on our activity calendar to find something else to do.
Locomotive Lawn Live
Riverside Park South - 10:30 AM Pick
Kusama: Cosmic Nature
The New York Botanical Garden - 10:00 AM Pick
Eid Charity Boxes
Children's Museum of Manhattan - various times Pick
Mixed Play
Lidia's Play Cafe - 9:00 AM
No School Circus Camp
Aerial Haven - 9:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides