PhD Candidate James Railey Spearheads NYC Youth Leadership Conference

James Railey
James Railey

NYU Silver PhD Candidate James Railey is spearheading a Youth Leadership Conference for young people of color and their parents that will be held at NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life on October 7, 2017. The event is being sponsored by the Invictus Greater New York City Foundation, supported by the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Epsilon Chapter, of which Railey is a member, and co-sponsored by NYU Silver and NYU Langone’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

“The goal of the conference,” said Railey, “is to keep youth of color engaged in the educational pipeline as a way to resist forces in the community that may try to pull them off course.” Railey explained that the conference is a replication of one that was developed in Los Angeles by the Tau Tau Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in the wake of the 1992 riots to support the development of young African American males. That conference, now in its 24th year, has received ongoing support from USC for the past eight years. It has touched the lives of nearly 6,000 youth in the greater Los Angeles area, instilling principles of personal and social responsibility and providing them with tools necessary for self-respect, health and wellness, community leadership, and conflict resolution. It has also spawned similar conferences in cities including Atlanta, Baltimore, San Antonio, St. Louis, and now New York City.

According to Railey, New York’s Youth Leadership Conference will include separate tracks of workshops designed for young people of different age groups and their parents. Professor James Jaccard and McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies Michael A. Lindsey, the Director of the School’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, are working with Railey to design the day’s agenda and develop the workshops, drawing from their respective expertise in decision theory and positive youth development.

Railey said the conference is free of charge and open to the first 300 young people who register by September 15, 2017. Food will be provided and parents, especially fathers, are urged to attend.