Wednesday, April 1, 2020
US flag

Teen Vogue Summit inspires teens in L.A.

The first Teen Vogue Summit, the magazine’s first two-day event in Los Angeles designed to “inspire, encourage, and connect a new generation of activists, creators, and innovators, providing them with the insights and tools to change the world,” wrapped up on December 2, the New York Times reports.

Yes, there were the party frocks and make-up kits, the paper noted. As well as some blatant commercialism and the selling of products. There were also beanbag chairs on the lawn, though, filled with socially conscious young (and impressionable) people.

Editor Elaine Welteroth and digital editorial director Phillip Picardi also added a healthy dose of today’s political issues and “mentor” sessions to the mix, inviting flocks of young activists, inventors, and inspiring under-21’ers to present their message on this stage.

“We’re in this cultural moment of change, and we have to figure out how to navigate it,” Hillary Clinton said during her keynote address, which also encouraged girls not to look, necessarily, for the “perfect” candidate or to seek perfection as a goal. “There’s no such thing as a perfect human being,” she was quoted as saying. “Look for people who generally agree with you.”

Other invited presenters included US Rep Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, and

  • a 12-year-old patent-pending inventor
  • an advocate for tackling school segregation
  • Chloe x Halle, an R&B duo, who sang and led chants: “I am unstoppable,” “I am funny”
  • a girl who wakes up every day to convince others it’s OK to just “walk your truth”

After a panel discussion called “How to Be a Better Ally” concluded, one teen was completely charged up. “I’m totally new and improved,” the Times quoted her as saying. “I want to go out and change the world right now, but, like, the event is still going on.”

The event also included visits for many attendees at headquarters of companies like YouTube, Instagram, and 72andsunny.

Abbey Malbon, a student at Metea Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois, was one of 50 lucky attendees who answered just a few prompts and won a scholarship to attend the conference. She wrote about it in Metea Media, the student news site at the high school, saying she could confirm the summit’s inspirational objective and mission:

In addition to the amazing business opportunities offered throughout the event, there were so many other life lessons taught. It is so important for young women to hear about success stories from other young women in order to “materialize” success. Throughout my entire experience I was exposed to hundreds of people openly having conversations about mental health, menstruation, empowerment, and representation.

Despite the current events occurring throughout the world at the moment, it was increasingly impactful to be exposed to a climate that is so extremely supportive and educated. After engaging with females from all different backgrounds, ages, and identities, I have renewed hope for women in the coming years.

For those who didn’t win scholarships like Abbey, about 600 tickets were available for purchase, at about $300 apiece. While the discussions may have focused on inclusion—and I can’t deny the magazine’s right to recover the expenses of putting it on—this and other conferences for professionals carry such a high price tag for attending that they can’t honestly be considered “inclusive.” Still, inspiring people to fight for important causes or empower women, despite the obvious glare of corporate America, can’t be a bad idea.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Distance learning begins as Covid-19 thrives

What we learn during & from coronavirus, a challenging & imminent crisis, will provide insights into so many aspects of our lives.

Calif. h.s. choir sings with social distancing

Performances with the assistance of technology can spread inspiration across the globe even as the coronavirus spreads illness and disease.

Families plan to stay healthy during closures

Although schools are doing what they can to keep students learning and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, that duty now shifts to parents.

Illinois temporarily closes all schools

IL schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 17, through at least March 30. Schools in 18 states are now closed due to coronavirus.

Coronavirus closures & cancellations

Many schools are closed and sports tournaments cancelled across America during what the president called a national emergency: coronavirus.

Coronavirus closes schools in Seattle

The coronavirus pandemic has caused colleges to cancel classes, and now Seattle Public Schools became the nation's first large district to cancel classes due to the virus.

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.