International Youth Media Summit Comes to Southern California in July

LOS ANGELES - The International Youth Media Summit, which was organized in 2006 by two teachers from Cleveland High School, will take place for the first time in eight years in Southern California. More than 100 delegates from 25 countries such as Armenia, Iran, Japan, Sweden and the United States will gather at Soka University in Aliso Viejo from July 14-27.

“The summit trains young people from around the world to use the arts and media to build a better future for all people,” said Evelyn Seubert, co-founder of the Summit with her Cleveland High colleague James Gleason. Seubert said she’s especially pleased that in 2014, and also for the first time, students from Afghanistan will be represented at the event. 

“Prejudice doesn’t stand a chance in this environment,” noted Seubert. “The phrase I hear from most of my students who attend is that ‘they are just like us!’”

This year, one of the summit’s prime goals is to listen to the voices of children from war zones around the world. In addition, delegates will perform a day of service with local non-profits, make seven public service films, and develop study guides and declarations of action to take back to their home countries. 

Other highlights include an Afghan Youth Art Exhibit, a panel discussion on the role of youth in Afghanistan’s future, and the screening of a documentary from Iranian filmmakers about the role of social networks in fulfilling the dreams of youth in developing countries to express themselves and communicate with their generation.

There will also be side trips to the Hollywood Bowl and the beach. 

Gleason, Seubert and Cleveland High students such as senior Emily Bader, who attended the Youth Assembly at the United Nations in February, have been busily raising funds to cover the cost of airfare for students to travel to the event from their home countries. 

The 20-student contingent from the Balkans had their travel funds withdrawn by the government due to recent flooding in the region. Emily and her team are now raising money to bring them to this year’s summit. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences provided a grant for American kids to attend. 

“This extraordinary summit changes the lives of its participants forever,” said Seubert. “I’m thrilled that students from Cleveland will again have a remarkable opportunity to learn first-hand the dreams, desires, and hopes shared by young people across the globe.” 

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Contact: Tom Waldman (213) 241-6766

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