New York, New York, January 28, 2022 – MCW Global held its 6th edition of the Young Leaders Conference Program virtually between January 12th and January 14th. The Young Leaders Conference - North America welcomed 21 young people between the ages of 18-30 from North America to expand their leadership knowledge and engage in meaningful discussions that advance their community's well-being. The themes covered during the three-day-long conference included leadership, social justice, and social entrepreneurship to encourage the participants to establish regional networks for future exchange.

After the success of the first North American Young Leaders Conference held from July 30th to August 1st in 2021, interest from young North Americans in the conference themes was confirmed. Building on the success of the first conference, this conference further expanded in terms of number of participants and speakers. The greater variety of speakers added additional perspectives and expertise for the participants’ learning.

Participants were introduced to redefining leadership, personal leadership building, leadership as a shared mindset, and developing soft skills during the program. The conference focused on fostering a safe and welcoming environment for the participants where they felt comfortable contributing to discussions regarding social justice and social entrepreneurship. These sessions gave them a chance to interact with practitioners in social justice and social entrepreneurship.

Peter Cunningham, Head of Leadership at Geneva Centre for Security Policy and Co-Director of the Geneva Leadership Alliance, walked the participants through reimagining leadership to develop a shared mindset. During this section of the program, alumni of the Young Leaders Program, Peal Chawdhury, Business Transformation Consultant at IBM Global Business Services, and Mallory Rothstein, Founder, More than an Admin and Learn What Matters, Administrative Business Partner at Google, shared their leadership experiences as well as how it contributed to the betterment of their communities. Craig Mokhiber, Director New York Office at United Nations Human Rights; Dr. Charles Robbins, Professor at Stonybrook University, Executive Director of Center for Changing Systems of Power, and MCW Board Member; Dr. Severine Minot, Visiting Professor School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) at Al Akhawayn University; Brendan Shultz Founder and Executive Director of United by Love and Max McLune Youth Leader at BAGLY spoke to inspire the young leaders to want to play a role in making their communities more just.

Ahmed Osman, Student Life Specialist at Malave Leadership Academy, City University New York (CUNY), moderated one of the sessions on Social Justice. On the last day, practicing social entrepreneurs Autumn Breon, Founder of Autumn Breon Projects, Swati Argade, Founder and Creative Director at Bhoomki, and Christopher A. Browne, Co-Founder and CEO of The Buckler Group, Inc., shared how they addressed social issues in their communities.

"The importance of love-based work and leadership really stood out to me. I don't think I was ever aware of the simplicity of WHY I do the work that I do and chose to create a career out of it. Like you (Peter Cunningham) said, it's forgotten in some cultures, and I will incorporate that mindset and work for sure," said Courtney Braun from Stonybrook University after the leadership session.

"I have a lot of friends with different political views, and we don't focus on our political differences, thus ensuring a positive, healthy friendship," commented Tiana Cordero from CUNY during the session with Social Justice Practitioners.

Ethan Draper from Nova Scotia, Canada was grateful for the opportunity. "Thank you for your time! I will for sure be thinking a lot this afternoon about our conversations and what I learned."

The conference will be followed by three optional vision planning webinars for the participants to build their community projects. Participants with actionable project plans will then be invited to apply for financial support (up to $300) to help them in implementation.

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