Twice a month, the City Year Baton Rouge Corps comes together as a whole group for Leadership Development Days. This year, the corps members have been really instrumental in creating programming for these days. They have created “Hot Topics”, a series of Leadership Development Days organized to focus on important topics and concepts that are controversial, sensitive, or simply not addressed often.
A few of the topics that have been covered thus far are Racism, Learning Disabilities, Sexism/Gender, Homelessness, Classism/Immigration, Heterosexism/Homophobia, and Domestic Violence. The Hot Topics series has provided corps members with a safe space to discuss complex hot-button issues, as well an opportunity to respectfully hear and consider each other’s unique viewpoints.
So far, these days have been great successes. Many students that corps members work with deal with many of these issues, either directly or indirectly, on a day to day basis. By focusing attention on these hot topics, corps members are better prepared for their work in schools. Additionally, they have the opportunity to present information on a topic they are really passionate about.