The Immigrant Youth Empowerment Forum (IYEF) materialized after a group of dedicated youth, community members, and scholars got together to brainstorm ways in which they could work together to support immigrant students. The group identified that there are some great organizations already working in New Orleans to support this population. As such, the main role became to help connect students to a variety of resources. To this end, on May 4th, 2019 the Immigrant Youth Empowerment Forum hosted its first annual forum. The event was dedicated to support immigrant youth in achieving their educational goals, attending to their academic, legal, and financial needs. Six $1,000 scholarships were distributed as well as a seventh scholarship funded by donations from attendees and organizers.
Due to COVID-19, the second annual forum could not take place. On May 6th, 2020 a virtual reading of an original play written, directed, and performed by Bard Early College, New Orleans. Check out a recording of the play and the documentary to see it in action. Special thanks to Mellon Fellow Chris Givens and Community Fellow Lauren Turner.