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This year’s Summer Academy was full of memorable moments as 28 of the City Year sites across the nation celebrated 30 years of national service. Coming together as one City Year provided us with an ample amount of opportunities to reflect about our service, collaborate with other sites, and build team with the members of our village. As a site, we learned the importance of continuing conversations about diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging, reflected on how far we have come as an organization, and were motivated to continue providing excellent service to our incredible students. Here are some of our favorite Academy moments, and insight into how City Year Milwaukee is being intentional about our service this school year.

City Year kicked-off Academy by listening to powerful “why I serve” statements from team leaders from each City Year site. We cheered on our very own team leader, Sadie Woods, as she represented City Year Milwaukee. She shared that she serves because she believes in the potential and the star power of all the young people we serve and those who serve them. She serves because she wants to support our students academically and personally so theycould be the greatest version of themselves.

On day two we listened attentively as Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first Youth Poet Laureate, shared powerful stories through poetry.




We were officially introduced to the new Student Success Coach uniform with a captivating fashion show, and videos featuring some of our very own second year corps members and new staff.




We celebrated success across the nation as we recognized 9 sites who received the Stephen G. Woodsrum Best of City Year award.




We had the privilege of learning from Dr. Darnisa Amante, the CEO of The Disruptive Equity Education Project, who set the framework for a powerful discussion about diversity, inclusivity, equity, and belonging, while emphasizing the importance of learning, unlearning, and sharing our own personal narratives.


Since returning from Academy, our site has taken several steps to cultivate a strong village, build on the teachings of Dr. Darnisa Amante, and continue creating authentic relationships with each other. We recognize that the conversation never ends, and as a site, we are committing to continue having conversations about equity and diversity with each other, while taking strides to build a beloved community.

One defining moment after we returned from academy was when Charlie Rose visited our site to continue conversations about equity and diversity, and provide us with useful tips to interrupt hurtful remarks. He helped remind us of the importance of our work, and helped us feel united after Academy.

This year at City Year Milwaukee, we are using the City Year founding story “The Rabbi’s Gift” to frame our year of service. Attending this year’s Summer Academy made it even more apparent how important it is to honor the specialness of those around us, and build a beloved community, and that is exactly what we strive to do.

For more pictures from Summer Academy, please visit City Year’s photography page.

For more information about Dr. Darnisa Amante’s work, visit the DEEP website.

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