Urban Leadership is committed to empowering students on their journey to becoming community-based activists. Based in the principles of hip-hop culture, students engage in an in-depth study of social movements shaping U.S. History and urban settings across the United States. Through the use of various mediums such as the written and spoken word, urban arts, youth + community summits, and internships in both elementary schools and non-profit organizations, youth engage in leadership opportunities and learn to use their powerful voices to become the leaders of their generation.
Urban Leadership is open to all high school students (grades 10-12) in Des Moines Public Schools.
The major event produced by Urban Leadership students is a 2-day Teen Summit, with the goal of creating safe spaces for teens to discuss issues facing their communities, brainstorming possible solutions and becoming ambassadors for change. During the summit, 25 youth from each of the five comprehensive high schools will engage in town hall meetings, artistic workshops, and youth + community large group discussion, closing the event with a mixed media performance showcasing their learning from the semester.