8th Annual Black Youth Guidance Forum: Save the Date

Saturday, April 8, 2023 - 9:30am to 2:30pm

Northridge Center | University Student Union

8th Annual Black Youth Guidance Forum Event FlyerThe Black Youth Guidance Forum (BYGF) provides participants with a unique opportunity to engage in educationally purposeful activities which include featured speakers, four instructional tracks (PreK-5 graders, 6-12 graders, Parent Advocacy, and Leadership), and the Nonprofit Resource & Advocacy fair.

2023 Theme

As we start our eighth gathering of stakeholders interested in the educational advancement of marginalized populations, primarily African American students, "Operationalizing Equity: A JEDI Care Imperative, Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion" will put equality into reality. We gauge educational success, justice, and opportunity using equity. Excellence and fairness should coexist and support the success of our students at every stage of development. It is essential to cater to the needs of the next generation of learners in an equitable way. Join us at the Black Youth Guidance Forum (BYGF) to participate in a variety of educationally focused events, including four instructional tracks (for students in PreK–5th grade, 6–12th grade, Parent Advocacy, and Leadership), featured speakers, entertainment, and more. Off the Wall Graffiti will also be available to students for a longer period of time. 


Event Schedule/Agenda

View the Schedule/Agenda(.pdf)

Keynote Speaker Yorri Berry, Director of Youth Partnerships, National Network for Youth

Yorri BerryYorri Berry may be most well-known as a poet. But don't let that fool you. She is a force to be reckoned with—playing a major role in elevating the voices of young people. She has been involved in youth empowerment work since landing her first internship as a teenager with Breakthrough Collaborative in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Berry founded the DREAMSgirl Summit, a holistic multi-day conference that gives hundreds of middle and high school girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math the opportunity to shadow STEM professionals in the workplace during an interactive career experience. This work led to her being a nominated Changemaker at the first-ever White House Summit on the United State of Women.

A justice warrior and champion of equity committed to elevating marginalized communities, Berry is a former energy, tech and healthcare consultant and has managed educational and community development projects for Martha's Table, Inc., KIPP Los Angeles Schools, Communities In Schools and the Children's Defense Fund.

Nominated by the Governor of Maryland in 2019, she is the youngest sitting member of the Children's Justice Act committee that helps states develop and operate programs to improve the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases. She directs a national policy fellowship, which trains and has empowered formerly homeless youth from four continents to transform domestic and international youth homelessness and sex trafficking policies. In this role, she regularly partners with multinational law firms on children's rights and juvenile justice initiatives; has facilitated over 100 meetings on Capitol Hill between young leaders and members of Congress; hosted youth-led legislative briefings at the United States Senate; and provides executive coaching and training to equip leaders and organizations, including the American Bar Association, federal agencies and top research universities, to more effectively partner with millennials and Gen Z for social change.

A strategic innovator and Ph.D. candidate at Pepperdine University, Berry attended Spelman College, is a graduate of Loyola New Orleans and Howard University and holds professional certifications from Northwestern and Harvard University. She is an advisory committee member of the National Conference of State Legislatures and Futures Without Violence, a national organization working to end violence against women and children around the world; and serves on the Research Alliance for Child Trends, the nation's leading research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives of vulnerable children and youth.

An orator, writer and published poet, Berry has delivered a keynote address at Facebook's headquarters in Silicon Valley, performed spoken word during the College World Series and empowered thousands from the pulpit of the historic Washington National Cathedral where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached his final sermon.

She is the writer of In Development—a theatre piece on identity created in collaboration with award-winning actress Suzzanne Douglas and members of the Grammy-nominated group Sweet Honey in the Rock, which debuted in Martha's Vineyard. Determined to blend art and activism, she wrote and directed community theatre pieces like the Backpack Monologues, performed by middle and high school girls specifically to raise funds benefitting local mentoring programs and educational trips, and founded the Youth Poetry Project—a writing and entrepreneurship program for high school students in the historic Anacostia community in Washington, D.C.

Berry is an NYC-based New Orleans native who grew up with a deep appreciation for Creole cuisine, art, jazz and diverse cultures. She consciously utilizes her diverse lived experience and poetically invites audiences to dive deeper into themselves and the world around them. A vibrant adventurer who has leaped from mountaintops to paraglide in Switzerland, hiked volcanos in Bali, skydived in New Zealand, rode horses through the desert in Egypt and piloted planes on Long Island, she is a travel enthusiast who has explored over 60 countries across six continents, with dreams of witnessing the unique beauty of every country in the world.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone who is interested in the health, well-being, and educational attainment of African American students and other students of color in PreK-12 grades, including but not limited to:

  • High School Administrators
  • Teachers
  • College Administrators
  • Faculty
  • Support Staff
  • Counselors
  • All Students, including elementary, middle, high school, and post-secondary
  • Nonprofit Organizations in Los Angeles County
  • Business Community
  • Health Advocates
  • Parents
  • Religious Institutions

About the Forum

The Black Youth Guidance Forum (BYGF) is a day-long leadership program for CSUN students in the Africana Studies Urban Studies option, credential candidates, and Liberal Studies majors. We will also include African American youth and other youth of color, school stakeholders (e.g. parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, and staff), and nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles County. 

The BYGF serves:

  1.  to promote racial uplift, health & wellness, college preparation, and leadership development to our target population
  2.  to provide assistance and training in culturally relevant practices for preparatory students at CSUN and school  stakeholders
  3.  to establish a college collaboratory (community partnerships) with nonprofit organizations for understanding and developing clear pathways for African American youth and other youth of color to enter post-secondary education

The BYGF provides participants with a unique opportunity to participate in educationally purposeful activities which include featured speakers, four instructional tracks (PreK-5 graders, 6-12 graders, Parent Advocacy, and Leadership), and the Nonprofit Resource & Advocacy fair.

The BYGF has been designed to accomplish the same educational mission as the DuBois-Hamer Institute for Academic Achievement at California State University, Northridge, which is:

  • To promote student success through community and campus partnerships. We cultivate active and collaborative partnerships with faculty, staff and students across the CSUN campus community; work with local groups and organizations in Los Angeles County; and provide service to cultural and educational institutions in the community. 

For more information, contact Dr. Cedric Hackett, Director, DuBois Hamer Institute for Academic Achievement at  or by phone at 818-677-3311.

Communication Services

Communication services (sign language interpreters, note takers) are available for this event. Requests for services must be submitted at least five (5) working days in advance. Please contact Dr. Cedric Hackett, at cedric.hackett@csun.edu or call (818) 677-3311.