for Justice & Equity

It Starts with a Conversation

Reflecting on our 30+ years of experience mentoring young people of color and first-generation students, Summer Search embraces our ongoing obligation to support our larger community in navigating through deeper conversations on racial justice.

Our Championing for Justice and Equity (CJE) series is a three-year initiative offering community discussions with thought leaders and opportunities to learn, build trust, and take action.

Thanks for supporting CJE - Univest

A Racial Reckoning:

Navigating with Grace and Excellence

In March, we held our inaugural CJE conversation. Featuring a panel of experts in academia, business, and the Summer Search community, we discussed corporate America’s role in advancing racial equity, and what tools we have as individuals to achieve that equity.

Our Next Events

Racially Speaking: The Future of Work

June 22, 2021

More details to come. Health Care in America

September 28, 2021

More details to come.

About CJE

The year hurt. We launched our Black Lives Matter Community Series (see below) to bring the Summer Search community together to heal, learn, and take action. That series has evolved into our CJE initiative.

How do we Navigate Today's Racial Reckoning with Grace and Excellence?

Throughout this series, we will discuss the importance of listening, receiving feedback, reflecting on our own actions and those of others, and using diplomacy.

Our attendees will walk away with a tool kit that covers the following:

  1. Promising corporate diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) policies and practices;
  2. Corporate America's role in advancing racial equity;
  3. Individual and community tools and resources for achieving racial equity.

CJE Leadership

Kris Leja

Executive Director, Summer Search Bay Area


Dr. Marc Spencer

CEO, Summer Search


Hermese Velasquez

Executive Director, Summer Search Boston


Sylvia Watts McKinney

Sylvia Watts McKinney

Executive Director, Summer Search Philadelphia


BLM Community Series 2020

How to Get Involved


Check out a recap of our complete BLM Series on our blog. Learn more about receiving a print of the live illustrations from our events.

Below are some additional ways to contribute to the organizing work that's taking place in our communities, for our causes and resources for deepening our learning. It's important that in this time, we not only check in with each other, but also with ourselves to care for our spirit as we move through this together.

Here for you


For Activists

How To Protest Safely During a Pandemic »
How To Protest Safely In The Age of Surveillance »
Protesters' Rights »
Real Talk with Daughters of the Movement »

Understanding Racism:
"How to Cool It" by James Baldwin »
A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 Fed Up-Rising »
Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism »
Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives (video) »
Brands Have Nothing Real To Say About Racism »
Call It What It Is: Anti-Blackness »
Don't Understand the Protests? The People You're Seeing are Pushed to the Edge »
Forget Looting, Capitalism is the Real Robbery »
How Western Media Would Cover Minneapolis If It Happened In Another Country »
How Women & Minorities are Claiming Their Right to Rage »
Maintaining Professionalism in the Age of Black Death is... A Lot »
One Reason Coronavirus is Hitting Black Americans Hardest (video) »
Pod Save The People (Podcast on Understanding Systemic Racism) »
Stop Sharing Videos of Black Death »
Talking About Race »
The Anger Behind The Protests, Explained in 4 Charts »
The Double Standard of The American Riot »
The History of "Thug" »
The Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List »
What It Means to Be Anti-Racist »
Why is This Happening? »

Police & Criminal Justice:
#DefundThePolice Petition »
Alternatives to Policing Flyers »
Defund the Police — Public Commitment Doc »
I Cover Cops: Here's How to Hold Them Accountable »
Letter to Repeal 50-a »
Raheem — Accessible, Digital Database for Reporting the Police »
Tear Gas Is Way More Dangerous Than Police Let On »
The End of Policing (e-book) » »
Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? »
Who's Left? Prison Abolition »