Our students headed into the last day of the Tour reflecting on the many insightful conversations they’ve had and eager to learn more in the final stretch.
We began our day meeting with Franklin Leonard, a film producer, cultural commentator, professor, and the founder of the Black List. The Black List aims to celebrate and support great screenwriting and releases a yearly publication featuring Hollywood’s most popular unproduced screenplays. The screenplays of four of the past 12 Oscar Best Picture winners came from The Black List.
Franklin grew up in Georgia and went on to earn his B.A. from Harvard. He previously worked at McKinsey & Company and Creative Arts Agency. Our students asked Franklin about navigating the entertainment industry as a person of color and his favorite shows and movies to watch. Franklin encouraged our students to always ask questions and to find people in their lives they can trust when things get difficult. “Asking questions is the best way to lay bare the hypocrisy at the core of any system of oppression,” Franklin says.
In our second meeting of the day and final conversation of the Tour, we spoke with Jennifer Wynn, Director of Education at the Obama Foundation. Jennifer leads a team to design in-person and digital learning for active citizenship. Prior to working at the Obama Foundation, Jennifer has worked at McKinsey & Company, developed courses for MBA students at NYU, and founded a middle school where she served as Director of Curriculum Management. Her passion for leadership, education, and management were clear from our conversation with her. She encouraged our students to “continue to be unapologetic” and “trust your voice and share it.”
“You are the future and I am so thankful for that,” Jennifer said at the close of the meeting.
Following the final speaker meeting, our group huddled up one last time to reflect on their inspiring week together. When asked to describe their peers on the Tour, here’s what a few of our students had to say:
“Visionary. We know what kind of future we want and we are driven towards making that future a reality.” – Adriana, Capitol Squash
“Passionate, diverse, intelligent and driven students who will most definitely be the strong leaders of tomorrow.” – Abigail, Access Youth Academy
“Advocates for the causes we believe in” – Alana, Racquet Up Detroit