MSU to Participate in the Smithsonian’s National Youth Summit

Lansing Area Youth will examine the topic of gender equity inspired by Museum exhibitions at Michigan State University

Watch MSU Smithsonian National Youth Summit Recording here

The Smithsonian has chosen MSU as a partner in the 9th annual National Youth Summit. The Summit engages upper middle and high school students nationwide in challenging conversations that bridge past to present. This year’s Summit, which will examine gender equity and efforts to fight against gender bias, is held in conjunction with the Girlhood (It’s Complicated) exhibition currently on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

As Michigan’s first Smithsonian Affiliate, the MSU Museum is leading the coordination of a two-hour panel discussion on September 21, 2021from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in partnership with the Eli and Edyth Broad Art Museum and WKAR at MSU. The MSU Museum is one of twelve Smithsonian Affiliate organizations hosting reginal youth summits with scholars, activists, and youth. Inspired by current exhibitions at both Museums at MSU, students from the Lansing Promise will engage with a diverse panel of experts about themes of surveillance and incarceration as it relates to girls and young women.

“This collaboration between MSU arts units to bring our undergraduates and Lansing School District students into a timely discussion aligns with MSU’s arts plan. By leveraging the pull of the arts to bring communities together around urgent issues, we can empower young adults to envision the future they want to create. As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the MSU Museum and its partners—including a distinguished panel of scholars and activists—can be leaders in this national conversation,” said Judith Stoddart, associate provost for university collections and arts initiatives.

Susi Elkins, Director of Broadcasting and General Manager at WKAR, will moderate the program to a live studio audience with limited seating, register here. In addition, viewers can watch a livestream of the program hosted by WKAR.

Panelists for the program include:

  • Ruth Nicole Brown, Ph.D., MSU Foundation Professor and Chairperson of the Department of African American and African Studies, and founder of Saving Our Lives, Hearing Our Truths (SOLHOT), a research-based community of practice to better understand how power and identity influence the lived experiences of Black girls.
  • Dorinda Carter Andrews, Ed.D., chairperson for the Department of Teacher Education and professor of race, culture, and equity.
  • Heather Martin, founding director of Youth Arts Alliance, a community-based organizations that establishes opportunities for creative expression in the juvenile justice system.
  • Stephany Bravo was born in Los Angeles and raised in Compton, CA. to parents of Mexican descent. She is pursuing a dual doctoral degree in Chicano/Latino Studies and English at Michigan State University where she studies community-based archival practices and crafts testimonios.
  • Clara Martinez is the Dance Director at Everett High School in the Lansing School District. She is Chair of the Michigan Dance Council, Co-Chair of the City of Lansing Mayor’s Arts & Culture Commission, and Chair of the Mayor’s Arts Education Committee. In 2020, Clara won Best Dance Instructor in the City Pulse Top of the Town Awards. In 2021, she was recognized as a Rising Leader in the Arts in Michigan. Clara is pursuing her Masters of Social Work in Organization & Community Leadership at Michigan State University. Clara received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from The Ohio State University.

Teachers may access free supplementary education materials for all ages at Teachers may also facilitate their own “youth summits” anytime between September 21 and October 12 using learning resources and videos provided free to all registered educators.

The National Youth Summit series was designed by the National Museum of American History to provide students with an opportunity to share their views and debate issues as part of a program that aligns with the National History Standards and Common Core Standards for Speaking and Listening. Since the program was launched in 2011, the National Youth Summit has engaged more than 65,000 live viewers and many more through the archived programs.

This program is presented by the National Museum of American History in collaboration with Smithsonian Affiliations. This program is made possible through the support of the Smithsonian Institution.

Also, on tap at the MSU Museum:

Celebrate the reopening of the MSU Museum during Smithsonian Museum Day on Saturday, September 18! 

The MSU Museum will host special activities in the Museum throughout the day. This year’s theme, “Experience America,” represents the return and resurgence of the country’s diverse cultural experience. Museums across the nation will offer special activities and free admission during the 17th Museum Day event organized by the Smithsonian magazine.

The MSU Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with closures on Sunday and Monday. Free, timed-entry tickets are required and can be reserved online. At this time masks are required for all visitors indoors on the campus of Michigan State University. Read more on the Together We Will website.


Michigan State University Museum
The MSU Museum is the science and culture museum at Michigan State University and the state’s first Smithsonian Affiliate.  The museum features three floors of special collections and changing exhibits. The Museum is located on 409 West Circle Drive next to Beaumont Tower on the MSU campus. Visitor parking is available at metered spaces at the Grand River Ramp, one block away at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Charles Street. For more information, call (517) 355-2370 or see

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (MSU Broad Art Museum)
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University (MSU Broad Art Museum) connects people with art through experiences that inspire curiosity and inquiry. Presenting exhibitions and programs that engage diverse communities around issues of local relevance and global significance, the MSU Broad Art Museum advances the University values of quality, inclusion, and connectivity. Opened on November 10, 2012, the museum was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and named in honor of Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime supporters of the university who provided the lead gift.

WKAR Public Media
WKAR Public Media is the Michigan capital region source for award-winning original television and radio, and the best from PBS and NPR. WKAR is part of Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences and includes WKAR TV, WKAR Radio,, WKAR Radio Reading Service, WKAR Family, and WKAR Ready to Learn.

Smithsonian Affiliations
Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at

National Museum of American History
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum, located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, is open Friday through Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Admission is free and timed-entry passes are no longer required. The doors of the museum are always open online and the virtual museum continues to expand its offerings, including online exhibitions, K–12 educational materials and programs. The public can follow the museum on social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. For more information, go to For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

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