First ‘Power of Us Youth Summit’ to be held July 13-14

Teens doing an activity together.

POSTPONED: Due to low registration, the summit has been postponed until fall to give more youth an opportunity to participate. Updated information will be posted on this website once a new date is set. Those who already registered can apply their registration fee to the fall event or receive a refund. Thank you for your understanding.

Altoona, IA (May 18, 2021) – Registration is now open for the first Power of Us Youth Summit hosted by Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach in Polk County, Polk County 4-H and the City of Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission. The Summit will be held July 13-14 at Grand View University in Des Moines and is open to Des Moines students entering 9-12 grade this fall. The Summit’s goal is to engage youth in civil and human rights issues and empower them to use their voice and leadership to address challenges and highlight opportunities to make an impact locally and globally. Registration is $20 (financial assistance available), is done online at, and closes July 1.
During the two-day summit youth will hear perspectives from peer leaders Lyric Sellers, junior at Des Moines East High School and Endi Montalvo-Martinez, senior at Des Moines East High School; participate in the “Power of Us: Arts for Activism Showcase” and have the opportunity to hear from Des Moines community leaders during break-out sessions and workshops. Session topics include:

  • Criminal justice
  • Immigrants and refugees
  • Civil rights history
  • Anti-black racism
  • Gender equality
  • Racial justice and equity (including AAPI & BIPOC)
  • LGBTQ+

“After postponements due to COVID-19, we are excited to finally host the first Power of Us Youth Summit in partnership with the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission,” said Tiffany Berkenes, 4-H Youth Program Specialist. “Youth participants will engage in conversations with local leaders about a variety of topics and we hope they will walk away inspired and more confident to turn their passion into action through projects they identify from what they learned and to carry on the conversation in their local neighborhoods, schools, and world!” 
Additionally, participants will learn about how 4-H and the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission can support and serve youth beyond the Summit as they continue their leadership and civic engagement efforts. To learn more about the Summit, call (515) 957-5760, email Tiffany Berkenes at, or visit
About ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County
For over 100 years, ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County has served its residents by connecting them to research and resources developed by Iowa State University. Knowledge and programs offered through the Polk County Extension office have been specifically tailored to represent, enhance and meet the needs of local residents and community. For 2021 ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County will focus K-12 youth outreach; health, wellbeing, and nutrition; and agriculture and natural resources. ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County is part of a 99-county campus serving all Iowans to create a strong Iowa.


About Polk County 4-H
Polk County 4-H through ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County challenges youth to actively prepare for their future by exploring college and career options and encourages them to build skills that improve their communities today. Through 4-H programming youth build leadership, citizenship, communication, and life skills in youth as well as provide a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. For more information on Polk County 4-H visit or to learn more about all the programs offered by Polk County Extension visit
About the City of Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission
The City of Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission believes in equality with respect and justice for all. The Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission is a city government department that enforces illegal discrimination laws in the City of Des Moines. We work to advance justice, promote equality and ensure the protection of human rights for all people in Des Moines through education, advocacy, community engagement and investigations of civil rights violations. The Commission’s goal is to make Des Moines a leading example of protecting human rights and equality for all, with a culture of inclusiveness, respect and peace.

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