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Highlights from the IC 2019 LEADS Day Plenary

February 15, 2019

Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States

Each year, BBYO offers a variety of Friday activities called LEADS Day Labs, which are educational sessions benefiting the interests of members. Before the activities, there is a LEADS Day Plenary, where we have a variety of speakers come and share some powerful stories with us.

The kickoff to the LEADS Day Plenary was inspiring. It began with a powerful speech with the message, “If not now, when?” Along with this message for today’s society they shared an acoustic version of the song “Rise” by Jonas Blue.

Everyone was feeling pumped for the speakers and for this whole weekend.

Some of my favorite major messages were “We can make the impossible possible,” from Knesset member Rachel Azaria; “Have that clear path for opportunity ahead,” from Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner; and “If you never give up, love will always prevail,” from Samantha Fuentes, a co-founder of March For Our Lives who was injured in the Parkland shooting.

The most moving part for me were the speakers who came from Pittsburgh because a horrible act of hate can have such an impact on your identity. This part of the plenary made me proud to be Jewish.

My favorite speaker was Samantha Fuentes because gun violence is a personal issue for me. I also really enjoyed Adam Rippon and Jared Polis because LGBT issues have a huge impact on me, as well as Rachel Azaria because I am a woman with a proud Jewish identity.

Photos by Adina Ichilov

Perri Schwartz is a BBG who hails from B’yachad BBG #2495 in Greater Atlanta Region. She loves history, news, and politics, and plans on being a journalist in the future.

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