Summer Youth Institute

See Our 2015 Summer Youth Institute Daily Schedule HERE

Since 2010, when a racially diverse group of young people from communities across Mississippi came to Winter Institute and Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute staff with a desire to help their communities, SYI has evolved into a nine-day experiential learning program.

At SYI, rising high school sophomores and juniors learn about civil rights, advocacy, critical thinking and relationship building from an international staff.

SYI educates approximately 30 young Mississippi citizens each year. They learn to exercise their voices and leadership potential and to embrace a commitment to social change; and they become community advocates, inspiring their schools and hometowns.

Each year we learn much more about how to provide a galvanizing experience for young people, who critique and analyze the program at the end of each nine-day experience to help us perfect it.


SYI emphasizes four cornerstones:
Relationship Building, History, Diversity, and Civic Engagement

The program has six primary objectives:

  1. Build understanding of concepts and use of tools for relationship building and trust building (listening, dialogue, etc.) in Mississippi’s youth
  2. Increase awareness, understanding and need of myriad types of diversity and interculturalism in a local, state, national and global context
  3. Expand knowledge of and appreciation for Mississippi Civil Rights history and its relationship to movements around the nation and world
  4. Impart the principles of conflict transformation and interdependence and how to apply these principles in real-life situations
  5. Illustrate for students the fundamentals of civic and community engagement
  6. Inculcate in SYI students an enduring anti-racism and racial reconciliation perspective to bring to personal and professional situations throughout their lives