Santa Monica Lookout
B e s t   l o c a l   s o u r c e   f o r   n e w s   a n d   i n f o r m a t i o n


SMC Symposium Tackles Youth in Foster Care

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

By Lookout Staff

May 2, 2013 -- Urban youth living in foster care will be the focus of a four-day symposium sponsored by the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute, college officials announced Wednesday.
Scheduled for May 13 through 17, the symposium is the institute’s “most ambitious endeavor to date” and will feature a variety of free events including lectures, roundtable discussions and a film screening.

The only paid event -- a $50 donation -- will be a special production of “STOP REQUESTED” by The Possibility Project, an original musical drama written and performed by a diverse group of former foster care youth.

The symposium “brings together local, regional, and statewide leaders to discuss the needs of youth in our communities and how best governmental and non-governmental agencies can address those needs,” said Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, the institute’s director.

The “wide coalition” should produce “outcomes that will improve the lives of young people,” said Tahvildaran-Jesswein, a political science professor at SMC.
The symposium kicks off Monday May 13 at 7 p.m. with a production of “STOP REQUESTED,” an original musical highlighting the realities of the lives of youth in foster care and what happens when they leave.

The show at the Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, Santa Monica Boulevard. at 11th Street, requires a $50 donation.
On Tuesday, May 14 at 11:15 a.m. will be the campus keynote address by Paul Tough, author of the New York Times bestseller “How Children Succeed” and a contributor to “This American Life” and The New Yorker magazine.

“Tough challenges the belief that intelligence, endlessly measured by test scores, is the sole indicator of value in our education system,” symposium organizers said.

His book argues that non-cognitive skills – or character – are better indicators of success. The free address will take place at the Humanities & Social Science Lecture Hall 165 on SMC’s main campus, 1900 Pico Boulevard.
At a free talk at 7 p.m. at John Adams Middle School Auditorium, 2425 16th St., Santa Monica, Tough who will focus on his work and the local community’s commitment to public policies aimed at meeting the needs of youth in Los Angeles.
On Wednesday, May 15 at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. there will be free screenings of award-winning filmmaker John Singleton’s “Boyz ‘N the Hood” (1991) at Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex, 1332 Second Street, Santa Monica. Between shows, at 6:30 p.m., Singleton will lead a roundtable retrospective on urban youth and violence.
On Thursday, May 16 at 11:15 a.m. there will be a campus roundtable titled “Hearing, Reflecting & Advocating – Municipalities and Youth Services” with community leaders from the Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council, City of Santa Monica, local nonprofits and young people.

The free event, which organizers promise will be a “thought-provoking discussion on public policy responses to the needs of youth,” will take place at the Humanities & Social Science Lecture Hall 165 on SMC’s main campus, 1900 Pico Boulevard
On Thursday night at 7 p.m. a stellar speakers panel will present a community forum -- “Foster Youth – Lost or Found?” – which will discuss ways in which policy affects the lives of foster youth, for better or worse.

The one-hour panel will be followed by an audience discussion moderated by SMC Public Policy Institute Founding Director Sheila Kuehl in Room 123 of SMC’s Bundy Campus, 3171 S. Bundy Drive, Los Angeles. The event is free but reservations are required by emailing with the number of guests attending.
Although all events are open to the public, seating is limited and strictly on a first-arrival basis. 
SMC’s Public Policy Institute provides nonpartisan community programs exploring key economic, social and political issues. SMC offers an Associate of Arts Degree and/or Certificate of Achievement in Public Policy, with specialties in arts and cultural affairs, education, environment and sustainability, public health, and urban and socioeconomic issues.

The symposium is co-sponsored by a wide range of education, government and community organizations and donors.        
For further information visit

Lookout Logo footer image copyrightCopyright 1999-2013 All Rights Reserved. EMAIL