The events in the spring are left up to teen leaders and attendees to generate. With a solid foundation in the Real Talk format, teen leaders have the task of coming up with eight events on whatever subjects they feel the group most needs or wants to discuss. This is their opportunity to make Real Talk theirs: to take on challenging subjects, to showcase their creativity, to develop community service projects, and to build a network with educators and activists. Here are just a few of the events Waltham teens have tried...
In the spring of 2022, as students and educators struggled with reacclimating to school life, we invited Leon Smith and Ivana Boyd from Citizens for Juvenile Justice to help our teen leaders guide a conversation about the juvenile justice system and school discipline.
A Conversation with Jennifer De Leon
During the COVID lockdown, we invited Jennifer De Leon, the award-winning author of Don't Ask Me Where I'm From, to join us for an interactive conversation with our teen leaders and our community of viewers about education, race, and belonging.
Black History Month
Every year we throw a party for Black History Month. In 2019 teen leaders brought in food from their cultures; a local African cultural organization led a dance workshop; we played Black History Jeopardy; and a local MC performed.
In 2019, in conjunction with the Drag Prom organized by Robbins Public Library in Arlington, we welcomed Speak Out activist and Drag King Quyen Tran AKA Jaydon James KA St. James, Mr. Gay United States MI 2016 for a conversation about the realities and misconceptions of LGBTQ life. Quyen spoke about her experience as a Vietnamese refugee and LGBTQ activist. We played The Wind Blows to get people sharing opinions on LGBTQ issues. Then we played Four Corners while Quyen did a live transformation of one of our teen leaders, Iris, into her male alter ego Ivan.
Sex Health Game Show
Each year we host a Sex Health Game Show developed in conjunction with partners at Lasell University and Waltham High School. Teams compete in a Kahoot quiz show with questions about anatomy, sexual health, and sexual activity. Representatives from Charles River Community Health speak between rounds about the services they offer—especially services they can seek without parents—and they leave teens with contraceptives, lip balm, and other swag.