Students Taking a New Direction (STAND) is gearing up for its sixth annual youth conference. Each year STAND members from around the state converge in Phoenix to celebrate their efforts for the year and to learn about new ways to combat tobacco. The celebration highlights a three-day conference designed by STAND members to increase leadership skills and inspire future efforts.
Nationally known anti-tobacco speakers highlight the conference every year. This year teens will hear from activists La Tanisha Wright and Samuel Allen. Wright, a former tobacco trade retail manager, was responsible for building and maintaining relationships with tobacco retailers in the Detroit area. She witnessed firsthand how the industry targets youth and minorities and now speaks out nationally against the deceptive tactics of the industry. Allen designed the now infamous and internationally recognized “truth” brand and subsequent campaigns which is still considered by many experts as the most effective social change campaign in the last three decades.
Teens will also attend sessions on public speaking, industry tactics, health effects, the effects of addiction, and community advocacy. Additionally, we will be holding our third annual award gala to showcase some outstanding STAND individuals and groups who have gone beyond the call to action in their local communities. The conference will take place June 11 through 13.