YES Prep Public Schools
Carnetta Griffin-Daniels

The 2024 Brotherhood Sisterhood Summit was held on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at YES Prep Southside Secondary. This year’s theme was Reclaiming What’s Ours! Our bodies. Our voices. Our Culture. Our Freedom. While the theme derived from one of Maxine Water’s infamous quotes “reclaiming my time,” the theme represents the impact and history Black culture has had on society. It is about empowering and reminding students and staff of the gravity of what Black people can do, can be and can become. There were roughly 180 high school students in attendance this year, representing all secondary campuses.

By day, I am the manager of secondary student programming and by night, I am the Brotherhood Sisterhood Summit Lead. This is my sixth year working with the Brotherhood Sisterhood Summit and fifth year as the lead. Each year I am more amazed and grateful for all the love and support that is poured into the summit from the district, campus and community.

Experiences and activities at the summit

We started the summit with a warm welcome and fun ice breakers. Editions of This or That and Black Card Revoked games gave students an opportunity to engage with one another as they began the day. The students were given prompts, such as, “how do you eat your grits” and they moved from one side or the other with their choice. It was fun seeing the choices students made.

Students were then divided into cohorts based on their grade level and engaged in three sessions: Yard Runners, The Skin I’m In and Bring a Folding Chair, all lead by YES Prep staff and aligning to the overall theme.

The Yard Runners session was about getting involved in student organizations in college while maintaining high academic achievement. Students were able to make connections with the organizations they are in now and how they can continue to enhance their leadership skills when in college. The Skin I’m In session was about the intersectionality of Blackness and helping students become comfortable in their own skin. The Bring a Folding Chair session was about teaching and empowering students to take up space, and when there isn’t room at the table, bring a folding chair.

The seniors engaged in intentional sessions including a Senior Culture Shock session where they discussed their excitement and fears of transitioning from YES Prep. We even had a YES Prep graduate, Toni Ursin, share their YES Prep experience and provided students with advice on how to navigate the freedoms, challenges and triumphs of college. Seniors also engaged in a career panel/mixer called What Glass Ceiling? In this session, students heard from over 12 Black professionals and their experiences in their respective fields. We’d like to give a huge thank you the following career panelists for showing up for our students:

Career Panelists:

  • Mercedes Moore, Ph.D, LMFT, co-founder of Therapy Matters
  • Linell Bonner III, owner and creator of Once An Athlete
  • Bianca Bonner, quality engineer at NOV
  • Calicia Johnson, senior product manager at Xbox
  • Bobby Cox, recruiter at Eide Bailly
  • Kamille Byrd, manager of recruitment at Teach for America
  • Jamere King, U.S. Gulf Coast sr. supply coordinator for ExxonMobil
  • Tershundrea Branch, Ph.D., LPC, CSC, NCC, assistant professor at Sam Houston State University
  • Albert Yemitan, senior manufacturing leader at PepsiCo-Frito Lay
  • Ajani Spiller, financial representative at Rethink Wealth LLC
  • Oseremen “Ose” Ejedawe, manager of customer experience implementation at Comcast


Before lunch, we held our senior highlight, where seniors received their unique Kente graduation stoles that they will be able to wear at graduation. Students learned about the significance of stoles and each color. They then heard an inspirational word from Ms. Rocquelle Porch, a college counselor at YES Prep Southside Secondary, who reminded them to take up space, because they are worthy to be in all spaces. All students had lunch and social hour, when they were able to mix and mingle with other students, which ended in line dancing to their favorite songs.

Students ended their day participating in choice sessions ranging from discussions on who is invited to the cookout, beauty shop and barbershop talk and the impact they have on the Black community, Black hair care and history and vision board making.

The summit’s impact

This year, we were excited to offer more career panelists from a variety of career fields for our seniors. It’s important for students to see as much representation as possible and the reassurance that they, too, belong in any space. Although we offer the Senior Culture Shock session every year, we are always amazed at what students share and hear their excitement about going to college. We were happy to provide students with the space to be able to ask questions, learn more about college and continue to build community.

We love to highlight our seniors and I am thrilled we were able to give two seniors, Toast Mason from YES Prep White Oak Secondary a Comcast swag bag and Joel Clement from YES Prep Southeast Secondary, a laptop for college donated by Comcast. Seeing the joy and thankfulness on their faces was unforgettable. It was heartwarming to see the entire cafeteria rally around and celebrate the two students.

The Brotherhood Sisterhood Summit was the place to be! When we talk about creating a safe space for students to bask in their identity, opportunities for networking and sessions where students can build upon their knowledge and skills as Black/African Americans, we hit the nail on the head every time. Students gain experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime and I will always encourage students to attend the summit each year. I hope that students continue to feel heard, seen and welcomed not only when attending the summit, but at YES Prep knowing that we value them and their identity.

Click here to view/download pictures of the 2024 Brotherhood Sisterhood Summit

About the author
Carnetta Griffin

Carnetta Griffin-Daniels (she/they) is an Omaha, Nebraska native and made Houston her new home in 2019 as the ACE Coordinator at YES Prep Northside Secondary. She now serves as the manager of secondary student programming supporting campuses with student culture and enrichment, afterschool and summer programming. Griffin-Daniels holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in Educational Administration with a specialization in Student Affairs both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has spent over 10 years working with students in providing high-quality, engaging and intentional programming to meet their needs, foster creativity and highlight their multitude of identities. Griffin-Daniels is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and is currently the program chair for the Delta GEMS program in the Houston Metropolitan Alumnae chapter. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones and cozying up to a good book.


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