Each fall, the three-day event brings students together from private and public middle schools with a wide range of demographics to tackle issues of racism, stereotypes, prejudice and bullying.
Summit organizers said students often do not have the means or the vocabulary to address intolerance. The event helps students learn how to recognize their own biases and overcome prejudices, as well as tackle the issue of bullying in school, through various small group exercises and discussions.
More than 5,000 students and 400 school counselors throughout metro Atlanta have participated in the POP Summit since its inception in 1997.
“We see the summit as a starting point of discovery and we hope students will continue this exploration throughout the year and throughout their lives,” said Richard Welch, a POP facilitator. “One day can’t change someone, but it’s a start.”
Students selected to attend POP are pegged as top leaders and performers in their respective schools. They are encouraged to take the lessons they’ve learned at POP and teach them to their peers.