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Out with the old, in with the new and equitable life we all deserve,” says Daikira Brown-Turner when talking about ACTIVATE, a conference aimed to activate one’s voice and strengths to dismantle the status quo.

Daikira believes the topic of grassroots advocacy is not discussed enough, or there is often a perception that change starts with the state legislature instead of individuals in a community demanding change.

What is more, she witnessed first-hand how grassroots activists can have an impact: from her time experiencing the Chicago CPS school closings in her childhood to the Humanity in Action Fellowship, Daikira feels inspired by the grassroots activists around her. Therefore, she wanted to address the status quo of grassroots activism and how real change can be made through healing and conversation.


ACTIVATE was a conference with umbrella themes such as healing circle, advocacy in Chicago, and micro-aggressions. The aim was to give the audience the understanding that with conversations, experience and understanding comes real change.

Daikira’s university provided a space for the event, while Exuberance – An Intentional Sisterhood became a key partner who helped to ensure adequate funding and refreshments.

The audience left with some proper resources to make a change.

A snapshot from the Conference day.

The program was built around honest, intimate conversations with a call to action. What is more, the audience left with some proper resources to make a change.

A highlight for Daikira was a session on micro-aggressions. “It truly captured my entire vision. The conversation was so powerful,” she remembers.

And a lesson learned? Start with marketing as soon as possible, Daikira recommends.

Next Steps

After a successful conference, Daikira hopes to make ACTIVATE an annual event. Currently, she is figuring out how she could host one next year.

Updated June 2022