Onyx Walker is a first-generation Queens born Jamaican American. Growing up in Brooklyn, he experienced the effect of over policing in low-income neighborhoods and the lack of quality education for young people. He has spent 10 years organizing locally and nationally on social issues like the School-to-Prison pipeline and housing for homeless youth.
Young people have been at the forefront of all of his organizing work and peer advocacy work as there is no future without them. The many struggles that come with challenging established social stigmas as a young person is something he is keenly aware of and continues to break it down piece by piece.
Uniquely positioned to take in the wisdom of older generations and draw on their experience living through a global youth mental health pandemic, Youth Voices must be heard in the conversation of how best to support youth mental health. Isaiah Santiago, a 19-year-old youth advocate recently elected to the Rochester City School Board, will facilitate a diverse panel of youth (high school age to 25) who will share their views on what it will take to support youth mental wellness in their communities.