Shane Gilbert, executive director of Come Let’s Dance, spoke of hope and change starting with African youth in Uganda. A filmmaker, Gilbert leads the non-profit, grassroots organization dedicated to empowering African youth to initiate positive social and economic change in their lives and communities. She and her staff realized that orphans and street children in Uganda are the future mothers, fathers, leaders and role models of African society. The organization is working toward breaking the poverty and orphan cycle.
Gilbert spoke to dozens of students from Montbello High School and community members March 10 in the Tivoli Turnhalle as the second installment of Global Cities, a three-part series exploring the development of contemporary cities around the world. The series shows empowerment under way in these communities as well as the common challenges that these cities face. The series focuses, in particular, on the conditions affecting the lives of urban youth in places as varied as Rio de Janeiro, Uganda and New Orleans.
Come Let’s Dance was established in 2006 by a group of friends from Colorado. A Colorado native, Gilbert leads a highly dedicated team of volunteers who devote their talent and time to staff relief trips, administrate projects and programs and to raise financial support for the organization.
The Global Cities series will continue April 21 with Daniella Cook presenting “Trying to Talk to the Powers that Be: The Stories of Black Educators with School Reform in Post-Katrina New Orleans.”
Photo: Shane Gilbert, left, presents with her daughter, Jessica.