Thursday, October 6, 2022

Conference for U.S. Foster Youth Aging Out of Foster Care System a Success

*The First Annual “Level Up Conference,” an inspirational virtual one-day event, took place Saturday, December 11 at 11:30 am ET (8:30 am PT). The conference was a collaboration between Earth Wind and Fire icon Philip Bailey’s Music Is Unity Foundation; The Felix Organization, co-founded by award-winning casting director Sheila Jaffe and Run DMC’s Darryl McDaniels;

…and The Purple Project founded by former foster youth LaTasha Watts. Together, their mission with the “Level Up Conference” is to inspire, educate and prepare foster youth aging out of the foster care system. All foster youth, present and former between the ages of 14-24 were invited to participate in the FREE conference HERE.

The conference will include keynote speakers, panel discussions and workshops on the following categories:

  • Future planning
  • Safety/Health
  • Self-Care
  • Relationships

“Three charities got together, and the result is the first ever launch of a united unprecedented effort to help youth aging out of the foster care system,” says Phillip Bailey, Founder of the Music Is Unity Foundation.

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Philip Bailey – Music is Unity Foundation

“Never has this been more critical so kudos to our teams who orchestrated this inspirational, uplifting day and we plan to expand every year until we hit every state in the nation and every kid who deserves this opportunity,” added Run DMC’s Darryl McDaniels, Co-Founder of The Felix Organization.

LaTasha Watts, Founder of The Purple Project said, “You have three amazing organizations coming together to create change and to develop a platform that will make a positive and lasting impact on the foster care community.”

Speakers for the Level Up Conference include ACLU Senior Staff Attorney, Carl Takei; TV Producer and Actress, Candi Marie DanielsNew York Times best-selling author and Attorney,

Regina Calcaterra; Founder and Executive Director of Black Mothers Speak, Renee Culbertson; Costume Design professionals, Alita Bailey and Rita McGhee, who have over 15 years of experience designing wardrobes for hit TV shows like “Empire,” “Martin,” etc.; AmeriCorps College Guide and the College Now program, Dr. LaRita Hand and David Burke; Michelle Knight, New York Times best-selling author and featured in national news including “Today Show,” People Magazine for her inspirational abduction survival story; among others.

The event included resources for Foster Youth and fun giveaways, prizes, and more!

More information on the foundations is available via these links: Music Is Unity , The Purple Project  and  The Felix Organization.

Foster Care - Getty
Foster Care – Getty

About the Music Is Unity Foundation (MIU)
MIU is a leading non-profit created by Mr. Bailey to focus on youth aging out of foster care. Since 2007 MIU has provided grants to non-profit, community-based organizations and agencies offering supportive services to the over 23,000 youth who are emancipating from the U.S. Foster Care system each year. For more information about MIU, please visit, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram at @musicisunity.

About The Felix Organization

The Felix Organization was co-founded in 2006 by Rock ’n Roll Hall of Famer, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and Emmy Award-winning casting director, Sheila Jaffe. Both adopted and grateful to have been “taken home”, they were compelled to use their resources and experience to enrich the lives of children growing up in the foster care system. They had no idea the impact this partnership would have on the lives of so many disadvantaged children. Felix has raised over 5.5 million since its inception 15 years ago, served nearly 13,000 children in the foster care system, sent almost 3,000 children to five camps on two coasts, and distributed over $315,000 to 10,000 individuals in need through grants and gift cards.  For more information, please visit, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram @felixorganization.

About The Purple Project

The Purple Project was founded in 2009 by award winning child advocate, author and former foster care alumni, LaTasha C. Watts. The Purple Project has served over 5000, former and current foster youth since its inception 12 years ago. It hosts one of the largest foster care youth conferences in the country, which focuses on independent living, mental health and resiliency. Through their One Voice program, they have assisted over 2000 youth with maintaining stability in the areas of housing, education, nutrition, medical, legal and employment. The Purple Project’s Rise program has provided professional training to over 1000 professionals, and supportive staff in the fields of psychology, social work, criminal justice, and counseling.   For more information, please visit, and follow us on Instagram @thepurpleproject1, and on Facebook @thepurpleproject.

Source: Jenny McIntosh |




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