On Tuesday July 9th we started the 4th annual summer Youth Organizing Institute. Over 20 youth from across the triangle gathered for the program. The first day was inspiring and will not soon be forgotten.
Along with the excitement of youth being able to meet other like-minded students, laughing during ice breakers and singing freedom songs, we began to build our ‘safe space’ that YOI participants and allies will grow and develop within in the next few weeks.
We began the day by getting to know each other and our stories. We described what ideals schools would consist of and discussed current problems young people are facing.
During the second part of the day we watched an inspiring film ‘Walk Out’ documenting the brave Chicano high school student-led protests that transformed California in the 1960s. Youth were able to open up about their own struggles with race and discrimination in their schools and their own desires to feel empowered and unified with other students.
Having spaces where youth can be empowered to tell their stories and can have honest and meaningful dialogue is rare. The excitement and wisdom that youth bring to the program serves as a reminder of why youth organizing is so important. While we are only just beginning YOI this year, the experiences that youth are bringing to the program are setting the stage for a transformative summer.
This work is invaluable, and we need our community’s help to gather the resources to make it happen. With only 4 days left on our online fundraising campaign we need help reaching our goal! Can you give $10, $15, or $20 to help show your support and solidarity for these inspiring youth learning the tools to make a difference in our communities?