YOI Hiring Three Student Interns

Youth Organizing Institute seeking 3 student interns for Fall 2013 to work on social media, marketing, organizing, and grassroots fundraising.

The Youth Organizing Institute is a popular education leadership development program for high school age LGBTQ youth, low-income youth, and youth of color in Wake, Durham and Orange counties. We believe in grassroots organizing and elevating the voices of young people to organize in their own name for meaningful change.

Positions are based in Triangle area. Our office is located in Durham and interns will be required to work in the office one day/week.


We are seeking candidates who can make a three month commitment: September 16 – December 18.


  •     A strong and proven commitment to progressive values and building the power of youth and students, especially LGBTQ youth, women, low-income youth, and youth of color,
  •     Excellent communication and teamwork skills,
  •     Excellent writing skills
  •     Reliable, outgoing, self-motivated and detail-oriented,
  •     A means of transportation to get to Durham once/week.


Submit resume, cover letter (NO LONGER THAN TWO PAGES), and three references to actionforcommunity@gmail.com. Use the subject line “YOI Intern” and which internship(s) you are applying for (communication, grassroots fundraising, event planning).  In your cover letter, please answer the following questions:

  •     Why are you applying and what skills and experiences?
  •     Why do you think youth organizing is important?
  •     Tell us about someone you consider a role model and why.
  •     Tell us about one issue you feel passionate about.

Communication Intern

Position: Intern (Paid)  A $500 stipend is offered with this Internship.
Dates: September 16, 2013 – December 18, 2013
Hours: 10-15 hours/week


  •     Help Brand the Youth Organizing Institute including T-shirts, website, social media, and other materials
  •     Create community awareness by coordinating a grassroots fundraising event
  •     Help with social media and traditional media outreach,
  •     Updating and revamping the website
  •     Donor management and engagement including, helping with donor management software implementation, sending newsletters, sending a mailing.

Event Planning Intern

Position: Intern (Paid)
Dates: September 16, 2013 – December 18, 2013
Hours: 10-15 hours/week


  •     Help plan the first annual winter Ella Baker Gala to Honor Youth Allies
  •     Help to develop program, location, invitations, and logistics
  •     Develop promotional materials for Gala
  •     Help find sponsors for the Gala

Grassroots Fundraising Intern

Position: Intern (Paid)
Dates: September 16, 2013 – December 18, 2013
Hours: 10-15 hours/week


  •     Work with community establishments, including local businesses to identify opportunities and solicit support
  •     Organize a grassroots fundraising event (could be a house party, drag show, triva night….) in Chapel Hill.
  •     Support Winter Ella Baker Gala to Honor Youth Allies, including soliciting and identify sponsors, auction items, outreach and logistics.



YOI Students Graduate

Graduation picture

On August 16, the Youth Organizing Institute gathered to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of this year’s participants.  Graduates chatted and shared delicious food provided by community caterer, Eva Panjwani.  We shared stories with movement elders and family members in the historic WW Finlator Hall at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.

After a report-back from our NC to FL Youth Solidarity delegation to support the Dream Defenders, youth shared projects and performances they had worked on independently in small groups. Family and community members offered snaps and applause as youth performed poems, presentations, and art pieces on issues in the school system, intersections of oppression, the evolution of sexism and feminism, and how they can solve issues in their own communities. As this year’s YOI graduates transition into the school year, we are excited to support them in the amazing work they’ll embark on in their own schools and communities!

YOI Goes to Greensboro

pictured: triangle youth in front of statues of the "Greensboro Four," four A&T students who began the sit-in movement of the 1960s

pictured: triangle youth in front of statues of the “Greensboro Four,” four A&T students who began the sit-in movement of the 1960s

On Thursday, July 11th, YOI joined several other area youth groups (SEEDSEl Pueblo, and Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s young farmer’s training program) on a field trip to Greensboro. The students boarded biofuel buses and then headed out to the first stop: a tour at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. The museum is located at the old Woolworth’s where the sit-in movement began, so we were able to see things such as the original lunch counters, dishes, and cash registers that were left behind when the department store closed.

Next, the buses headed over to the Beloved Community Center for lunch and fellowship with the community center staff and members of the NAACP. Our last activity was a grassroots history tour of Greensboro provided by the Beloved Community Center staff. Youth were able to see important historical sites such as Dudley High School and the site of the Greensboro Massacre. Visiting historical sites is an important way to remember our history and connect the work we are doing, as well as inspiring ourselves and honoring the sacrifices made by those who came before us.

Off to a great start

Session 1

Omi, leads YOI through an opening activity

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.

Breakout 1 report group 2

Youth describing their ideal school

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?

The 2013 Youth Organizing Institute starts tomorrow in Raleigh!

main pic for website

We are thrilled to have over 20 high school students from across the Triangle convening to build community and gain the tools to be organizers and advocates on their own behalf. In this exciting and critical time in North Carolina we recognize that building youth leadership in the movement is more important than ever! We need your support to help build the skills and leadership of young people. Help us by donating today!

The Youth Organizing Institute is doing something new as part of our new Building Bridges Teen Activist Convening Initiative and our 2013 Summer Curriculum.

For the forth year, the Youth Organizing Institute is putting together an exciting program for young people who want to learn about social justice history and organizing.  Due to overwhelming interest, this year we have DOUBLE the usual number of participants!  

This summer we are hosting a special Grassroots People’s History Field Trip to Greensboro on July 11.  The field trip includes:

  • Admission to the International Civil Rights Museum, the site of former Woolworths and the place the Greensboro 4 kicked off the Sit-In Movement,
  • A locally-made southern lunch served at the historic Beloved Community Center as we break bread with movement elders and share and listen to stories,
  • A customized grassroots people’s field trip of Greensboro created by the organizers at the Beloved Community Center,
  • Travel to and from Greensboro in a bio-diesel fueled bus,
  • Participation on the bus by Moral Mondays organizers who will share stories and teach us Movement Songs.

The cost per person is approximately $30.

It is so important to lift up our own People’s History – stories that we are not always taught in school.  In order to make this life-changing field trip a reality, we need support.

Spring Training

2013-05-04 14.16.59On May 4, high school students gathered for the Youth Organizing Institute Spring Training.  Youth from Orange, Wake, and Durham Counties gathered at the Street Scene Teen Center in Chapel Hill.  Popular education trainings were requested by the youth for this year’s spring training.  Additionally, leaders in NC HEAT helped to facilitate the trainings, along with adult allies from the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the Counter Cartographies Collective.


The curriculum included a school to prison pipeline 101 workshop, followed by a facilitation training so that the attendees could bring the training back to their schools and communities.  After lunch we had data, mapping, and cartography exercises to analyze data, then transform it into accessible and useful forms. This Spring’s Institute laid the groundwork for  the 4th annual Summer Institute, which will take place in July.