There’s no minimum age for leadership
It’s time youth are no longer excluded from real world decision-making.
As an intergenerational and multiracial organization dedicated to elevating the civic leadership of teens from marginalized backgrounds, the Youth Activism Project has a message specifically for Black youth in this current political climate:
You matter. Your life matters. Your interests, your passions, your hopes, your dreams — they all matter. The Youth Activism Project exists, in part, so that you can amass the skills and resources to demand that decision-makers, too, care about your lives and your aspirations. We stand in solidarity with all the youth-serving organizations that believe building the power of Black youth is key for breaking cycles of oppression once and for all.
This month—which also contains Juneteenth and coincides with LGBTQ Pride month—our organization will focus especially on supporting and uplifting Black youth and Black queer youth as well as the movement for Black lives generally. This support looks like (but is not limited to):
– Disseminating information about actions that our youth, supporters, and followers can take to provide mutual aid and demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Sandra Bland, and other victims of police brutality and racism who deserve to be alive today.
– Providing safe spaces led by Black youth, for Black youth in our network now and those who may join us in the future to process, heal, connect, strategize, and/or meet other needs.
– Prioritizing our activism training and mentoring to meet the needs of our Black youth leaders and to teach non-Black youth how to be genuine anti-racist accomplices.
– Doubling down on our commitment to using an intersectional framework in all of our work to ensure that our teen activists and adult allies understand how issues that youth face generally—educational inequities, mental illness, pressures from COVID-19, etc.—are exacerbated for Black youth due to systemic anti-Black racism and that all student-led movements supported by the Youth Activism Project include racial equity.
We also believe it is important to prioritize and uplift the work of Black-led, youth-serving organizations during this time. If you are wondering how you can support these organizations, below are some of our favorite groups that work tirelessly to build Black youth political power:
Youthprise (Minneapolis, MN)
Black Swan Academy (Washington, DC)
Assata’s Daughters (Chicago, IL)
Baltimore Algebra Project (Baltimore, MD)
Creative Reaction Lab (St. Louis, MO)
School Of Unity and Liberation (Oakland, CA)
Urban Youth Collective (New York, NY)
And if you are wondering how to support the Black youth leaders we work with at the Youth Activism Project, you can do so here.
It’s times like these when we’re once again reminded of why we do the work that we do. As much despair there is in the world currently, there’s also an abundance of hope—and that hope comes from young people, particularly Black youth. We are humbled and honored to be in this fight with you and we will be there with you until the very end.
Are you a young person interested in making change, but don’t know where to start? Or are you an adult who is inspired by the recent wave of youth activism in the U.S. and want to help out? We’d love for you to join our community!