NEWS

Over 50 Youth of Color-Led Organizing Groups to Hold Nationwide Actions Coinciding with National Walkout Day

POSTED: 4.15.2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 19, 2018

Contact: Mona Yeh, Funders’ Collaborative for Youth Organizing, mona@fcyo.org

Over 50 Youth of Color-led Organizing Groups to Hold Nationwide Actions Coinciding with National School Walkout Day

NEW YORK – On the heels of the national school walkout day on April 20, more than 50 youth organizing groups today announced a series of actions to end gun violence, reduce police presence in schools and invest in school counselors, restorative justice and other solutions that improve school climate. The youth of color-led groups include Alliance for Educational Justice, GoodKids MadCity, Los Angeles Student Activist Coalition, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos, Philadelphia Student Union, Urban Youth Collaborative, VOYCE Project and YVOTE. For these groups, and a host of national partners such as Advancement Project, the Center for Popular Democracy and the Schott Foundation, the school walkout is a continuation of the deep organizing work happening in local communities to push back on proposals that further criminalize Black and Brown students, including undocumented immigrants.

“Young people of color, from the communities most impacted by violence, are also hosting letter writing campaigns, community meetings, breakout groups designed to discuss alternatives to school police, social media campaigns, youth summits, teach-ins, voter registration drives, and much more,” said Eric Braxton, executive director of the Funders’ Collaborative for Youth Organizing. “Organizations led by young people of color have long been organizing to address gun violence and other forms of injustice. They are coming together to say that solutions must include the voices of those who have been impacted by violence.”

In addition to the walkout, beginning on April 20, the youth-of-color-led groups will:

  • Develop and distribute a letter from students presenting demands to keep young people safe. Organizer: Center for Popular Democracy (National)
    • Contact: Rhea Martin, rmartin@populardemocracy.org
  • Hold a rally and press conference at the University of Chicago Campus Trauma Center to demand increased resources for mental health services, restorative justice, youth jobs programs, and other things that give kids a real shot at success. Organizer: GoodKids MadCity (Chicago, IL)
    • Contact: Carlil Pittman, carlil@voyceproject.org
  • Organize a demonstration at the Santa Monica City Hall to promote gun violence prevention, register and pre-register adults and young, and host spoken word artists. Organizer: Los Angeles Student Activist Coalition 
    • Contact: Melanie Porras, melanieporras.a@gmail.com
  • Organize teach-ins, speeches and letter writing campaigns. Organizer: Padres y Jóvenes Unidos (Denver, CO)
    • Contact: Jake Cousins, jake@padresunidos.org
  • Host an Our Lives Our Vision Youth Summit on April 20. The summit will include a Police Framing panel, Vision Circles that will consist of breakout groups facilitated by youth leaders to discuss points raised in the panel and alternatives for school policing, and A Call to Action. Organizer: Philadelphia Student Union and Juntos (Philadelphia, PA)
    • Contact: Saudia Durrant, saudia@phillystudentunion.org
  • Share resources, tools, and information to help LGBTQ+ young people organize around school safety particularly as it relates to the school-to-prison pipeline and school pushout specifically of trans and queer Black and Brown youth. Promote dialogue on the intersections of trans and queer youth and school violence. Organizer: GSA Network (National)
    • Contact: Anna Davis (adavis@gsanetwork.org)
  • Host youth planning meetings and “Know Your Rights” trainings in San Bernadino, Los Angeles, Central Valley (Sanger), Santa Rosa and Orange County, CA. Partner with 21 different organizations to host voter registration drives at high schools leading up to the walkouts and during the walkouts. Some of the voter reg drives are happening on campuses during classroom presentations and school assemblies. Other are happening during lunch time. Others will be happening as students are walking out and where students will rally after they walk out. Organizer: YVOTE and YVOTE partners (California) 
    • Contact: Junghee Choi, jungheeconsulting@gmail.com, 213.792.4718

“Our lives, as well as our physical, mental, and emotional health are regularly threatened by gun violence, police violence, racism, sexism, and an economy that works for everyone else but us,” said Nancy Ramirez, a high school senior affiliated with GoodKids Mad City. “Despite the odds, we will never stop working to right the wrongs.”

To learn more or to speak with a youth leader, please contact Mona Yeh at mona@fcyo.org.

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Founded in 2000, the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) is a dynamic collective of social justice funders and youth organizing practitioners dedicated to advancing youth organizing as a strategy for youth development and social change.