FCYO launched the Learning and Exchange Fund (LEF) in 2016 as a part of its Youth Community Organizing Resource Exchange (Youth CORE) – a larger FCYO initiative that has a principal goal of building a more powerful, interconnected youth organizing field in the United States. Other Youth CORE programs include a regular series of open webinars and a national youth organizing convening that takes place every two years. The purpose of the LEF is to support in-person organizational learning and relationship building between youth organizing groups across the U.S., helping to foster important connections sparked during our Youth CORE National Convenings and elsewhere, and support learning and strategy development opportunities with peer organizations. FCYO encourages applicants to develop a plan to share their learnings with the broader youth organizing field and will engage with participants who are interested in sharing key lessons learned through field-wide webinars, journey stories or sessions at FCYO’s National Youth CORE convening.
Youth organizers have been at the forefront of creating and fortifying movements for social change. Through powerful organizing and movement building efforts, youth leaders have achieved meaningful change that has improved the living conditions of immigrant communities, black and brown youth, LGBTQ communities and working families. The current political landscape poses threats to these very communities as they continue to fight for racial, economic and social justice in the face of policy agendas that attempt to deny basic human rights. We are living in a powerful moment in which opportunities to create spaces for youth organizers to learn from each other and hone organizing strategies are critical to the sustainability and growing power of youth led organizing work. The Learning and Exchange Fund will support groups engaging young people in this important work to connect with each other and strengthen their organizations at this critical moment.
482 Forward (Detroit, MI) - The 482Forward Youth Collective is planning to host a Michigan student summit, led and planned by Detroit youth, in early summer 2019. 482Forward is hoping to use this summit as an opportunity to deepen relationships with students across Detroit and a few organizations that are starting to do youth organizing across the state.
A Better Chance, A Better Community, Inc. (Roanoke Rapids, NC) - A Better Chance A Better Community (ABC2) will bring together 7 youth organizing groups to create a shared strategy for a (NC, VA, DC, Maryland, SC, GA) regional convening to lower the voting age to 16. This collaboration includes the following groups: ABC2 World Changers, School Without Walls, Kinston Teens, Youth Empowered Solutions (Y.E.S.!), The Future Foundation DC, Vote16USA and Youth Ambassadors for A Better Community.
Anakbayan-USA (National) - Anakbayan will gather members from six major regions across the U.S. for a national convening with Migrante US. The regions include: Pacific Northwest; Northern California; Southern California; Midwest; Northeast; and the D.C. metropolitan area. Through this exchange, member groups will be trained to organize and wage base building campaigns that center youth and migrant workers at the intersection of immigration justice, human trafficking, education and labor rights.
Arab American Action Network (Chicago, IL) - The Arab American Action Network (AAAN) will convene a joint meeting in Chicago of national AMEMSA (Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian) youth organizing institutions who are all working on campaigns towards racial justice led by low-income young people and young people of color. Specifically, the AAAN, the Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC), Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM),and The Campaign to Take on Hate (TOH) focus on campaigns to protect undocumented immigrants from mass detentions and deportations, provide Know Your Rights presentations and workshops, and establish Hate Free Zones in their communities.
Bridges (Memphis, TN) - Bridges will send the CHANGE Fellows from their Bridge Builders program to work with youth from Oasis in Nashville to begin forging relationships, strategy, and skills to create a statewide youth organizing network in Tennessee.
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities (New York, NY) - CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities’ youth members will have the opportunity to learn from youth in the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM), another organization that develops youth leaders through youth-led campaigns. Youth in this exchange will learn how to develop youth-led campaigns, explore integrated adult-youth organizing, and bring back ideas they can incorporate and customize around CAAAV’s membership base and needs.
Chinese Progressive Assocation (San Francisco, CA ) - Chinese Progressive Association is partnering with Youth Organize! California to bring together 8 to 10 youth organizations across California together in a day-long exchange in Oakland, CA. Youth organizations will come from all over California to: (1) share models for healing-centered practices and support youth in owning these practices; (2) build strong mutual relationships with multi-racial allies who are invested in personal, cultural, and institutional healing-centered organizing and (3) deepen alignment on strategic campaigns, including the Schools & Communities First ballot initiative, that can support healing-centered practices in schools and communities.
Churches United for Fair Housing (Brooklyn, NY) - Churches United for Fair Housing (CUFFH), a housing justice organization based in the neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Bushwick in New York, will hold a youth organizing summer exchange program with Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), an environmental organization in the Roxbury area of Boston. This exchange will build strong intersectional connections between each movement and develop tools for further alignment.
Deep Center (Savannah, GA) - Deep Center will do a learning exchange with Communities United for Restorative Justice in the Bay Area and the Oasis Center in Nashville, TN. They will learn how to deepen their YPAR and youth organizing work, as well as how to incorporate narrative storytelling in their efforts to dismantle Chatham County’s robust and destructive school-to-prison pipeline.
EmpowerMT (Montana - Statewide) - EmpowerMT will support the successful implementation of LGBTQ youth support and empowerment in Montana’s rural and reservation communities for Tumbleweed in Billings, MT and Love Lives Here in Kalispell, MT.
Global Action Project (New York, NY ) - Global Action Project (GAP), Jews for Racial and Economic Justice and Ugnayan Youth co-led a story-based strategy training withthe citywide No Amazon Coalition and the Hate Free Zone Coalition in Queens, which was attended by over 20 community leaders. The session resulted in messaging strategies to both stop Amazon’s development processes and to build community power for leveraging demands that go beyond the Amazon deal and fight for what our communities need and deserve: secure housing, living wage jobs, and safe communities. GAP’s Youth Breaking Borders will coordinate a narrative strategy convening with our Hate Free Zone partners and Mijente to: 1) map out the ongoing struggle to continue to hold Amazon accountable for its unaccountable development and labor practices and its involvement with ICE and 2) leverage the recent campaign win, in order to build power for ongoing citywide work to demand equitable community development, that centers people and not corporations.
Hearing Youth Voices (New London, CT) - Hearing Youth Voices will host a learning exchange between youth, youth organizers, parents, and school staff (primarily teachers and paraprofessionals) to “test” and deepen their new framework on educational justice to see where it works and where it doesn’t. They have been organizing with youth for 6 years, with parent leaders for 1 year, and this will be their first step into strategic engagement with school staff. Their primary point of impact is at the local level, but they are in conversations with youth organizing groups and educational justice advocates statewide and regionally to explore how to build a secondary ripple of impact statewide and regionally.
Highlander Research and Educaton Center (The South and Appalachia) - Highlander Research and Education Center will host Seeds of Fire (SOF), a 2 week camp in July 2019 for up to 30 participants. Seeds of Fire is a yearlong program at Highlander that brings together Southern and Appalachian youth-led and youth centered groups and individuals organizing for social justice and change.
Make the Road NY (New York, NY) - Make the Road NY will organize a National Make the Road retreat for Youth Power Project members from Make the Road New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Nevada. At the 3-day retreat, they will deepen relationships and develop a strategy for their national fight against the school to prison/deportation pipeline. The retreat will provide the opportunity to build relationships, exchange ideas and approaches for local organizing, and build a more cohesive vision for leveraging a collaborative effort to use YPP’s model with national impact.
Power California/ 99 roots (California - Statewide) - Power California/99 Roots will have a learning exchange with Resilience Orange County. Both organizations are hoping to strengthen partnership as youth groups that share values, have a bold vision to expand the electorate in their communities, and engage in cultural healing work. Their learning goals are: Sharing best practices and strategies in civic engagement in conservative areas, sharing the diversity and demographics of their communities and their models of implementing transformative framework, partnering in envisioning a campaign to expand voter rights to undocumented and youth 16 and 17 year old in local elections.
ReThink (New Orleans, LA) - Rethink's emerging leaders will participate in a joint study and training process along with organizers from Philadelphia Student Union and Youth United for Change. Their learning exchange will focus on hosting a week long space where leaders from each organization will engage in political education focused on self-determination and human development, training on how to ground organizing and facilitation in these themes and planning on how to integrate them deeper into their work.
Together for Brothers (Albuquerque, NM) - Together for Brothers, along with local Albuquerque partner Hiyupo Alliance at the Native American Community Academy, and other partners in Portland, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and Honolulu, Kalihi Valley Instructional Bike Exchange (KVIBE), will explore the connection between biking, built environment and access to transportation and other healthy habits like exercise and food justice with youth organizing. The exchanges will also focus on how healing and self-care are essential parts of youth organizing.
Voices for Racial Justice (Minneapolis, MN) - Voices for Racial Justice will host an exchange with the Little Earth Residents Association and the Red Lake Nation. The focus will be to expand the scope of our partnership, creating a bridge for learning between indigenous youth from the Twin Cities and Ojibwe youth from Red Lake in rural Minnesota. Grounded in a youth organizing environment, this exchange is culturally rooted in indigenous histories, culture, and knowledge.
Young Alaskan Organizers Network (Alaska - Statewide) - The Young Alaskans Organizing Network is made of up 20 groups of Alaskans ages 19-30 committed to working together to activate young people from across the state on social and environmental justice issues. They will hold their first statewide in-person convening to share learnings from local organizing work, strengthen relationships across different communities, and strategize for the future.