FCYO's Youth Speakers Bureau is an assembly of five passionate and diverse youth organizers who are looking to build out their communications skills while serving as an advocate for the field of youth organizing. FCYO’s Youth Speakers Bureau is designed to support participants through their professional development as organizers. Foundational organizing topics center on thought leadership and communication - practices that are critical to community-based youth organizing.
Meet the 2022-2023 Cohort Below!
Ixchel Arista is a seventeen-year-old rising senior at Oakland High School and an organizer at Oakland Kids First. She is part of two of their internships: site-based REAL HARD and the city-wide Youth Organizing Council. Ixchel is also involved with the Core Leaders Committee, an extension of the Oakland Youth Vote coalition that works towards implementing OYV (UCF's main campaign since she joined in 2019.) Ixchel is a TV geek and can talk about, analyze, and dissect a movie or TV show for hours. She is also a member of the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company and assist in teaching kids at Destiny Arts Center on the weekends.
MJ Brand is a Latinx, genderqueer youth pursuing higher education. MJ is a local youth activist and was previously the Youth Programming Coordinator at Providence Student Union where she helped research and design workshops, programs, and events while building peer-to-peer relationships with other students. MJ is also a rising junior at Wheaton College, majoring in Sociology with a minor in Peace and Social Justice to become a social worker and continue social justice and advocacy work. MJ is a bubbly and determined jokester who loves anime and creating art, specifically clay pottery or mini paintings.
Em Jewett is a youth organizer from Providence, Rhode Island. In her work with the Providence Student Union, she has fought to remove police from schools and for increased access and equity for trans students. In addition, she is a medic with the Trash City Medic Collective, where she provides frontline care at protests as well as building alternatives to the broken mainstream medical system.
Tyler Okeke, 21, is a fourth-year student at the University of Chicago from Los Angeles and a Board member at Power California, a statewide youth power-building & civic engagement organization. In April 2019, during his time as the student representative on the L.A. Unified school board, he worked with Power CA to introduce a resolution to study the feasibility of expanding voting rights to sixteen and seventeen-year-olds for school board elections -- which passed unanimously. That summer, he joined Power CA as Vote at 16 youth organizer and helped build a statewide coalition to support local and statewide efforts to expand voting rights to young people in California. Since then, he has appeared on numerous radio and print media platforms, speaking about issues young people care about and he joined Power California's board in 2021.
Kaylynn Steen is from Brandon, MS, and is a rising senior studying at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS studying Journalism and Public Policy Leadership. She currently serves as Undersecretary of Programming for the Associated Student Body and is also the Public Relations Chair for the University of Mississippi Association of Black Journalists. Kaylynn is also a One Girl, One Vote Fellow for Mississippi Votes. Upon graduation, she plans to continue working with nonprofits centered around social justice issues.