Youth Power Action Summer participants pose in front of a mural.
Youth focus on community organizing
Over the past seven weeks, dynamic youth from across New York came together in Brooklyn, Queens and—for the first time ever—in MRNY’s new Long Island location to participate in the Youth Power Project Action Summer Program. More than 50 youth spent their summer vacation in intensive training on community organizing, as well as engaging in art and media projects.
The youth focused on a variety of issues, from an in-depth analysis of policing in their communities to exploring a model for restorative justice in public schools. They began curating a ‘Stop, Question and Frisk’ museum exhibit that will make a five-borough tour in October to showcase the impact of racial profiling in. Additionally, youth leaders had the opportunity to travel to Chicago to conduct a youth-led “Train the Trainers” workshop and develop campaign strategies with other youth leaders from across the country, through our national coalition, the Alliance for Educational Justice.
Students also had the unique opportunity to work with international artist Dasic Fernandez to paint a ‘Know Your Rights’ mural in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and are completing another in Astoria, Queens. The murals are a tool to educate the community on their rights in schools and on the streets of their neighborhood.
MRNY’s youth newspaper, Word on the Street, also published an issue with contributions from nearly all the youth that participated in the program. This issue is a collection of articles on different social justice issues and campaigns with original creative writing pieces. Pick up your copy at the closest MRNY office!
MRNY school partners gear up for another year of social action!
This fall, MRNY youth at the Bushwick School for Social Justice will continue their work examining issues like police accountability and worker’s rights in their communities. Ninth grade students at BSSJ have the unique opportunity to explore a social justice issue in their advisory class.
In the spring, each advisory class selects an issue to exclusively focus on and plans a concrete way to take action, which ranges from attending a protest to raising awareness about the issue among fellow students to writing letters to lawmakers. At the end of the year, the advisory class then presents its project at the city-wide Social Justice Expo, giving them the chance to share their work with other youth from across New York.
BSSJ and MRNY’s other partner school, the Pan American International High School, look forward to a busy school year, including participating in Democracy Day on October 12 and other Youth Power project events and actions.