While many of you may know me as a member of the YP4 Alumni community, I am writing you today to let you know that I have officially stepped into a new role as the Director Young People For (YP4).
I am honored and deeply humbled by the opportunity to serve, nurture, and cultivate a new community of freedom fighters. I look forward to pouring both my time and energy into building a stronger and unified progressive movement, and to interacting with our nation’s brightest young minds.
I strongly believe that the strength of our work together lies in the integrity of our personal and community relationships — in the ways that we hold each other in our complexity, our trauma, and our power. For those who may not know me as well, I want to introduce myself and my vision for YP4 moving forward.
As Director, I am re-entering the YP4 space, which for years I have called home. I bring not only my experience as a YP4 fellow, but diverse personal and professional experiences building and sustaining movements that is youth-centered for positive social change. I have organized both locally and internationally to ensure that our voices are being heard. As a 2010 YP4 Fellow and SGA President at Florida International University, I organized the student body to leverage our collective power in local elections- reframing the conversation away from particular candidates to issues that affect young people. In the years since, I have worked on juvenile justice issues statewide in Florida, making the case for and creating a youth governing body — the Florida Youth Commission — and have organized community college students in Cali, Colombia to manifest their power and voices through voting and teaching leadership development at the National Service of Learning ( SENA).
As I move into this leadership role within YP4 and the People for the American Way Foundation, I draw inspiration from each and every one of you — an amazing community of fellows and Alumni who each day work towards our collective freedom with intention and purpose. You all are the source of this program’s strength, its reason for being, and its strongest advocates. Now more than ever I believe it is essential that we hone our skills, raise our voices, and defend our core values. As we face an increasingly hostile, toxic political climate, it is up to us to imagine a world where we can thrive — one where our survival isn’t predicated on the peaks and valleys of electoral politics — and to build towards that vision together.
In the days, weeks, and months ahead I’ll be reaching out to you all to inform my work as YP4 Director. I encourage you to hold me and the program accountable to our vision for collective freedom. Please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all of your thoughts, concerns, and dreams for the future.
Christin “Cici” Battle