The regional trainings mark the beginning of each new Fellowship year. At the regional trainings Fellows learn foundational social justice leadership skills through workshops, alumni trainers, and discussions. This event is closed.

The regional trainings mark the beginning of each new Fellowship year. At the regional trainings Fellows learn foundational social justice leadership skills through workshops, alumni trainers, and discussions. This event is closed.

In 2015, YP4 hosted three regional trainings at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH; the University of California at Berkeley; and Charlotte, NC at Queens University of Charlotte.

Fellows were trained on eight core curriculum pieces and had the opportunity to learn from and interact with YP4 staff, alumni and partners. Fellows had time to think critically and collaborate on their Blueprints for Social Justice through issue-based working groups. They also delved deeper into facilitated conversations on institutional power, privilege, oppression and race through identity-based breakout groups.

In addition to the regional trainings, YP4 hosted a pre-convening for six community college fellows from North Carolina. The day-long training explored and discussed a variety of topics: the state of their communities and cities; the diversity of resources and observations within their communities and why they want to do social justice work; how to pitch their work when they are networking and building relationships with allies, supporters and the general public; what skills they already have and what skills they need; how to develop elevator pitches to talk about their work; how to move their work along within academic and/or political networks; how to maneuver within social justice networks; how to build their own teams to advance a progressive agenda in their communities; and how to estimate the amount of money it take to do their work and how raise support for it.

In early September Fellows were matched with peer and alumni mentors to support their individual development and the implementation of their Blueprints for Social Justice. YP4 staff looks forward to supporting this class of 120 Fellows from 35 states and 90 campus and communities and supporting them in enacting positive change.

In the months after YP4’s Inaugural Courts Matter Training, fellows returned to their communities and strategized ways to incorporate a courts lens into their day-to-day work. As fellows reached out to other students, community organizations, and neighborhood leaders, they quickly discovered a key barrier to more impactful organizing on courts issues: a lack of information on how courts function at the state and federal level as well as a general confusion as to where one might enter the world of courts organizing. To bridge that divide, YP4 decided to crowd-source a “Little Black Book” of resources for our fellows doing the work of engaging in strategic conversations around the role of courts matter activism in achieving dynamic, lasting progressive change. We gathered best practices, personal testimonies, and researched essays from our Courts Matter Training cohort to assemble the 25-page booklet that can help explain the value of courts organizing to any young person. This collaborative project of our inaugural Courts Matter Initiative has since been distributed at conferences, distributed to coalition partners, and made available for free download online.

By Christina Tudor, Current YP4 Fellow

I’ll start by introducing myself. My name is Christina Tudor and I’m the Civic Engagement intern at Young People For (YP4) this summer and current member of the 2015-2016 fellowship class. My main goal for the summer is to start up YP4’s blog team. Blogs are a great platform for writers to connect with one another, share opinions, and elevate important causes. I’ve been blogging for about six months now and it has been one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things I’ve ever done.

I started college nearly two years ago and decided to major in writing with the idea that I wanted to grow up to “write stuff.” Like most eighteen year olds, I had no idea what I was doing. I started getting involved in many important causes. I advocated for reproductive justice, spoke with legislators about the Women’s Equality Agenda, and held education events on Title IX. I’ll let you in on a little secret, while I was doing all these things, I tried to start a blog. But I was too afraid to put my thoughts online. Then, a friend who worked my college’s newspaper asked me to write for their blog. She said she noticed all the work I did on campus and asked me to blog about activism.

I said yes and my first blog post was up the next day.

Being asked to blog for someone else was just the push needed to start writing and posting about important social issues and activism. Many opportunities have emerged out of my original decision to start blogging. I now have direction in my writing; I now have a voice in the movements I really care about. I am so incredibly excited to launch this Blog Team and maybe give others the same push that I needed to start blogging.

Some Quick Benefits of Blogging:

  • It’s a Great Creative Outlet

Even if you were never one who kept a journal or write your thoughts down, writing about events in your life, projects you’re working on, and social justice causes is a great outlet to process how you feel and spread the word about something you care about. As an activist, it is also a great method of self-care to process through the movement you’re working in and educate others.

  • Public Support and Personal Connections

The reactions that friends, family, and others have to something you write may surprise you. Although you should write for yourself and not just so people will see it, it is very rewarding when someone approaches you to say they relate to what you wrote, or that they never thought about something before.

  • Visibility Brings Opportunities

Being able to have published writing samples online will help you a great deal professionally. In fact, the whole reason why I have this internship is because a journalism professor suggested it to me after he found my blog. When your work is visible, people might reach out to you about it and it is a great way to showcase your writing capabilities, who you are as a person, and what you care about.

  • Uplifting Issues and Engaging in Important Conversations

As I mentioned, I was worked on a ton of social justice related projects before I started blogging and one of the best parts about blogging is that it gave me a space to share my thoughts and uplift important issues. Many important causes are (unfortunately) not always discussed in mainstream places like the classroom or workplace. A blog is a space that’s yours and you should use it write honestly and engage in necessary conversations that aren’t had in other places.

  • Self-Improvement

It may sound cheesy, but blogging is an opportunity for personal development on many levels. I came to blogging with a strong writing abilities but that is not a necessity. If I were to scroll back through all my old posts, I notice that they get progressively better and I’m more comfortable with each post. Throughout this yearlong project, you will grow as a writer as well as become more confident tackling tough topics and sharing your activism with others.

If you think you’re passionate and that you have some important insights to share with the world, fill out the blog team application here. Even if you’re scared or unsure of yourself, apply. It just might pay off.

All the best,

Christina

Civic Engagement Intern-Young People For (YP4)

ctudor@pfaw.org

Young People For is excited to welcome 150 of the best and brightest young activists into this year’s 2014-2015 YP4 Fellowship Class.  These young people hail from 127 campuses and communities and 39 states. Additionally, this year’s class includes a higher representation of students from historically Black colleges and universities, community colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal colleges than in years past.  The YP4 team cannot wait to meet these promising young leaders at this year’s YP4 Regional Trainings in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston.

 

Below are a handful of examples of the young leaders who will make up our 2014-2015 YP4 Fellowship Class. We look forward to working with them throughout the coming year and beyond!

 

Celeste Tinajero

Celeste TinajeroCurrently a student at Truckee Meadows Community College, Celeste Tinajero first became keyed into environmental action when she joined the Eco Warriors club in 2011, during her sophomore year at Reed High School. Though their work, the club secured over $15,000 in grant money to renovate their outdated and wasteful bathrooms and to purchase a Brita Hydration Station to reduce the “disposal” of plastic water bottles. Those were the most rewarding moments of her life.  As a freshman at TMCC, Celeste is currently planning to become an pre-school teacher, although she is committed to keeping sustainability progress as part of her goal. Celeste feels very fortunate and thankful for the opportunity to work with Black Rock Solar to continue to pursue her passion in education and sustainability.

 

Devin Murphy

Devin MurphyDevin Murphy is double majoring in Political Science and Afro-American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Born and raised in the San Francisco, CA, his unwavering commitment to progressive issues is no surprise. His exposure living in the City has given him insight to the structural inequities that limit the access to education, healthcare, and the right to vote to African-Americans and other historically disenfranchised communities. He intends to pursue a career in public policy in order to provide communities of color with access to resources that provide the knowledge and skills to enhance their ability to enter higher education and become conscious, proactive participants in their democracy.

 

Candace Roane

CandaceCandace Roane is a sophomore at Bowling Green State University studying Communication with a focus in promotions and advertising. She is an executive board member of BGSU’s Feminist Organization Raising Consciousness and Empowerment, and is passionate about raising awareness for social and reproductive rights. This year she was the first sophomore at BGSU to produce The Vagina Monologues, and organized a community donation drive for the Cocoon shelter, a local women’s shelter. Candace is a self-proclaimed bargain hunter, she enjoys thrift shopping, reading magazines, making art, and watching how to videos on Youtube.

 

Jesús Vásquez-Cipriano

Jesus Vásquez-CiprianoJesús envisions a new kind of society grounded in “In Lak’ech,” a Mayan ethos affirming: “You are my other me. If I harm you, I harm myself. If I love and respect you, I love and respect myself.” He believes having this profound sense of oneness with each other is the light that can help end systematic sexism and racism. Guided by “In Lak’ech,” Jesús lives to help heal and empower those who are isolated, persecuted, and silenced by these forces. As an undocumented American, Zapotec, and scholar-activist at UC Berkeley, he works to expand the economic, political, and educational opportunities available to Bay Area people impacted by injustices like poverty and mass incarceration. Jesús looks forward to meeting, learning from, and working with these marginalized people, whom he frames not as “people of struggle” but “people of overcoming.”

 

Danielle Lucero

Daneille LuceroDanielle Lucero is a rising senior at Columbia University in the City of New York who double majors in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies with a specialization in American Indian Education. She is from Isleta Pueblo in New Mexico and is very much involved in her community. She is a part of the growing Native American Council at Columbia University and a co-founder of a summer program called AlterNative Education. She is extremely dedicated to making the Native community at Columbia University one that is both welcoming and educational. She is very family-oriented and everything she learns in school and achieves in life is aimed to better her community and family. She  hopes to be a role model for all Native youth, especially the youth of Isleta and Indian Country.