YouthPower, St. Paul Youth Services' youth-led organizing hub

Kids changing systems
vs. systems changing kids

YOUTH OF COLOR ARE EXPERTS on their lives, needs, and the injustices they face, but too rarely at the table in developing strategies for racial equity.  Our YouthPower initiative is built on that premise: an organizing hub where youth of color can gather, reflect, express themselves, build skills, organize, and advocate for serious change on issues that affect their lives. Youth participants are compensated for their efforts and ideas. They also experience an affirming curriculum of Healing & Identity, Exploration & Innovation, and Policy Change.

Nearly 20 BLACK BOYS AND YOUNG MEN ages 13-18 are kicking off YouthPower this summer through a paid leadership institute. They're having enriching experiences; setting and achieving personal and collective goals; learning more about themselves, their culture, their history, and the world; and advising policymakers on changes needed to achieve racial equity and better respond to their needs.

Why is this so important? Restorative practices, safe spaces, and opportunities to critically and creatively think and drive change are disproportionately withheld from youth of color, especially Black boys and young men. 

In the fall, St. Paul Youth Services' YouthPower will open to ALL youth of color. Help us grow this program and donate today!

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    In THE YOUTH's own words...

    YouthPower centers youth and young black men to let our voices be heard. It’s important because we are not heard and are considered less than when that is not the case.
    YouthPower is great because it teaches young men about their culture and the American challenges we have to face.
    YouthPower is a program that focuses on the youth and our needs and it’s important because not a lot of programs are built for African American youth.
    YouthPower is a safe place for African American boys to talk about and fix problems in the community. We give our input on the community through the youth lens to adults. It will lead to policy changes for the better.