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07/26/2017 | Civic Engagement, Organizing for Education Justice, Racial Justice

Building Youth Power & Leadership Across the CPD Network

Young people have often played significant roles in building and leading powerful social movements, protesting injustice and driving progressive and revolutionary social change. Today, more and more youth are becoming politically engaged in their communities, in organizing for social justice, and in resisting and challenging the harsh and unjust policies of the Trump administration. The youth who join our organizations and movements today, stand to be our leaders tomorrow. That is why CPD and the Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC) convened 35 youth leaders and 12 youth organizers from 11 of our affiliate organizations for a Youth Power & Leadership Retreat from June 2-4.

Youth leaders from CASA (MD), Communities United (MD), Good Jobs Now Detroit (MI), Living United for Change Arizona (LUCHA), Make the Road CT, Make the Road NY, Make the Road NY, Make the Road PA, Organize Florida / Florida Student Power Network, PCUN (OR), and West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition came together to share their experiences, aspirations and ideas for working together for change. They also created a timeline of the organizing and campaign work they want to tackle over the next 5 years.

These CPD affiliates are working on issues ranging from tuition assistance for undocumented immigrants, to tackling homelessness, to uplifting the beauty of communities through art, to the dismantling of the school-to-prison pipeline and more. Some of the organizations are just in their first year of youth organizing, while others have been building power with young people for twenty years.

Throughout the retreat, the youth identified a number of shared goals and priorities including: building organizing power, building statewide networks, developing campaigns and mobilizing together, and creating a community of learning among the youth organizers and their organizations. CPD will continue to help bring these youth together and to provide support to our affiliates in building leadership pipelines for these young activists within their organizations and beyond.