The Dorchester Bay Youth Force team began our Summer Program on July 5. We’re excited by the opportunity to work with six amazing youth organizers. Jasmin, Angele, Brittany, Bri, Ashley and Ananda worked with Youth Force over the school year and have demonstrated tremendous growth. Our young organizers have brought new curiosity and motivation and we’re excited to see what they accomplish.
Now in our third week of summer programming, we’re focusing on setting personal and professional goals that we hope to achieve by creating a learning environment that fosters that growth.
We begin each week with spiritual transformation days. This is an opportunity to practice self-care as well as build community. In the organizing work that we do, it is easy to feel defeated, or to get burnt out. Being intentional about creating this space allows us to be more connected with ourselves and each other as we go about our work week. Whether it’s yoga at JP Pond, or taking a walk along Savin Hill Beach, it reminds us to breathe.
We are conducting trainings on each of our campaigns, the Private Sector Campaign, Jobs Not Jails and our work with the Youth Jobs Coalition. In addition, we run trainings to support the young peoples’ community organizing skills, such as delving deeper into our understanding of oppression, learning all about criminal justice reform in Massachusetts, and learning how to tap into their own networks and recruit their friends!
On Thursday, July 21st we will have our summer of action kick-off event. Where teens will be inviting friends and community members to learn more about their various organizing campaigns and how to get involved- including showing up to a stakeholder meeting with some MA officials on Thursday July 28th.
Our summer program is a space where youth voices shine. Teens have been able to step up and train their peers, plan actions, and practice a high level of accountability. It is our hope that what we do will go beyond the summer and that we can form deep relationships and long term commitments to being community organizers wherever we are!