Youth in Power (YIP) reaches out to youth in high schools and community centers, and use their own stories and experiences to develop a vision for the future of the Bay Area that can offer them and all people real opportunities for economic security and emotional and social growth.
Young people are not our future leaders of our community–they are leaders now. All too often Black and Brown youth are portrayed as problems to be fixed. The truth is that young people are valuable resources in our neighborhood who are ready to step into leadership. CJJC has found that youth leadership development is central to building a truly intergenerational organizing model able to engage entire families and truly address the issues facing our neighborhoods as a whole.
Through leadership development, youth alliance building, and intergenerational campaigning, Youth in Power is building up a new generation of movement leaders.
SF Ethnic Studies
(more info to come)
Free Muni for Youth
From 2010 – 2014, Youth in Power played a leadership role in organizing a broad coalition of youth, parents and families waging a campaign for free public transit for youth in San Francisco. The need for youth access to transportation became more urgent than ever when the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) had to scale back its yellow school bus system and youth transit fares increased. Due to state budget cuts, the SFUSD has cut its bus service by 43 percent since 2011. The Youth Fast Pass fare increased 120 percent between 2009 and 2012 (from $10 to $22). Young people were increasingly being pulled off the buses and ticketed or detained on their way to school, work and other services when they were unable to afford bus fare. The Free Muni for Youth campaign brought the voices and experiences of these young people and their parents to the SFMTA, the Board of Supervisors, the SF Board of Education, the Youth Commission, the SF Mayor, and the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, eventually building enough pressure on the city and the region to secure Free Muni for Youth ages 5-18 as a permanent program in San Francisco.
Climate Justice Youth Academy
Building off of the Free Muni for Youth victory, Youth in Power initiated a collaborative with our sister organization PODER, called the Climate Justice Youth Academy (CJYA). CJYA has trained 20-25 youth ages 12 to 18 to become experts in public transit and the impact of GHG emissions both locally and globally, especially on low-income communities of color as well as inequities in access to transportation alternatives for those communities throughout the Bay Area, and transportation opportunities like Free Muni for Youth in San Francisco, and the Free Youth Pass currently proposed for Alameda County. These youth leaders created popular education workshops for their peers to sharpen climate consciousness and encourage young people to use transportation alternatives and to support increased access to public transit for their communities. CJYA youth leaders have trained hundreds of young people in schools and community organizations throughout San Francisco, and begun reaching out to youth across the region.