The recent inauguration of Barack Obama was both inspiring and affirming. As the President himself said at the Youth Ball that night, young people made his candidacy possible. We agree and we're not surprised.
While we give the President a lot of credit for mobilizing so many new voters, it was our fellows and other young activists around the country who made it possible for so many progressive issues to win on Election Day. We're reminded by our fellows that progressive change is possible only when we strategically build power in communities that have a stake in that change.
It is with that approach in mind that we will welcome 150 young activists to the YP4 family at the National Summit in Washington, D.C. next week.
Congratulations, Mr. President, and congratulations to the 2009 fellowship class. Together, as Van Jones said at last year’s Summit, “your generation won't just take America back, your generation will take America forward.”
Next week we’ll welcome 150 new fellows to the fifth annual National Summit in Washington, D.C.
At the Summit, the newest class of YP4 fellows will meet other young progressive leaders from all over the country and learn powerful strategies and tactics for creating sustainable social change.
Join us in welcoming the 2009 class! To join us at the opening reception, please donate $25.01. The reception will start at 6pm on Thursday at the National Education Association.
[ Join us at the opening reception ]
[ Follow the Summit on the blog ]
2008 fellow Maya Torralba recently sent an update about her Blueprint, the Anadarko Community Esteem Project.
Maya’s project seeks to increase the self-esteem of young Native women in Anadarko, strengthen their sense of identity and roots, and help them become active and contributing change agents in their community:
[Last Thursday], after school, the ACEP crew piled into my minivan. A car meant for 7 passengers was holding 11!
The reason we stuffed in the van was for the ladies to conduct their first community mission: handing out warm clothes to the homeless of Anadarko, OK.
We cruised the streets, searching for the less fortunate. Of course, they weren't hard to find; it was a sunny day and all were out to soak up the last hour of the sun.
The ladies were so excited to help these people, our people. And those who received, our uncles, aunties, or cousins, perhaps, were grateful that these young ladies took the time to care. To witness the interaction was humbling.
I want you all to know that this was their idea, not mine. Given the chance, young people DO want to make a difference, even in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
[ Learn more about the Anadarko Community Esteem Project ]
[ Browse all Blueprints for Social Justice from 2008 ]
Fellows meet Obama at lunch. In a stroke of luck and the magic of Washington, D.C., Leadership Academy fellows on retreat met then-President-elect Barack Obama and D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty shortly before the inauguration. Tired of catered lunches in the retreat center, fellows requested to go to lunch on the town and selected Ben’s Chili Bowl. Upon arriving, the Secret Service arrived, followed shortly thereafter by the President-elect. 2009 fellow Kari Fulton shouted out to Obama and he came over for a photo-op. Obama’s visit to Ben’s Chili Bowl made all of the major networks, but the little-known story was of the 21 young progressive leaders who fortuitously got a chance to meet a source of inspiration.
[ Watch a video of the fellows and staff with Obama ]
The second retreat. Leadership Academy fellows convened for their second retreat in Washington, D.C. from January 8–11. They attended workshops that explored three guiding frames: building a movement across difference, anatomy of a victory and “what now?” The workshops used these frames to ground a range of professional, personal and movement building skills.
Thursday’s first activity, “Mapping Ourselves onto the Movement,” built upon these three frames — each fellow constructed and presented a “career lifeline” detailing their personal growth over the last five months and aspirations for the next 10 years. A later workshop explored different leadership styles and how individuals can effectively collaborate with a range of leaders. To celebrate the first day of the retreat, fellows attended a fellow-planned and -led networking reception attended by more than 30 social innovators. Special thanks to Elizabeth Camuti for organizing the reception, generously co-hosted by Scott + Yandura Consulting.
[ Read more about the retreat ]
[ See pictures from the retreat ]
Ezra Temko, a 2006 fellow and past Front Line Leaders Academy participant, is from Newark, Delaware. Ezra currently works part-time at the Sierra Club of Delaware as the member and community engagement coordinator. Just before our second retreat, Ezra began substitute teaching as preparation for beginning two years of service with Teach For America.
Elected to Newark City Council in April, Ezra currently serves as the youngest elected official in the state of Delaware and is working to enhance Newark’s downtown area, provide environmental leadership and work for responsive government. His main political areas of passion include education, the environment, and community issues such as civil rights and civic engagement. Ezra is a member of his local Democratic committee and vice president for communications for the Delaware Young Democrats. He graduated in 2006 from Oberlin College with a bachelor’s degree in politics. Ezra is excited to continue his growth in the People For family as he begins a new career direction with Teach For America.
YP4’s National Summit (Washington, D.C., February 12–16)
It’s almost here! Our fifth annual National Summit will take place February 12–16 in Washington, D.C. You can join us at the opening reception by donating $25.01. The reception will start at 6pm on Thursday at the National Education Association.
SCOUT BANANA Nonprofit Launch Party (Lansing, MI, February 21)
After years of work, 2007 fellow Alex Hill’s Blueprint SCOUT BANANA has achieved official nonprofit status. With its new status, SCOUT BANANA has a new education program in the works that will create curriculum that increases knowledge and awareness about the African continent. Current programs of SCOUT BANANA are thriving and growing. SCOUT BANANA continues to serve as a hub that brings together communities, academics, activists, community leaders and young people to ensure that global health is everyone's responsibility and every individual's human right.
SCOUT BANANA cordially invites you to their Nonprofit Launch Party on February 21 at the Gone Wired Cafe in Lansing, MI — doors open at 6pm. There will be food, fun, music, and bananas.
You can find more events on YP4s site and at the Center for Progressive Leadership.
Fellows from all years can post events on YP4.org.
Women, Action & the Media: A Conference for Activists, Journalists & Everyone
“We all belong inside some communities or networks and are new to or feel excluded or alienated from others. The tension that exists between insiders and outsiders to any given movement, identity, industry or ideology can be destructive, but it can also be harnessed toward mutually beneficial change. WAM!2009 will explore both sides of this inescapable dynamic in our relationships, organizations, societies and movements.”
[ Learn more and register today ]
At this year’s National Summit, several YP4 senior fellows will share their experiences with the new fellows by leading trainings. Here are two of them!
Vicente Garcia, a Bay Area native and 2007 fellow, graduated from San Francisco State University in December with a degree in La Raza Studies. Vicente’s experiences at Macalester College and in California informed his passion for social justice. He soon followed his interests to People For the American Way Foundation and several other nonprofit organizations. He served on YP4’s 2007–2008 steering committee.
Alex Hill, also a 2007 fellow, has focused on healthcare for underdeveloped parts of Africa. He says that his YP4 fellowship helped him take a “huge step” to launch his own nonprofit organization, SCOUT BANANA, which gained 501(c)3 nonprofit status in November. Alex, an international relations and global area studies major at Michigan State University, also served on the steering committee from 2007–2008.
[ Read the interview ]
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People For the American Way Foundation has volunteer opportunities, including a library resources manager position. Internships are also available.
Join our team and get college credit! Young People For has several internships available in our New York City office.
The Center for Progressive Leadership is hiring an online technology manager and a director of training in Washington, D.C.
Choice USA has summer internships.
Democracy Matters is hiring paid interns. It is possible to hold a YP4 fellowship at the same time as a Democracy Matters internship.
The Generational Alliance is hiring an alumni manager in New York or Washington, D.C., as well as an outreach and policy manager. Work with alumni from YP4 and our partners in the youth movement!
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is hiring a part-time web content manager.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is accepting applications for its organizing & training fellowship.
Oberlin College is hiring an Africana community coordinator (PDF) and an LGBTQ community coordinator (PDF).
Work for Progress is recruiting several canvass directors, organizers and field coordinators.
“Nearly 80 percent of Americans do not realize that, as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-5th MD) put it, ‘out of all of the world’s democracies, there is only one national capital without full voting rights: this city full of monuments to democracy.’”
[ Read more on the blog ]
Congratulations to Paul Gomez (2009 Leadership Academy fellow, 2007 YP4 fellow) and Cordelia Spence (2007 YP4 fellow) on their recent wedding.
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