Our FUREEous Youth organizing program provides a space for youth to build power through grassroots organizing, coalition building and leadership development. It is also a safe space for youth to access training, push themselves out of their comfort zones and address internalized oppression through positive youth organizing and youth development themes.
Open to young people from 12-21 years old this program features:
Grassroots Organizing: Youth learn to identify and develop community organizing skills to build an economic justice campaign. Their goal is to build a strong youth base, recruit active members and develop core leaders that will carry out the Sustainable Jobs for Youth Campaign
Coalition Building: Youth apply their skills to strengthen youth participation in existing coalitions and alliances. They are also working to develop the recently founded, NYC Youth Jobs coalition based on a common agenda of providing increased access to sustainable jobs for youth in New York City.
Leadership Development: FUREE organizes to ensure that low-income families can influence policy decisions that affect their lives. FUREE’s structure is a critical extension of this principle. Our youth campaign is also member-led. FUREE provides extensive training and support to our youth members so they have the tools necessary to lead a successful campaign. We also identify youth to serve on FUREE’s Board of Directors.
The impact of the national recession on youth is further impacted by age, racial and class assumptions about youth of color. The system is generally not fully invested in their future and judging from recent cuts to youth services, we find that youth are not at decision-making tables thus resulting in policies that further impede their ability to thrive.
The Sustainable Jobs for Youth Campaign
The results of a year long process of conducting research, power analysis, identifying targets and allies and understanding what, to them, had to change from assumptions about youth of color and reframing the debate of youth and employment, our youth officially launched their campaign during our eighth annual convention to an audience of community members, leaders and elected officials on May 22, 2010! There, they reported their research findings regarding community-identified youth needs and disparities in youth employment while demanding public support of their campaign from NYS Senate and Assembly Members, NYC Council Members, community leaders and representatives from three Congressional districts in Brooklyn. Two youth leaders articulated their demands including:
- Budget reinstatements and permanent budget allocations to maintain sustainable youth employment, and career development
- Permanent Summer Youth Employment Program funding and increased jobs for green collar job training for youth 18 - 24.
- To hold the NYS Department of Labor, the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, the NYC Department of Education to provide integrated career and job services for low income youth of color so that youth can exit and remain out of poverty.
- Win permanent, local youth jobs in community development projects receiving city and state subsidies and/or tax abatements. Locally, youth will work to win 200 permanent youth job positions from such developments located in Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn
- Build a coalition of youth organizations addressing barriers to youth employment or creating employment opportunities for youth in New York City
For more information or to join the FUREEous Youth Program, contact Desiree Marshall (718) 852-2960 x. 307 or send e-mail to dez[at]furee[dot]org.