Sign up for our Newsletter
The mission of the Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) is to substantially increase the philanthropic investment in and strengthen the organizational capacities of youth organizing groups across the country.
FCYO has supported the field of youth organizing for over ten years. We truly believe that the participation and leadership of young people, particularly young people of color, are critical in achieving social justice.
Please explore this site to find out more about our grantmaking initiatives, programs and strategies.
FCYO's Occasional Paper Series: History & Fundamentals of Youth Organizing
FCYO's Occasional Paper Series (OPS) have been published periodically since the year 2000. These papers, authored by key leaders and researchers in the field, have aimed to capture and document growing knowledge around youth organizing, and address key issues and questions commonly posed by funders and practitioners about the work and field overall.
Learn more about youth organizing or brush up on your history by clicking one of the titles below, or click here for more information about the series.
A Statement from the Youth Table on Boys and Men of Color
Over the last three months, the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) and the Movement Strategy Center (MSC) have helped to facilitate a Youth Table as part of the private sector initiative for boys and young men of color, which is working in conjunction with My Brother’s Keeper. The Youth Table’s primary purpose is to ensure the voices of boys and young men of color are included in efforts to improve their lives, and as such they have released a statement and recommendations. FCYO and MSC have also published a post written by a Youth Table Leader, Victor Carter of Kids ReThink New Orleans Schools, on his experiences and perspective on this work. For more information on the Youth Table, please contact Eric Braxton (eric at fcyo dot org) or Carmen Iñiguez (carmen at movementstrategy dot org).
Youth Table Statement:
As young people of color from across the country, we applaud the White House and philanthropic leaders for their commitment to improving outcomes for us, our family members, and our communities. The organizations we represent engage tens of thousands of young people of color in organizing to address the inequities experienced by young men of color. We have been organizing for quality education, good jobs, healthy communities, and just treatment by courts and police. We are African-American, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander, and Native American. We are male, female, transgender, heterosexual, and gay. We stand together to express our commitment to ending the inequities experienced by boys and young men of color.
Based on the surveys we collected, our work in our communities, and our own experiences as young people of color, we offer the following three guiding principles, which we believe will help ensure that My Brother’s Keeper truly improves the lives of boys and young men of color:
· Ensure the active participation and leadership of boys and young men of color at all levels of decision-making. In other words, nothing for us without us. No one understands the plight of young people of color better than we do, because we live through it daily. Our voices, experiences, ideas and solutions not only need to be included in a meaningful way, they must be central to the conversation and process.
· Invest deeply in programs and strategies that build the power of communities to eliminate the structural inequities that impact boys and young men of color. Contrary to the messages that are often propagated about us, the challenges we face are not because we are lazy, violent, or apathetic. They are due to hundreds of years of oppression and the persistence of inequity in our communities, including under resourced schools, lack of jobs, and discrimination from police and courts. Traditional one-on-one mentorship programs alone cannot address these issues. The focus must be placed on eliminating these long standing inequities. Youth and community organizing are especially needed because they empower us to take collective action and transform us as individuals and communities at the same time. While we take seriously our responsibility for strengthening our communities, we also call on our country’s leaders to join us in addressing the real barriers to equal opportunity that still surround us.
· Employ an expansive frame that recognizes the diversity of boys and young men of color as well as the importance of empowering and improving the lives of girls and women of color as well. Boys and young men of color have complex identities beyond the black and brown binary. Often excluded from the conversation are our indigenous/Native American, Asian Pacific Islanders and South East Asian brothers. In addition, expanding the frame of “masculinity” to include queer and transgendered identified boys and men of color is a critical shift that will ensure a more inclusive set of strategies. We also recognize that we cannot improve the lives of boys and young men of color if we leave behind our sisters and mothers.
In addition, we have reviewed the recommendations that have been developed by the White House and philanthropic leaders. We are particularly pleased to see the commitment to addressing school discipline and support for youth organizing. Based on the feedback we received from young people across the country, we offer the following recommendations for strengthening and ensuring the success of this important work:
· Support Youth Organizing: Youth organizing is a vital strategy for improving outcomes of boys and young men of color. It transforms the lives of individual young people, builds lifelong leaders, and addresses root causes of inequity. We hope that philanthropic leaders will recognize youth organizing as one of the anchor strategies for this work and will support it accordingly to address a range of issues.
· Build a Leadership Pipeline: The organizations in the Youth Table engage many talented and dedicated young men of color in working to improve our communities. Often there is little support for these young men to grow and develop their leadership. We hope that My Brother’s Keeper will be an opportunity to build a comprehensive leadership pipeline that supports young men of color who are engaged in their communities to become the next generation of community organizers, faith leaders, teachers, elected officials, and fathers that our communities need.
· End the School to Prison Pipeline: We are pleased to see the emphasis on fair and equitable school discipline in the recommendations. Still, far too many boys of color are being criminalized at an early age. We believe that this initiative could make a transformational impact on the lives of young men of color by supporting restorative justice approaches to school discipline, working to limit police presence in schools, and advocating for legislation to address disparities in school discipline rates.
· Support Undocumented Young People: Many young men of color in this country are undocumented. Lack of services for undocumented people and deportations are tearing our communities apart. Stopping deportations of innocent people and non-violent offenders and increasing educational, social, and health supports for undocumented people will strengthen immigrant communities.
We want to thank President Obama and philanthropic leaders for raising this issue to national prominence. As young people of color, we feel the urgency of addressing the inequities in our communities every day. We believe that we are the leaders of both the present and future and we stand united and ready to join with all our allies to eliminate barriers to opportunity and create strong and healthy communities for ourselves, our brothers, and our sons.
FCYO Releases 2013 National Youth Organizing Field Scan
FCYO is proud to announce the release of its latest publication, our 2013 Field Scan: The State of the Field of Youth Organizing. This scan surveyed 111 youth organizing groups from across the country, and held focus groups to further engage 50 representatives from more than 40 youth organizing practitioner groups. The resulting report is an important assessment of challenges and opportunities facing the field today, and offers recommendations for how to support this powerful and transformative work.
Click here for more info, or click below to view the