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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 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
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).
FCYO Launches Healthy Communities Phase II: Young People of Color To Organize to Address Root Causes of Childhood Obesity
For Immediate Release:
November 11, 2014
For Further Information:
Monica Cordova, FCYO Healthy Communities Program Director, 505-385-6590
Eric Braxton, FCYO Executive Director, 215-703-7420
The Launch of Healthy Communities Phase II
Young People of Color to Organize to Address the Root Causes of Childhood Obesity
This week the Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing is excited to announce the launch of Healthy Communities Phase II at our National Convening in Denver, CO. With support from theRobert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Healthy Communities II (HC II) initiative seeks to support young people from low-income families and young people of color organizing to address the root causes of childhood obesity. Building on the success of Phase I young people from across the country are organizing to help promote healthier meals and snacks in schools, safe places to play and exercise, wellness centers in schools, and more. Through the summer of 2016 Phase II will support their efforts, connect them to each other, and help build a national youth movement for healthy schools and communities. The specific goals of this initiative include:
* To ensure that young people from low-income families and young people of color become key leaders in the movements for healthy schools and communities. This is initiative will not only empower young people to make changes in their communities now, but will help develop a sustainable pool of community health leaders for work in the years ahead.
*To guarantee that young people of color from low-income families--who are most impacted and disproportionately harmed by the illnesses related to childhood-obesity -- have a strong and effective voice in framing the national policy debate about the solutions to this crisis - in the education, food, and health policy arenas. HC II will involve a national communications strategy that lifts up the stories and leadership of youth leaders across the country.
*To increase the capacity of local youth organizing groups to amplify their impact, by connecting local work to statewide and national strategies for change.
The foundation of HC II is a fellowship program connected to seven youth organizing groups that are working to address school wellness. Each group will host a Healthy Communities Fellow who will support the groups' local work and connect it to state and national strategies for change including community education and engagement and policy development and implementation. Specifically, these amazing youth leaders will connect their local work to a national communications campaign focused on giving youth of color a strong voice in ongoing debates about childhood obesity and community health. FCYO will also engage a broader set of partner organizations to ensure that youth from across the country are connected to the campaign. Each group is working on issues that connect to community health, such as school wellness policies, wellness centers, healthy snacks in schools, safe places to play and exercise, food marketing in schools, and access to healthy and fresh school meals. The individual and collective impact of the groups is critical to transforming community health and reversing the childhood obesity epidemic. Below you can learn more about each of the Fellows and the organizations that are part of HC II.
The Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing Healthy Communities II Fellows:
Isaias Vazquez is a queer DREAMer whose organizing roots originate in the LGBTQ Immigrant justice work. Isaias is a migrant from Zacatecas Mexico, currently a political science student at Metro State University of Denver and Healthy Communities Fellow at The Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing hosted at Padres Y Jovenes Unidos in Denver Colorado.
Padres Y Jovenes Unidos is a multi-issue organization led by people of color who for the past 22 years have worked for educational excellence, racial justice for youth, immigrant rights and quality health and wellness justice for all. Jóvenes Unidos, the youth initiative of Padres Unidos, emerged as young people became active in reforming their schools, ending the school to jail track and organizing for immigrant student rights. Both Padres and Jóvenes Unidos build power to challenge the root cause of discrimination, racism and inequity by exposing the economic, social and institutional basis for injustice as well as developing effective strategies to realize meaningful change.
Jennifer Maldonado was born and raised in East Los Angeles. Jennifer was involved with InnerCity Struggle's youth component, United Students, the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program, and Latinas Unidas at Woodrow Wilson High School. During college she continued fighting for educational justice with the Moviemiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A) organization. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor's in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Education Studies, she returned to East Los Angeles to organize with her community for quality education and healthy lifestyles.
InnerCity Struggle (ICS) promotes safe, healthy and non-violent communities by organizing with youth and families in Boyle Heights, Unincorporated East Los Angeles, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights. InnerCity Struggle (ICS) was founded in 1994, by a small group of parents, youth and residents in Boyle Heights who joined together to find solutions to the gang violence crisis impacting the families of East Los Angeles. InnerCity Struggle continues to work toward economic, social and educational justice to improve the quality of education and life in East Los Angeles by developing leaders with the skills to voice concerns, raise community awareness and promote solutions.
Chika Kondo is the youth food justice organizer for Kids Rethink New Orleans and VEGGI Farmer's Cooperative. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Society and Environment and Political Science. She is excited about the cohort of young people exploring and intersecting histories of oppression, developing skills in horticulture, financial literacy, and cooperative economics in order to build momentum to address food justice issues. She belivies rediscovering our histories in relationship to land and food is vital in planting the seeds of change for tomorrow.
Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools is a youth organizing and leadership development organization that uses participatory education and action research to build organizing and leadership skills of New Orleans youth. Rethink's mission is to support young people in becoming thoughtful and capable leaders through the process of rethinking their experiences in their own school communities and taking action to make systemic improvements. Rethink's vision is both an equitably great education for all students and a future wherein generations of young leaders equipped with the necessary tools to affect systemic change are committed to lifelong community engagement.
William Shelton is a Youth Organizer at Youth United for Change in Philadelphia, Pa. Before joining YUC, William graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a B.A in English/Creative Writing with a minor in Political Science in 2010. William joined City Year Greater Philadelphia where he worked with freshmen students at Overbook High School to improve their attendance, behavior and coursework. William continued to mentor youth in Philadelphia as Academic and Behavior Coach for Education Works.
Youth United for Change (YUC) is a youth-led, democratic organization made up of youth of color and working class communities, with the "people" and political power to hold school officials and government accountable to meeting the educational needs of Philadelphia public school students. This is done through a process of school/community-based organizing where a diverse group of youth come together, identify common concerns in their schools/community and act collectively on their own behalf to create strategies for whole school reforms in the Philadelphia Public School System that better meet the needs of youth of color and working class community.
Stefany Olivas grew up in the small agricultural Town of Bernalillo, just North of Albuquerque New Mexico. She always had interests in nature, gardening and cooking. Not until majoring in Biology at the local community college and beginning to work in community gardens did she realize a way to combine her passions. Working with the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) and Project Feed the Hood, she continues to build her understanding of how to process and consume food and create growing spaces to uplift the local environment and community health.
The SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) was founded in 1980 by young activists of color to empower our communities in the SouthWest to realize racial and gender equality and social and economic justice. SWOP seek to redefine power relationships by bringing together the collective action, talents, and resources of the people within our communities. Project Feed the Hood is a food literacy and gardening initiative of SWOP that aims to improve community health through education and revival of traditional growing methods. Project Feed the Hood's goal is to engage people in an alternative food system steeped in history, tradition and sustainable agriculture that empowers them to improve their community health.
Sandra Garcia has been the Youth Coordinator at Southwest Worker's Union since 2007. She currently works closely with students on Health for Every Barrio campaign. This campaign aims to eliminate food deserts around communities of color and to ensure that healthier options are available in the San Antonio Independent School District.
The Southwest Workers' Union (SWU) is an organization of low-income workers and families, community residents, and youth, united in one organizational struggle for worker rights, environmental justice and community empowerment. Based in San Antonio, Texas, SWU empowers and organizes its 2,500 members through education, leadership development, and direct action. The aim is to build multi-generational grassroots power to create sustainable systemic change for social, economic, and environmental justice and to build the movement for dignity and justice.
Jamal Jones is a 22-year-old student organizer of the Baltimore Algebra Project (BAP). He has worked with the BAP for six years holding a number of positions and participating in a wide range of Algebra Project campaigns. Jamal currently attends Morgan State University, located in Baltimore City, as a Philosophy major minoring in psychology.
The Baltimore Algebra Project is a 100% youth-run non-profit organization in Baltimore, MD. BAP has over a decade of experience working in Baltimore City Public School System as a catalyst for change in both the academic setting, as well as focusing on youth development outside the school environment. BAP has two organizational branches: 1. Math Literacy Tutoring and 2. Student Organizing. Some of the organizing campaigns the BAP have worked on include the National Student Bill of Rights, The Stop the Jail campaign, the Quality Food Justice Campaign and many other campaigns. The Baltimore Algebra Project has a proven track record for effective youth development, youth employment, student organizing, and math tutoring.
The Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) is a collection of national, regional and local grantmakers and youth organizing practitioners dedicated to advancing youth organizing as a strategy for youth development and social transformation.
Our mission is to cultivate resources for young people taking action to build healthy and equitable communities. We bridge funders and organizers to support youth organizing and its commitment to systemic change and social justice. Since its inception, FCYO has been focused on increasing philanthropic, intellectual and social capital necessary to strengthen and grow youth organizing. For more information visit us at www.fcyo.org or follow us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/TheFCYO.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national culture of health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter atwww.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook atwww.rwjf.org/facebook.
Youth call on officials to ensure justice and and new measures to address police violence toward young people of color
This Youth Table was convened to inform President Obama’s call to action to improve the lives of boys and men of color. We are comprised of national networks and organizations representing tens of thousands of young people of color who are organizing in their communities. Today we stand together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Ferguson, MO and the family of Michael Brown. We call on local and national officials to ensure justice for Michael Brown, an end to the violent aggression toward peaceful protesters, and new measures to address police violence toward young people of color across the country. We call on local and national philanthropic organizations to support community-centered organizing and capacity building efforts to ensure that youth and families in Ferguson have access to healing services and a long-term organizing infrastructure that will outlive this tragedy. We also request support for organizing efforts of young people across the country to address the systemic factors that perpetuate the criminalization of young people.
For all those who have come together under the banner of My Brothers’ Keeper and other initiatives to support young men of color, we say that now is the time to stand up and take action against the violence being enacted against young men of color. We cannot call on men of color to take responsibility if we are silent when they are being killed and beaten by representatives of our own government.
Our country’s history is fraught with violence toward young people who look like us. From the children being detained on US borders, to Ferguson, to failing schools, Black and Brown youth are being attacked physically and mentally. The militarization of police forces and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have terrorized our communities. The fact that the federal budget calls for $250 million for police in schools and only $50 million for restorative justice will only continue the criminalization of young people of color.
We stand in support of the demands issued by the Organization for Black Struggle in St. Louis and the national Hands Up Don't Shoot Coalition. Locally this includes a swift and impartial investigation by the Department of Justice into the Michael Brown shooting, theimmediate arrest of Officer Darren Wilson, and immediate de-escalation of militarized policing of peaceful protestors. Nationally this includes that Eric Holder to use the full resources and power of the Department of Justice to implement a nationwide investigation of systemic police brutality and harassment in black and brown communities.
Furthermore, to address the broader national occurrence of police violence toward and criminalization of young people of color, we call on elected officials everywhere to enact the following policies:
· The creation of community review boards in all police departments.
· An end to the use of police in schools for regular school security.
· An increase in funding for restorative justice programs in schools and communities.
· That 1% of what is spent on policing should be redirected to education and youth development.
For funders who care about improving the lives of boys and men of color, we make the following funding recommendations:
As young people of color from across the country, we stand united in calling for an end to violence toward youth of color. We are intelligent, we are powerful, and we are ready to organize. We call on all our allies to join us in this struggle for justice.