We are a non-profit organization based in the Southside of Providence that works to support young people of color in RI’s marginalized communities.
We recognize that many of our youth come from communities that suffer from a disproportionate share of social, economic, and environmental burdens. Because of this, our youth walk through the door with an experiential social awareness–the recognition of discrimination, over-criminalization, and broad inequities in their schools and neighborhoods.
Our programming provides a space where youth can come together to share their stories, learn leadership skills and take action. Youth In Action exists to make a safer place for youth to find themselves, grow, and make change in their own lives and communities. We do this by offering free after school programming in three distinct phases: Core, Immersion, and Collective.
Core is a comprehensive year-long program where Youth In Action participants share their stories, explore identity and focus on emotional development. As the first phase of programming, Core explores the concepts of intersectional identity, community, and themes relating to social stratification, race, education, and power – equipping youth with the tools and language to locate themselves. Through service learning projects and a culminating showcase, youth also practice 21st Century skills such as leadership, creativity, collaboration, and media literacy.
After completing foundational identity work in Core, youth “immerse” themselves in practice by identifying issues important to them and their communities. Immersion is the second phase of our model and is grounded in community action. Partnering with community organizations, city and district offices, and institutions of higher education, our young people work to understand these systems and to make change through education, relationship-building and community organizing.Together with peers and community members, they create action groups to address social issues (such as Language Justice, Faith As Resistance, and Outdoor Equity). Each week, all the action groups gather to share progress, strategies, and learn in community.
Collective is the final stage of our model and supports young people transitioning into positions of power in the organization and community. With 1:1 adult mentoring from YIA program staff, youth who are part of Collective programming co-create their own personalized curriculum and leadership goals.
With paid and stipended positions, youth in Collective take on leadership roles such as:
- Designing & running community workshops
- Serving on the YIA Board of Directors,
- Joining city or community task-forces & committees
- Political and community organizing
- Planning and facilitating YIA programming as Co-Coordinators (CoCos)
Throughout the year, YIA participants give back in their community through service learning projects. We are always looking for fun ways to volunteer our time. Reach out to Olubunmi at firstname.lastname@example.org with any opportunities.