The Youth Power to the Polls event was meant to get the youth involved in local government and get involved in politics. This event included debates about the public education system and the struggles of low-income students and minorities.
From September 8th through September 10th, the Neighborhood News Correspondent team covered the Free Our Dreams Summit at UC Davis. In this video report, four participants and organizers of the event answered what they personally stand for and how they plan to have a voice in the current political climate.
As more local young people are entering the workforce for the first time, many are finding it difficult to find employment in part because of their lack of work experience. One possible solution to their problem are programs that help train teenagers in skill development and leadership. The Sacramento Building Healthy Communities project has provided support for a wide variety of programs that are aimed at preparing young people to civically engage in their own communities. A newly released report by the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity took a look at these programs to analyze their compositions and how young people are being affected by it.
For the report, fifty five young people who actively participated in local BHC programs were surveyed. Most of these youth come from a low-income background and only few have a parent with a bachelor degree. Latino youths make up more than half of the participants, followed by African Americans, and then Asian-Pacific Islander and White youth. The survey found that this racial makeup is also reflective and representative of the overall South Sacramento population at large.
Programs like those at the La Familia Counseling Center claim that “The community is our [their] top priority,” and Sol Collective seeks to “provide artistic, cultural, and educational programming, promote social justice, and empower youth through art, activism, music, and media experience.”
“Youth also commonly reported an increased understanding of health or other community issues (47%), and an improved ability to speak in public (45%),” according to the report.
From what the survey gathered, it seems that these programs are achieving their mission statements. Young people who are participating in their programs are learning through mentors with hands-on experience on how to better themselves and by extension, their community. These programs provide a place where the youth can engage in different cultures as well help them to participate in civic engagement.
South Sacramento is considered by many as the lower economic area of Sacramento. These youth programs offer opportunities that are very much needed in some of these communities, and could be responsible for producing the next generation of community advocates and leaders as a result.
The Neighborhood News Correspondents of AccessLocal.tv got the amazing opportunity to participate in the 2017 National Summer Transportation Institute. Very few of the correspondents have actually travel out of Sacramento often so this was an eye-opening experience from every single one of them.
Green Technical Education and Employment employs youth over the summer to increase local access to healthy foods through use of an aquaponics system.
The 2nd annual Truth Be Told: Justice Through My Eyes film festival hosted by RYSE is now underway. It is a great opportunity for young filmmakers ages 13 through 24 to submit a film no longer than 12 minutes by the deadline of September 9th, 2016. The film festival is also looking for films that have a specific focal point on current and relevant social justice issues such as the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems, anti-violence programs, the school to prison pipeline, the criminalization of immigrants, gender justice, food justice, and education justice.
But what exactly is RYSE? RYSE is a youth centered organization who continually aims to empower youth and young adults and give them the education and resources necessary in order to help become active members of their own communities and tackle problems that could be oppressing them and their neighbors.
“Empowering youth and young adults to navigate different systems and life situations is crucial to the work we do at RYSE and we understand that having creative outlets to release the impact of the trauma they face on daily basis is imperative,” says Youth Justice Director Stephanie Medley. “Our film festival, ‘Truth Be Told’, gives young creative filmmakers an opportunity to express and showcase their visions, reflections, rage, and solutions to many societal issues through the lens of their cameras.”
It goes without saying that the Truth Be Told film festival is a great artistic outlet for young filmmakers to really make their voices heard through the power of art and self-expression. This is even more so highlighted when considering the age limit of the festival itself. Cash prizes are also included as an extra incentive, which gives a great opportunity for young teens and adults to rise above their ranks and prove their ability as an artist and as a community member in their respective neighborhood. For more information on the festival or on RYSE, please visit their website at Rysecenter.org here.
You can also view last year’s winning film, STOP by Julia Retzlaff here.