Adults often take the voices and ideas expressed by teenagers for granted. To counter this trend, the South Sacramento BHC Youth Leadership is taking the initiative in an attempt to empower Sacramento’s youth. Their goal is to band together and seek change for common problems in their neighborhoods. Every fourth Monday of the month, they will lead a series of meetings instructing participants on youth organizing and research that will introduce local teenagers to the most important issues in the community as well as methods for seeking positive change.
“The South Sacramento BHC Youth Leadership Team would like to bring our local youth together to assess the top issues of the community and eventually mobilize around that specific issue,” says Alondra Young, the BHCs Youth Engagement Coordinator. “Our intent is to hear what youth are saying and share that with our adult allies and work in a partnership to create sustainable change in our community.”
This 3-part series will focus on the basics of community organizing as well as youth leadership. The first, held on February 25th, will be centered around introducing participants to the most prominent issues in the community, as well as understanding the policies that affect them most. The identification of causes and solutions will allow youth to understand what they need to do to create change, and how to do it. Other topics for discussion in later meetings include basic civic education and connecting with key figures in the community that can help youth bring positive change to the issues they want to see fixed.
“We would like participants to learn about community organizing and creating change in their community,” says Young. “We would also like to teach youth how to begin the conversation around current issues facing youth and eventually create action around the change they want to see. It is rewarding to see youth coming together sharing their ideas and opinions and leading the discussion on youth action and positive community change.”
The most important part of this event is to empower youth and help them discover their voices in the community. South Sacramento BHCs Youth Leadership series is open to any and all youth who wish to participate, as well as youth organizations geared towards community activism. It will be held at the Stockton Blvd Partnership, located at 5625 Stockton Blvd. For more information, please visit sacbhc.org.