The Youth Organizing Institute has begun! Ten new participants from across the triangle started an exciting first week. During the first session participants learned about deep listening, as well as power and privilege with Tema from Dismantling Racism Works. Participants had time to meet each other as we started to build community among new youth organizers! Later on in the day Lexi and Bryan shared a powerful workshop about movement building. They discussed different roles involved within them and the importance of every role. The day closed with Tomeka sharing a presentation on how to do critical research and the relevance of student movements all over the world. Participants are learning powerful tools to help organize their schools and organizations!
Work this summer to stop racism & school re-segregation, challenge the school to prison pipeline, and make schools safe for LBGTQ youth.
Seeking applicants for the Youth Organizing Institute – Ages 14-19
Entering its third year the Youth Organizing Institute is committed to training, supporting, and developing the next generation of activists, organizers, and social change leaders in North Carolina.
Applications are due June 1. The YOI will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 10-26.
WHO WE ARE
We are youth organizers. We are immigrants and we are US born. We are white, black, and brown. We speak many languages. We are gay and we are straight. We believe in solidarity, we support each other, and we affirm the humanity and dignity of every person. We do not believe in “problem kids.” We believe society has problems and we must be the ones to fix them. We believe in hard work and we believe in fun. We are loyal to each other and dedicated to our values. We got your back. We believe that five fingers clutched together are stronger than each finger on its own.
We honor the legacies of the youth organizers and activists who came before us. We walk in the legacy of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). We believe in collective direct action.
We are part of a broad, dynamic, diverse, and international student movement.
COMMITMENTS – YOURS AND OURS
Teens accepted into the program must complete 36 hours of classroom & field work.
YOI sessions will be Tuesdays and Thursdays in Raleigh from 10am-4pm from July 10 – July 26.
Those that successfully complete the program will receive a certificate and a $50 stipend.
WHAT WE WILL DO
Together we will build strong alliances that will defend public schools and organize to make our schools and communities more just for ALL students, parents, and families.
We will learn:
- · Multi-racial, multi-gendered organizing styles and principles
- · Power-mapping and building an organizing campaign
- · Neighborhood canvassing and community outreach
- · Event planning, lobbying, and how to organize rallies and protests that have impact
- · History of the Civil Rights Movement
- · Historical role of young people in all positive social movements for justice
Download the application here: summer 2012 YOI application
On April 14th the Youth Organizing Institute held a spring training. Former and new participates of the YOI came together to build upon previous knowledge, share skills, and meet new people. The participants had the opportunity to share with each other and engage in meaningful conversation about current political topics.
Events from the day included a canvassing training from Jobs with Justice where participants were able to role play canvassing about Art Pope. These skills were then put into practice when students went to a rally about coal in downtown Raleigh. A picture from this event is above.
A workshop by Spirithouse focused on the prison industrial complex. This allowed the students to role play different situations people may experience, teaching participates the about the prison system.
In addition to workshops, participants had lunch and a political conversation about Trayvon Martin and the impacts of racial profiling in America. The last workshop of the day was put on by the Sacrificial Poets This focused on the role spoken word and art can have in creating social change. The youth were able to write and share their own spoken word pieces about meaningful experiences in their life. The spring training was a full day of youth empowerment and a great leeway into the work that will go on into the summer.
Open Letter to the Community:
Our thoughts, love and hearts are with the YWCA of the Greater Triangle. We were told that overnight this wonderful organization was being shut down, leaving hundreds of people in the dark. Children, students, teen parents, adults, and seniors depend on the programs and comraderie of the YWCA. The YWCA is home to many communities. It is home to NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens). NC HEAT was born in the summer of 2010 as part of the Wake Youth Organizing Institute, housed in the YWCA in the heart of SE Raleigh. We have learned, organized, and grown in that building. It is a piece of us and was torn away.
We demand that the attacks on our communities stop and we ask the National YWCA leadership to step up and and stand with us. We see this as part of larger trend of undermining the leadership and organized voices of women, youth, and people of color. These programs and advocacy efforts are necessary for our survival. Dismantling this organization is a direct attack on women and communities of color and we demand accountability.
NC HEAT is asking that everyone call and email the board to express outrage for their lack of concern for the staff and community. Pay your staff now! Reinstate the programs! Save the Hargett St. YWCA!
An attack on one community is an attack on all communities.
Current and Former NC HEAT members:
Over 40 people gathered in front of a Maxway store on February 18th to support the ongoing boycott of Art Pope’s stores. The picket was called for by NC HEAT. Community members from all across Raleigh showed up to participate. Signs and chanting brought awareness to customers going into the store resulting in some turning around. A video can be seen below
Art Pope, who owns stores such as Maxway and Roses, has been the leading financial donor behind many local elections in NC including the school board. The boycott has been launched to hit Art Pope’s wallet and tell him to stop funding candidates that hurt communities with poor policy decisions. You can read more about Art Pope and how his money is hurting out communities at artpopeexposed.com.
On Saturday February 11th 2012 members of NC HEAT gathered for Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ). This was the 6th annual march sponsored by the NAACP. Thousands came together to march for immigration rights, economic justice, worker rights, and education policy.
The youth used this as an opportunity to represent their agenda and advocate for the Justice in their communities. Students wanted to expand the scope of the Art Pope boycott. The boycott of Art Pope’s stores, which include Maxway and Roses, became a conversation point throughout the day.
NC HEAT gathered signatures and explained the connections between Art Pope and the education policy in Wake County. In addition NC HEAT members promoted their upcoming picket of Maxway on February 18th. The overall event was a success as it expanded the Art Pope boycott and brought awareness to issues impacting youth in Wake County.
The NAACP-sponsored civil rights rally Historic Thousands on Jones Street, or HKONJ, celebrated its 5th anniversary on Saturday. Thousands came together to march for immigration rights, economic justice, worker rights, and to speak out against the educational policies that are threatening to re-segregate North Carolina schools.
The decision to end Busing-for-Diversity in North Carolina’s largest school district made national headlines last year and was recently satirized by Steven Colbert on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. You only have to look at how the state’s second largest school district, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, to understand that this is not a laughing matter! With North Carolina in a budget crisis and education money on the chopping block, Charlotte-Mecklenburg closed the doors on nearly a dozen mostly non-white schools AFTER deciding to end it’s busing policy. NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous joined Rev. William Barber, NC NAACP president to speak out against the direction the district and state is heading.
“We ‘re still fighting old Jim Crow,” he said. NC Heat Co-Chair Monserrat Alvarez was a featured speaker at the rally and was interviewed by NBC-17.
Don’t let North Carolina push nonwhite students to the back of the bus! Join us for a Student and Parent Panel with the Anthony Tata at a To Be Determined location on March 3rd 6:30-8:30 p.m. Food, childcare, and Spanish Interpretation will be provided.
Young people from across the state confronted the North Carolina General Assembly when they convened their opening session on Jan. 26. The youth demanded, “Education is a right, not a privilege!”
The “Day of Action to Defend Education” was organized by a coalition of youth-led groups who are involved in education struggles around the state, from fighting back against budget cuts and tuition hikes to winning full and meaningful access to higher education for undocumented students and pushing back the growing tide of resegregation in the state’s public school systems.
Despite the cold and rainy weather, nearly 100 young people, including many high school students and immigrant youth, came out for the day, which began with a press conference and lobbying in the morning, followed by a march and rally in the afternoon.
The spirited march through downtown Raleigh filled the air with chants of “No cuts, no fees, education should be free!” and “Education, not deportation!” as it hit three targets: the governor’s mansion, the Department of Public Instruction and the NC Community Colleges offices. At each stop, speakers raised the connections between these education struggles and the need for young people in the state to fight back to stop the slew of cuts and reactionary bills being proposed by the new, Republican-led legislature.
Monse Alvarez, of NC HEAT (Heroes Emerging Among Teens), stressed: “This day of action was important because we can’t just let this new legislature come in without making some noise about it. … They want to take us back to a time of Jim Crow segregation where immigrants and people of color are treated like less than human. They want to push through their anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-education, anti-everything-that-people-need agenda, unless we do something about it.”
Education on the chopping block
Like many state governments across the country facing budget shortfalls, politicians have placed every public service on the chopping block to deal with the state’s nearly $4 billion hole. The Republican majority, which recently took over both houses in the legislature for the first time in 112 years, has promised to manage this with spending cuts alone. Thousands of state workers could be laid off. The university system is facing a 15 percent cut as public school systems around the state are facing cuts of nearly $100 million. Entire health programs face elimination, and every social good is under attack.
The GOP wasted no time in proposing reactionary pieces of legislation. On their session’s second day, they introduced an anti-immigrant bill modeled after Arizona’s SB 1070, a bill that would ban undocumented students from community colleges and the university system (HB 11), a bill requiring voters to show IDs, and more.
“We made our voices heard that day, and it was important to be there and speak out about issues in our community like education. They were afraid of us being there. They sent out cops to try to stop us. Unfortunately, they introduced HB 11 the next day, but this was only the beginning, and we are going to keep fighting around this,” said Raul Arce.
Groups across the state are mobilizing to fight back against the legislature’s proposed, massive cuts and to stop the growing racist attacks on the immigrant community. Activists plan many different actions and demonstrations for the coming weeks.
Workers and students all over the world — from Egypt to Tunisia, from Yemen to Jordan, from Britain to Puerto Rico — are showing the only way forward out of this crisis, which is to take their destiny into their own hands and fight back. Continued, determined action is exactly what is necessary to stop the attacks on education and the public sector and to push back the reactionary forces that have risen in this period.
With a national Month of Actions to Defend Public Education set for March, youth and students can only expect to see more of these types of actions throughout the country.
On Tuesday, December 7, representatives from the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights visited Raleigh as part of their investigation into the Title VI complaint filed against the Wake County Board of Education by NC HEAT and the NAACP. Read more about the complaint by clicking here.
The investigators from the Office of Civil Rights spent the day meeting with different community members and organizations about the impacts and consequences the new board majority’s push for neighborhood schools has and will have on Wake County students’ education, particularly for low income and students of color. They were taken on a tour of neighborhoods in the county to get a sense of what the racial composition of these so-called neighborhood schools would be. Throughout the day, they were accompanied by members of the Wake Education Advocates (WEA), including two members of NC HEAT.
At the end of the day, a final meeting was held between member organizations of the WEA and the OCR investigators at the YWCA in Raleigh. Members of NC HEAT began arriving at the Y for a planning meeting before the speak out action that was called for at the school board meeting later in the day. As the OCR investigators were leaving, NC HEAT lined the hallway with signs they had made for the school board action and spoke with investigators about the organizing they had been doing and why they were speaking out for just and equitable schools for all students.