Since April 29, members of NC HEAT have come out for weekly “Moral Mondays.” On June 24 thousands of people from across the state gathered. Over 120 people participating in non-violent civil disobedience. The reactionary policies being proposed include massive cuts to education, a school voucher plan, refusing the Federal Medicaid Expansion, and cutting unemployment benefits. NC HEAT will continue to raise youth demands, tell their stories, and be in solidarity every Moral Monday.
Calling Triangle-Area Teens: Work this summer to stop racism & school re-segregation, challenge the school to prison pipeline, and make schools safe for LBGTQ youth (and get paid!).
Entering its fourth 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.
What is the Youth Organizing Institute:
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 50 hours of classroom & field work.
Sessions will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from July 9 – July 25, plus one weekend.
Participants who successfully complete the program will receive a certificate and a $100 stipend.
On June 4, Students in NC HEAT, the Education Justice Alliance, and The Coalition of Concerned Parents of African American Youth joined forces to attend the Wake County School Board meeting. The “Consent Agenda” of the meeting included a renewal of the SRO contract which funds the security in the High Schools. SRO’s have been arresting youth at many schools including recently at Enloe. Seven students were taken to jail after a water-balloon senior prank. When a parent went into the principals office to ask why these black boys were being thrown into the ground by police the principal had the parent arrested for trespassing. The SRO’s have little to no training and target youth of color. Youth and community members packed public comment section as well as the meeting mounting enough pressure for the school board to move the agenda item of SRO funding to the “action” part of the agenda. After much discussion and debate among the school board members about discipline issues, school board member Keith Sutton said he would consider a moratorium on suspensions for level one infractions. While the funding for SRO’s did end up passing, the board recommended that community members be involved in the SRO summit training in August. This is just the beginning of the pressure we will put on the school board. Students need dignity in their schools and we will work until that is the case. You can watch the entire school board meeting or read more about it!
NC HEAT members and Youth Organizing Institute staff have been showing up big to Moral Mondays since the first one – April 29 – when two NC HEAT members were arrested alongside NC NAACP president Rev. Barber.
Ever since we’ve been helping to build and turn out youth and helping with jail support til late into the night.
Check out this joint statement NC HEAT signed in solidarity with LGBTQ organizations and leaders who have been participating in Moral Mondays
On May 25 youth, community members, activists, friends, and family gathered to celebrate an amazing woman’s birthday, Bridgette Burge. Bridgette who is an advisory board member of the Youth Organizing Institute talked about her love for the program and for Youth Organizing. “I cannot think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than protesting and organizing what is happening at the general assembly.” The birthday party allowed youth to connect with community members who are in the social justice movement in NC. This powerful event is just one of the many ways which we are building an inter-generational coalition of organizers in NC. The event also helped raise money for the summer program! Can you help us reach our fundraising goal and support the work of YOI? Make a donation today!
On May 4, high school students gathered for the Youth Organizing Institute Spring Training. Youth from Orange, Wake, and Durham Counties gathered at the Street Scene Teen Center in Chapel Hill. Popular education trainings were requested by the youth for this year’s spring training. Additionally, leaders in NC HEAT helped to facilitate the trainings, along with adult allies from the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the Counter Cartographies Collective.
The curriculum included a school to prison pipeline 101 workshop, followed by a facilitation training so that the attendees could bring the training back to their schools and communities. After lunch we had data, mapping, and cartography exercises to analyze data, then transform it into accessible and useful forms. This Spring’s Institute laid the groundwork for the 4th annual Summer Institute, which will take place in July.
Calling all Youth!
Saturday May 4, come to the Youth Organizing Institute’s Spring Training Day and CONNECT with young people across the triangle who are passionate about social justice.
We will learn how to:
- FACILITATE your own workshop on the school to prison pipeline!
- TRANSFORM statistics into exciting visuals, maps, media, and spoken word!
On April 1 NC HEAT spoke to students at UNC about the struggles youth face in High Schools. The School to Prison Pipeline was the main issues raised in coordination with the dignity in Schools day of action “You cant create peace with a piece.” High School students also spoke about how college students could be good allies in the struggle. NC HEAT is launching a campaign for a moratorium on out of schools suspensions and is getting support from communities in the triangle.
Youth from around the country developed a statement: An excerpt is below “In communities of color throughout the nation, students now experience a vicious school-to-jail track. Despite the fact that school shootings have overwhelmingly happened in white schools, youth of color have paid the price. We have been handcuffed and humiliated in front of other students and staff for “offenses” as small as being late to school; detained in police interrogation rooms at our school; expelled from school for carrying nail clippers, markers or baseball caps; and arrested – even in elementary schools – for fights that used to be solved in the principal’s office. With our backpacks searched and our lockers and cars tossed, at the end of a billy club or the butt of a gun, knees down-hands up, or face down on cold concrete or burning asphalt – we have experienced the true face of “public safety.” These policies haven’t protected us, helped us to graduate or taught us anything about preventing violence. They have taught us to fear a badge, to hate school and to give up on our education. We understand too well that guns in anyone’s hands are not the solution. You can’t build peace with a piece.”
Sign the petition and call the committee members: bit.ly/NOHB217
Today youth from NC HEAT joined community members to overflow a committee hearing on HB 217. There was a line outside of the inadaquate public meeting space and the youth presence was known. The bill people mobilized against would remove judicial discretion for certain felonies allegedly committed by juveniles 13 years or older. Currently under North Carolina law, judges must consider whether probable cause exists that the juvenile committed the offense, and weigh the protection of the public and the best interests of the juvenile in determining whether to transfer the case to adult court. Just by a written motion, Section 7 of HB 217 gives prosecutors the power to prosecute juveniles 13 years or older in the adult criminal court system and strips juvenile court judges’ discretion.
The youth and community response to this measure has just begun. Youth feel that we need to be raising the age at which they can be tried as adults and not the other way around.