Youth Organizing Institute Begins!


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!

2012 Youth Organizing Institute Accepting Applications!

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

Fill out the application online or Download it here: summer 2012 YOI application 

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.  


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.


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.


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

Click Here to fill out the online application

Download the application here: summer 2012 YOI application

Spring Training a Success!


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: YWCA

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:

Art Pope Boycott: NC HEAT Pickets Maxway

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

HKonJ Mobilization

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.

Join NC HEAT at HK on J on February 11 in Raleigh

NC HEAT will be marching with thousands of people from across North Carolina on February 11 in Raleigh for Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HK on J)! We’ll be marching for fully funded, diverse, and quality public education, against racism, against Amendment One, for workers rights, and standing shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people behind the 14 point Peoples’ Agenda. Join us!