The Youth Organizing Institute is a popular and political education leadership development program committed to DISMANTLING THE SCHOOL-TO-PRISON-PIPELINE, ENDING RACISM & RESEGREGATION, AND MAKE SCHOOLS SAFE FOR LGBTQ YOUTH.

FOR FREEDOM SCHOOL INTERNS (available only to alumni of previous Freedom Schools): Wednesday, MAY 18th

For the past 6 years our Summer Freedom School has been a space for high school students who are passionate about changing the world to convene, share stories, and learn the skills necessary for creating the world we deserve. There will be art, workshops, dancing, talent shows, field trips, and so much more!

Freedom School tracks are 2 weeks long – Tuesdays – Fridays 9am-5pm; Friday programming may run later.

Interested? Fill out this application! SPACE IS LIMITED. If you are accepted into the program, you will be eligible to receive a $100 stipend for completing your Freedom School track. Meals provided and transportation available.

Track 1: Raleigh Freedom School – June 28 – July 8
Track 2: Chapel Hill Freedom School – July 19 – July 29
Track 3: Durham Freedom School – August 2 – August 12
SPECIAL TRACK – Eastern NC inter-generational overnight Weekend Freedom School – August 12 – August 15

More information about who we are: empoweryouthnc.org

Ending the Criminalization of Students in Wake County

Please RVSP here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1C7_PVtfzUQlifw6tKpfrXaR59DRoIwHU7rERFBhfHCM/viewform
by April 4th

A Community meeting to address increased suspension, over-policing and mass incarceration of black and brown youth in Wake County. If you feel this is a issue in are public schools come out and let your voice be heard !

The Facts:
-62% of students suspended are Black, while 13.5% are Latino.

-More than 11% of Black students will be blocked from a classroom due to increased suspension, expulsion and arrest.

-When school resource officers arrest students, 69% of them are Black and 48% of them are forced into the adult criminal system.

-Less than 1% are given the chance to go through mediation instead of jail.

For any details or information contcat info
Tavonbridges7@gmail.com or (919) 239-0986

Food, childcare and Spanish interpretation will be available.

We oppose House Bill 2! Black trans lives matter!

Today in North Carolina, legislators have called an emergency session to ensure that LGBTQ people, workers, and students will be met with pushback and discrimination at work, in restrooms, at schools, and essentially any space where trans people want to access resources and accommodations.

We oppose HB 2 and recognize that this bill will be particularly damaging for trans women and trans and queer youth of color. The attacks in this bill go beyond any regulations for bathrooms and requirements for documentation. HB 2 includes provisions to prevent local city governments from protecting their workers against discrimination and paying living wage. This attack is another step in ensuring that North Carolina continues in a politically regressive direction.

We will not stop fighting until Black trans lives matter, until Black workers matter, until Black youth matter.

‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ Queer and Trans People of Color Coalition Response to NC HB 2

On the anniversary of the passing of Blake Brockington, a Black trans teen from Charlotte, North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly moved to attack working people and create dangerous conditions for women, LGBTQ people, black and brown people, and any workers who experience discrimination or who struggle to make ends meet.

The General Assembly and Governor McCrory chose to criminalize trans and gender nonconforming children and youth, and to scapegoat trans women and other trans people for rape by passing NC HB 2. House Bill 2 bars city and county governments from raising their municipal minimum wage, as well as prohibits anti-discrimination policies that account for gender identity, expression, and sexual orientation. Lawmakers were given only 5 minutes to review the bill and it passed within a 12 hour period without a single trans person of color being allowed to speak.
This bill reinforces the school to prison pipeline that trans and gender non-conforming students of color already face by making their choice of toilet grounds for suspension or arrest.
This bill rolls back decades of hard-won progress, and will harm our whole state. It undermines municipal democratic control, advancements in anti-discrimination policy, and further prohibits wage increases. This is a direct assault on working families and particularly working women of color who are most likely to be paid poverty wages. LGBTQ folks of color are workers, and we are worth more!

This bill uses trans panic and the scapegoating of trans women to derail real conversations about safety and consent. Trans and queer people are survivors of sexual assault, too. Our safety matters and we don’t make our community safer by threatening others with the brute force of the murderous police or incarceration. If our state is truly concerned for survivors of sexual assault, it will make comprehensive consent and sex education mandatory. This law does nothing to prevent indecent exposure and sexual assault, which are already illegal, but instead prevents local governments from protecting the safety and livelihoods of queer and trans people.

We honor and fight for Blake by affirming that our lives matter. Anti-transgender bias and legislation and persistent structural racism directly impact the devastating rates of suicidality, unemployment, physical and sexual violence, poverty, incarceration and homelessness experienced by transgender people of color.

Trans and Queer people of color demand a living wage and freedom from criminalization and discrimination, in the workplace and in the bathroom.

Tonight, we are calling for a Special Session of the People outside of the Governor’s mansion. For Blake Brockington, for Angel Elisha Walker, for all Black and Brown trans and queer people in North Carolina who have been murdered, disappeared, or incarcerated, it is our duty to speak. It is our duty to demand freedom, to demand a living wage, to demand education, to demand comprehensive health care that is accessible and free of charge.

QPOCC, The Tribe, #BlackLivesMatter North Carolina, Sister Song, Ignite NC, Southern Vision Alliance, Youth Organizing Institute, #BlackLivesMatter Gate City, Workers World Party, SONG NC, Greensboro Mural Project, GenderBenders, Fight for $15, QORDS, Trans Pride in Action, Queer Youth Circus, House daLorde, Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI-NC), SAFE Coalition NC, LGBTQ Center of Durham, Center for Family and Maternal Wellness

Registration for Teen Convening, now open!

Click here to register your youth group for Building Bridges: Teen Convening

Each spring since 2012, the Youth Organizing Institute has hosted the Building Bridges Teen Convening, a retreat for youth organizers and activists throughout North Carolina. Through this convening, teen organizers and adult allies who organize to end the school-to-prison pipeline, fight racism, work for LGBTQ liberation, create food justice, and other issues, come together and build bridges in the intersections of the issues and work they focus on. High school students from across the state are able to talk about issues affecting them in their schools and communities, lead workshops and skillshares about issues and skills that are relevant to the work they engage in. The programming is developed and led entirely by a team of representatives from the youth organizations who will be in attendance. The role of adult allies is to support with logistics and transportation, as well as to share space with other adult allies and discuss their work with youth.

YOI believes in the liberation of young people and strongly feel that in order to build a strong movement, we need to build intentional relationships with organizations who share our vision of youth liberation. It is with great joy that we invite you to register for our fourth annual teen convening!!!


We Condemn the Raids! Stop the Attacks on Immigrants!

The Youth Organizing Institute is in solidarity with the families, students, parents, and communities impacted by the ICE raids.

We support the freedom of movement of migrants who are leaving their home countries as a result of U.S. foreign and immigration policies. Undocumented immigrants should not be targeted for finding a way to survive.

We uplift the efforts of our local community to resist and fight against the criminalization of youth of color and undocumented immigrants. Please continue to support the work of organizations such as SEIRN, El Pueblo, Inc, and many other grassroots organizations who are on the frontlines of this fight.

The repressive political conditions of North Carolina, including the recently approval of anti-immigrant bill HB 11, makes these ICE raids possible and we will not stop until these ICE raids end!

HKonJ Weekend a Huge Success!

With our partners, Ignite NC, Queer People of Color Collective and many others, we brought together nearly 100 youth from across North Carolina for HKonJ Weekend! Check out some of our photos below.


Join us at the 2016 Pre-HKonJ Youth Power Convening!

Join the Youth Organizing Institute, Ignite NC, the NC Student Power Union, Southern Vision Alliance, and many others for a youth & student convergence in Raleigh the day before HKonJ.

REGISTER ASAP so that we can get an accurate count for dinner, snacks, and light breakfast. We will follow up to coordinate the logistics of travel, lodging, and transportation as needed.


DATE: Friday, February 12, starting at 6pm.

WHO IS INVITED: All youth activists and organizers, youth groups and organizations

Pullen Memorial Baptist Church
Finlater Hall (around the back with the big windows)
1801 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27605

FOR WHAT? Join us for an evening of pizza, sign/banner making, chant/song learning, caucuses and workshops, and visioning for a better, stronger, and kick-ass youth and student movement.

OVERNIGHT?? This year there is the option to stay overnight, slumber party style! Organizations registering youth under 18 must send accompanying adult allies to help chaperon and will be responsible for following your organization’s protocols for obtaining permission from parent(s)/guardian(s).



Youth Organizing Institute staff will be on site all night to ensure that the space is safe, sober, and welcoming to everyone.

If you are under 18, want to stay the night, and will not be coming with a group, you will be sent a release form which must be signed by a parent/guardian by Friday the 12th.

If you have any questions please call or send an email to Q at (919) 760-7088, Q@empoweryouthnc.org

***This event is for youth only and will center the experiences of people ages 13-30***

“Wake County transgender students want school bathroom choice”

Check out Hayden and CJ in this piece by The News & Observer!

The Wake County school system allows some transgender students to use the student bathroom of their choice while offering to let other transgender students use staff restrooms.

Wake County school officials say they decide whether to approve requests from transgender students to use different restrooms case by case, approving some and turning down others. Now two transgender teenagers are urging North Carolina’s largest school system to allow all transgender students to use the restroom that matches their identity.

An online petition was created after Hayden Riner, 17, said he was threatened with suspension from Athens Drive High School in Raleigh if he continued to use the boys’ restroom. Hayden was born a female but identifies himself as male.

“The public school system was set in place to give every student an equal opportunity to gain a good education,” Hayden said. “It’s really hard to get a good education when you’re being threatened to be suspended for using the restroom.”

The petition, which had 698 signatures as of Sunday afternoon, comes amid a national push backed by the Obama administration to expand protections for transgender students. But the effort has drawn opposition from social conservatives who cite religious and privacy reasons.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article55208195.html#storylink=cpy