The Youth Organizing Institute (YOI) formed in March 2010 to increase the representation of youth in the debate to dismantle the Wake County school system’s diversity policy. What became apparent was the absence of the voices of the low-wealth students and parents of color in the debate, those most affected by the achievement gap and by the school-to-prison pipeline.

The Youth Organizing Institute is a leadership development and organizing training program to support low-income youth, LGBTQ youth, and youth of color. Since 2010, the Youth Organizing Institute has enjoyed continued success. YOI provides grounding analysis of systems of oppressions and the history of grassroots movements for change. In addition to our Summer Freedom Schools, we anchor the NC Coalition for Education Justice, which is engaged in a Solutions Not Suspensions campaign to to decrease out of school suspensions, advocate for restorative justice programs, reduce SROs in schools, and increase councilors and funding for quality culturally-sensitive education. We work with allies to mobilize students, parents, and communities to end the school-to-prison-pipeline.