People marching

Raquel Guevara Bolaños-Guevara, Tre Vasquez, Tomas Salinas, and The North Bay Organizing Project – Academia del Pueblo / The Young People’s Academy

Academia del Pueblo / The Young People’s Academy is an 8-day training institute for 10 individuals aged 14-22 years old designed to build the leadership of African American/Black, Latinx, Native/Indigenous and Asian/Pacific Islander youth. Over the course of 2-weeks, staff and community educators will facilitate popular education, art and community wellness workshops to deepen knowledge and skill level around political education, community organizing skills and holistic wellness. The in-depth curriculum of the Young People’s Academy will be centered around the following four elements of Youth Organizing: Hxstory of the People’s Movements, Community Organizing, Cultural Strategy, and Healing & Wellness.

Participants will be given the opportunity to engage in the practical application of content by spending 4-hours per week at an internship with community organization allies engaging in phone banking and door-knocking/canvassing on issues such as housing & tenants’ rights, raising the minimum wage, climate justice and immigrant rights. Each student will receive a stipend for their time and work. Participants will be selected through an intensive screening process to ensure that selectees have a long term vision for making positive changes on their respective campuses and within their communities. This ongoing relationship will carry on into the 2019-2020 school year providing guidance and mentorship to youth leaders.

This grant will enable us to provide public transportation stipends and logistical needs to young people attending the academy. In the aftermath of the 2017 climate change caused wildfires in Sonoma County, we were inspired to develop an even stronger foundation for social justice youth organizing work to shift the root causes of inequity for youth of color in our region. We have seen severe displacement, land grabs, toxic pollution and homelessness deeply impact communities as a result of this climate disaster. We are committed to continuing to build youth led campaigns in Sonoma County in order to improve the lives of our community.