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No Leaders without Organizers: The Importance of Building a Youth Organizing Pipeline

Young people are fired up! They see injustices in their communities and existential threats to their futures - a severe housing and homelessness crisis, inflation and stagnant wages, democracy under threat and a loss of rights, and extreme climate impacts - all of which are felt disproportionately by Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color communities. They want a better, more equitable future for themselves and their communities, so many young people are following their passion and joining racial, economic, reproductive, immigrant, and climate justice movements in record numbers. At the same time, in part to pandemic related staffing changes, social justice organizations are looking to hire qualified movement leaders like never before.

However, we have a major pipeline problem. To address these challenges in the short and long term, we need more trained community and labor organizers. The opportunity for young activists to get intensive hands-on training is critical for building their basic organizing skills, while learning how to organize sustainably to minimize burnout, and also processing some of the challenging emotions that naturally arise when organizing. This enables them to enter the workforce and hit the ground running as movement leaders, and build a strong base for starting a career in social justice organizing.

What solutions are movement building organizations finding for the pipeline problem, and what role can philanthropy play to support tomorrow’s leaders? Join NCG and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to hear from movement building organizations and young activists about the pipeline issues facing movement building organizations, and bright spots like Base Building for Power (www.basebuilding.net) which helps build a bridge between passionate young organizers and the movement organizations who need them to organize for justice. We’ll discuss recent successes and how philanthropy can get involved to support young people who are organizing for a better future.

Speakers 

  • Harley Agustino, Founder, Base Building for Power
  • Hazel Davalos, Co-Executive Director, CAUSE
  • Rashad Douglass, Youth Organizer
  • Pablo Rodriguez, Executive Director, Communities for a New California Education Fund
  • Tess Willams, Youth Organizer
  • Joey Williams, Director of Organizing, CA Native Vote Project
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