The mission of the YA-YA Network (Youth Activists-Youth Allies) is to provide training and leadership experience to prepare young people to become the next generation of activists in the movement for social and economic justice. YA-YA is a youth-driven, citywide, anti-racist, anti-sexist organization and allies with the LGBTQ community. Our organization is staffed by young activists ages 15-25, who provide peer education, training, and mentoring to youth leaders in NYC. We provide core training in anti-oppression, organizing skills and political education then engage as leaders and active members in campaigns that directly impact youth, their families and the communities they live in.
Youth Leadership at YAYA
Every year we recruit young activists and organizers looking to make a real difference. Most begin their journey with us in our 8-week Summer Social Justice Institute when YAYAs learn more about oppression and deepen our understanding of the root causes of problems in our communities. We then return in the fall and spring to dive into skill-based intensive boot camps like our Learning Freedom Bootcamp that equips YAYAs with tools to facilitate peer education workshop to build awareness around issues like the school-to-prison-pipeline. After receiving training and essential knowledge of social justice and movement-building, our youth organizers become mentors and help shape program for the new YAYAs and facilitate the workshops and training with the support of staff. Throughout the year, YAYAs across our opportunities are also leaders in our campaign, Make Our Schools Safe Again, recently developed by youth in our Action Committee, the youth-led organizing arm of our organization.
Support and Resources for Activists Groups
We also support, encourage and participate in cross-issue and cross-community organizing and coalition building. We offer our workshop to other youth-serving organizations and schools. We provide resources and meeting space for other groups, especially newly forming organizations and coalitions and those working on emerging issues. We work to build a stronger voice for young people in the movement for social & economic justice.