Youth United for Community Action

Youth United for Community Action

"Locked out of the legal means of material survival, looked down upon by predatory politicians and police, left with the least relevant educational opportunities, talked at with contempt and not talked to with love-- is there any question why such youth are alienated?... 

They look at the lives they live and see not "civil rights progress", but a drumbeat of civil repression by a state at war with their dreams.

Why the surprise?

This is not the lost generation....

They are the children of the L.A. rebellion, the children of the MOVE bombing, the children of the Black Panthers, and the grandchildren of Malcolm; far from lost, they are probably the most aware generation since Nat Turner's; they are not so much lost as they are mislaid, discarded by this increasingly racist system that undermines their inherent worth. They are all potential revolutionaries, with the historical power to transform our dull realities.

If they are lost, find them." 

Mumia Abu Jamal -- Journalist, Black Panther, Political Prisoner




Leadership development and community organizing go hand in hand.  

By grounding leadership in community impact and working for social justice, we have seen young people begin to take their education and development into their own hands, acquiring information on their own and learning new skills, not because they are told to, but because they see this knowledge as crucial to themselves and their community.  We have seen youth think towards the future as they develop workplans for themselves and the group; gain research skills and improve their reading as they explore community issues; improve their writing through speeches and articles; gain public speaking and facilitation skills as they run meetings and speak at public hearings; and learn to teach what they have learned to other young people.  Furthermore, youth begin to own their community and themselves.  Thus, their self-confidence increases, and their concept of what they can do or be expands.

YUCA core youth organizers receive intense leadership development opportunities comprised of political education, critical analysis, and community organizing skills.  They spend anywhere between 5-20 hours a week at YUCA.

YUCA also leads workshops in the community -- particularly targeting middle school and continuation schools where the opportunity to learn about East Palo Alto and social justice organizing is most needed.  We strive to spread a culture that promotes youth to be civically engaged -- not just through their experience at YUCA, but throughout their lives.