Thank you for believing in our work and leadership!
New York State Youth Leadership Council 2017
We are a place where undocumented people come together, organize, and tackle the injustices that face our community. In 2017, hundreds of undocumented youth and their allies came together to challenge the systems of oppression that keep us out of school, limit our access to healthcare and living wages, and try to disempower us.
Here's how we built and reclaimed power in 2017.
Leadership Development and Political Education
Through events like our Immigrant Youth Empowerment Conference and our Youth Empowerment Program, we reached hundreds of students, educators, and community members. These events are designed to give attendees the tools to organize, the space to reflect on the issues that our communities face, and brainstorm solutions that uplift all of our voices. Out of these events, people are left with a better understanding of how systemic oppression plays out in our everyday lives and empowered to question and challenge these systems.
Our advocacy work continues to challenge the state and local-level institutions and policies that block our access to education and criminalize our community. This year we continued to highlight the need for the New York Dream Act, a Clean Dream Act, and defended our right to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in court by filing an amicus brief with the support of Latino Justice.
We created our own media to take back our stories. We established spaces for our undocuqueer leaders to be in community and a fundraising team to further develop our skills.
We build with organizers and organizations doing work on the ground and across issues. This year, we worked with partners to build a shared understanding that true liberation means liberation for all.
Media and Social Media
We used media and social media to reach immigrants and supporters in New York and around the world. We shared resources, events, and stories. Because of our media trainings our leaders appeared on viral platforms.
Thank you to the funders who believe in our leadership and vision.
Collective Healing and Emotional Labor
So much of our existence was challenged in 2017 by an increase in overt anti-immigrant sentiment and xenophobia. In response to this we made safe spaces for our members to share their worries and fears, and also what motivates them. As an undocumented youth led organization, our leaders are directly impacted by the constant attacks against immigrants. In 2017, we prioritized our mental health and wellbeing used art and community bonding to stay connected with ourselves and each other.
Scholarships and Awards
Our scholarship program gave students tangible resources to continue their studies or apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival renewals. We also supported students in their applications to other scholarships and funding programs.
In 2017, our organization was honored as one of three "Resisters" at Outten & Golden LLP Eighth Annual Public Interest Award.