A spotlight on Healthy Beginnings+Healthy Communities Collaborative Youth Equity Collaborative.
Youth voices often go unnoticed and unrecognized in social justice movements. Youth leaders are undervalued due to their "lack of experience." But, when it comes to youth, people are measuring experience the wrong way. Youth have plenty of experience – their own lived experience. Youth are their own experts.
The Youth Equity Collaborative, made up of youth-led social justice organizations, including Multnomah Youth Commission, Latino Unidos Siempre, CAPACES Leadership Institute, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon's Youth Environmental Justice Alliance, Oregon Students of Color Coalition with Oregon Student Association and Momentum Alliance, values and prioritizes youth voices.
The Youth Equity Collaborative encourages collective youth action and including youth at decision making tables when the decisions will affect youth, because youth are capable of making change.
Some of the challenges youth face are lack of affordable transportation, financial support and accommodations for their participation, as well as lack of opportunities. The Youth Equity Collaborative does its best to support our youth and aims to remove barriers by providing reimbursement for transportation, providing bust tickets and childcare as needed. They also provide opportunities for youth to explore, network and participate in leadership development by sending them to conferences, gatherings and lobby days.
Why did the organizations that are part of the Youth Equity Collaborative choose to join the Youth Equity Collaborative?
- To build relationships and network across organizations.
- To engage the community on a greater scale.
- To create a coherent and unified youth voice across the state.
- To learn and share effective organizational practices.
- To foster a support network for youth involved in social justice movements.
What has the Youth Equity Collaborative been doing lately?
- Building relationships, including meeting monthly, playing fun games and discussing what "our future looks like."
- Participating in the Oregon Students of Color Conference and Communities Collaborate gatherings and traveling together.
- Creating content for social media campaigns.
- Creating a political agenda.