Since 2014, YES! has been building the YES! Youth Network. The YES! Youth Network is a cohort of youth-adult teams across the country working to empower youth, in partnership with adults, to create community change. YES! is committed to creating community change through the lens of social justice by applying an explicit racial equity framework.
We are investing in teams of youth and adults across the country to take action around systems, environments, and policies at the local and state level that impact youth directly. In addition to small mini-grants, YES! provides training and technical assistance to support these action teams as they create sustainable community change. Most importantly, this work is transforming how those communities see youth.
FY18: 15 policies, systems and environmental changes occurred impacting 2,474,032 in 8 different states, with 9 changes specific to North Carolina.
FY17: 19 policies, systems and environmental changes occurred impacting 227,807 people in North Carolina.
YES! is now committed to creating community change through the lens of social justice by applying an explicit racial equity framework. Therefore, YES! seeks to prioritize organizations led by people and youth of color. Whether the issue is food justice, tobacco use, or access to oral health, root causes, particularly racism, impact all of these.
WAYS TO JOIN THE YES! YOUTH NETWORK
- Apply for a YES! Youth Network mini-grant
- Next Funding Cycle: Winter 2018
- To be notified of next funding announcement click here
- Partner with YES! through Custom Service work and opt-in to the YES! Youth Network
- Join the YES! Youth Network as an Equity Partner
YES! YOUTH NETWORK | EQUITY PARTNERS
YES! Equity Partners are government agencies, foundations, nonprofits, faith organizations and community groups who would like to invest in the YES! Youth Network. In 2017, we opened the Youth Network to organizations to apply for mini-grant funding with this new focus on racial equity. With the help of an outside funder, we were able to fund 18 organizations that support youth of color as they lead advocacy efforts around policy, systems and environmental changes that are important to them. Coming in January 2019, we are opening the Network to organizations that would like to join us as Equity Partners. These are organizations that are ready to “buy-in” to get all the benefits the network provides (see benefits below), while investing in youth and communities of color. YES! is committed to taking a portion of the “buy in” investments to fund YES!’s Youth Network mini-grants for marginalized groups. The YES! Youth Network is unique because it provides ongoing support for youth and adults and creates an opportunity for members to learn, strategize, partner and NOW support each other to enhance each community’s experience.
BENEFITS OF JOINING THE YES! YOUTH NETWORK
- Youth Empowerment and Racial Equity Organizational Assessments
- Access to YES! Youth and Adult Leader Training
- Monthly virtual learning modules for Youth and Adults
- Peer-to-peer learning opportunities for Youth and Adults
- Exposure to best advocacy practices from National PSE Experts
- Comprehensive tools and resources focused on youth empowerment, racial equity and community change
- Network of youth-adult teams across the country support youth-led movements
- Online calendar of continued learning opportunities for youth and adults
- 20% of Equity Partner “buy -in” investment provides mini-grants to support organizations that serve marginalized youth of color and helps cover their costs for travel to Youth Network trainings and youth stipends.
ELIGIBILITY FOR EQUITY PARTNERS
- Can be local government agency, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, foundation or faith-based organization, community group, business
- Currently engaging youth (ages 14-18) including youth of color
- Evidence of POCI in leadership roles or willingness to diversify and sustain leadership to reflect POCI communities they serve.
- If not currently engaging youth, be willing to recruit and sustain 3-4 youth of color as organizational partners within the first year.
- Willingness to travel to NC or Georgia, or regional location (locations TBA) for youth and adult leader trainings
- Showing a commitment to racial equity (examples here: initiated systems change internally)
Organization has an active advocacy focus
- The YES! Youth Network operates using a cohort model approach as we phase in new partners and work to build the capacity of adults, youth and organizations. Each new cohort enters the YES! Youth Network at Phase I (see image below) and then moves through the phases accordingly.
YES! Youth Network Cohort Model