Youth Developing a National Strategy For Themselves, By Themselves
Year For (You)TH 2012 – Phase I
The aim of Year for (You)th is to improve the quality of the lives of black gay youth living in the United States. By organizing those 25 years of age and younger (alongside elected officials and youth serving agencies), who want to take part in positive activities and gain support that will improve their condition of life, to help develop and improve their physical (health), mental, emotional, social and educational wellbeing.
Year For (You)th will help aid their transitional period from adolescence to adulthood, giving them a better place in society and help build community cohesion.
1. To promote community cohesion and create opportunities for black gay youth to engage with and be respected by the community by:
Promoting black gay youth through holding events, outreach and attending external events, meetings and networking events across the country.
Bringing young people together from different backgrounds and enabling them to share knowledge and experience together, celebrating differences and recognizing commonalities.
Continuing to have a diverse set of adult mentors/allies from a range of different backgrounds and with a variety of skills.
2. To identify culturally safe spaces and environments in every state to develop young people by empowering and inspiring them through positive activities, support and training and to recognize their achievements by:
Supporting young people into education, training and employment.
Delivering youth-led initiatives and projects, encouraging young people to take responsibility/ownership of their own lives and decisions.
Providing personal development and life skills programs.
Providing and supporting young black gay entrepreneurs with accreditation and ensuring we record all outcomes.
3. To help design additional safe spaces and environments in traditional non-affirming institutions through practical experience and professional training by:
Providing and supporting professional trainings/retreats and workshops.
Providing in house training and consultation including webinars, Introduction to The Tri-Cultural Experience of Black Gay Youth, Adultism and Cultural Awareness.
Providing institutions support through supervisions, meetings and development days, including national Safe Spaces For LGBT Youth of Color Month.
Creating opportunities to progress within the lives of black gay youth.
Recognizing achievements of these institutions through feedback and praise.
4. To ensure high quality services for black gay youth nationally and to promote the physical, intellectual, mental, emotional, social and well being of black gay youth, helping them achieve their full potential and aid their transition from youth to adulthood by:
Identifying and acknowledging high quality services for black gay youth in every state.
Evaluating and giving actual youth feedback both program/activity based and service/organizational based.
Sustaining funding. Sharing of resources.
Continuing to be recognized as a ‘best practice’ organization when applying for funding for black gay youth and meeting/exceeding criteria for quality assurance.
Ensuring black gay youth remain at the table and involved in all national strategies geared towards them as it relates to health, education, housing, employment and government services.
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How These Goals will be met
As of today, YPS has recruited, identified, interviewed, met with, and trained a minimum of 2 youth leaders from the following states who have already begun the process of organizing youth and their state governments:
Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Minnesota, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, New York, Michigan, Louisiana and New Jersey.
Youth leaders from each state are currently recruiting a minimum of 50 black gay youth from their state who will be meeting with local chapters of
- National Urban League,
- United Church of Christ
- National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
- National Black MBA Association
- National Association of Black Journalist
- National Black United Fund
- Congressional Black Caucus
- National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials
- As well as Black LGBT organizations
In addition, each state leader and their group of 50 will distribute the national black gay youth needs assessment online survey, targeting those who DO NOT attend any LGBT center or program (which represents the majority of this population), however ALL black gay youth are encouraged to complete the survey. Results (national and state wide) will be published and presented to all collaborators and the media. The goal is 2,500 survey participants.
Black gay youth from around the country will be able to sign up for Year For (You)th 2012 through Facebook and the YPS website. Current YPS national programs for black gay youth and its current members will be participating in Year For (You)th 2012. These programs include our:
- National Program for black gay youth in the military
- National Program for black gay youth with disabilities
- National Program for HIV positive black gay youth
- National black gay youth honor society
- National Youth Leadership/Development Program
- Code Red, our national social media/viral marketing youth developers
ALL LGBT programs/centers/organizations with a website in the United states have been/will be contacted for participation/collaboration/support with Year For (You)th 2012. A list of the programs/activities for black gay youth that they provide will be compiled for a publication to be produced and distributed during National Safe Spaces for LGBT Youth of Color Month.
The 2,500+ black gay youth who complete the survey will automatically be given access to a hotline that they can call from anywhere in the U.S. to locate services, support and programs tailored to them.
What makes this campaign different than current campaigns
Year For (You)th 2012 is produced and executed by youth from every region of the country and is only supported by adult allies. It is a strategy that addresses ALL concerns and needs of black gay youth from every region of the country. It is funded by: (1) participating youth, (2) private donations from the LGBT community, (3) Youth Pride Services, (4) foundations and for profit businesses. No government funds are used for this campaign. Evaluation and fiscal oversight is provided by the Public Health Institute. Additional funding/donations are needed and appreciated for sustainability.