Youth organizing is central to UPROSE because we are an intergenerational organization, but our Youth Justice initiative is by young people and for young people. In this space young people of color reclaim power and voice over their lives, community, and future. It is where wellness and self care is learned in response to the legacy of historical trauma. It is where the history of resistance and culture is learned and celebrated under a banner of unity - our common struggle.
The UPROSE Youth Justice initiative is committed to a society free of -isms and patriarchy. It is a place designed to provide the tools necessary to build a society that cares deeply for people and the planet.
The UPROSE Youth Justice initiative demands engagement at all levels. It is a platform for political education and leadership.
6th Climate Justice Youth Summit
Low income communities of color — and especially youth of color – face an unprecedented challenge: the intersecting crises of toxic pollution, rising sea levels, a predatory criminal justice system, and mounting inequality. UPROSE develops young people of color for the leadership that these crises demand, and our annual Climate Justice Youth Summit has become an incredibly effective cornerstone of this strategy over the last six years.The CJYS creates opportunities for young people of color to lead teach-ins, trainings, art builds, and more as a way to build an authentic climate justice movement that’s culturally and artistically attuned to the lives of young people. Scenes from the Climate Justice Youth Summit are shot by Rae Breaux and Destiny Mata.
UPROSE - At The Table Leadership Institute
At The Table Leadership Institute engages young people in a seven-week training full of cultural, organizing, political and environmental justice exploration. Through hands-on learning and field trips, young people hone their social justice and leadership skills and knowledge about environmental justice issues in Sunset Park while developing an understanding of how racial justice and climate change intersect locally and throughout the world. Upon completion, young people have the opportunity to initiate their own campaigns and become meaningfully engaged in ongoing campaigns.
In past ATL Institutes, young people have learned the science of soil and combined sewage overflow, how to plant, compost, and harvest , organized the annual NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit with over 600 in attendance, facilitated community meetings, tested air and water quality, engaged in urban planning and GIS mapping, and organized rallies, protests, art builds, open mics, direct actions, community forums and educational workshops.
Real Roots Campaign
Real Roots campaign is a youth lead initiative focused on the environmental and health implications of bath and beauty products used by low-income communities of color. Products sold by many beauty businesses tend to be filled with toxic chemicals that are detrimental to the health of the consumer. Alternatively, all natural and safe products tend to be extremely expensive. The Real Roots campaign promotes organic beauty product alternatives to the mainstream chemical laden products that are readily available. Real Roots also aims to reconnect our communities to the ways of our ancestors and aims to re-claim the way we think about natural beauty.