Monday, August 08, 2011
The abience at Southwest Workers Union office is organized chaos. People, ages 15-50, organizing in sync with each other preparing for the summer program's grand finally: The People Power Summit. A 3 day summit focused on youth empowerment and community revolution.
"Back in March the YLO went to DC for a conference called Powershift which was focused on youth finding solutions to climate change. We wanted to bring that momentum and spirit to San Antonio. And this summer was a perfect time to bring people together to make change." said Bailey Perez, a Youth Leadership Organization facilitator.
SWU's youth leadership organization (YLO) holds an annual summer program which lets 5-10 youth leaders learn the ins and outs of organizing and the issues that affect San Antonio. This year the program took a slight turn. SWU youth coordinator Sandra Garcia ,23, decided to step back and let the youth group decide and organize the summer program to insure true youth leadership. This is something that little organizations can handle. Six youth leaders were chosen to lead the summer program with the mentor-ship community leaders.
" These young leaders gathered every afternoon in May to talk about the summer program. For some it was their last month in high school and its amazing that they spent that time laying out the steps to continue the program. " said Diana Lopez, SWU staff member.
Through the summer the facilitators organized and led workshops around animal care, self image, domestic violence, health and exercise, sexual education, facilitation, mural making, quilting and gardening. They also worked on outreach and media training to invite people to the program and the summit.
The last two weeks of the summit are crunch time. The group started coming to the office 5 days a week to prepare for the summit. For More information on the summit please view previous post.
"What keeps me motivated in the expectation that people will get out of my workshops. Getting to start working on the workshops and developing them and seeing how they are coming along is what its about. Its alot of work because I have never planned a summit before but its coming along good. " said Ashely Terrazas, summer facilitator and YLO member.
The summer program and summit is spearheaded by Edision HS. Youth Leadership Organization, an after school program that takes SWU into the schools to organize and empower the students along with our school members.
Monday, August 01, 2011
July 12, 2011
Dear Allies, Sisters and Brothers,
The Southwest Workers Union - Youth Leadership Organization will be hosting a youth summit and invites you to be part of it. The People Power Summit – Building Bridges and Empowering Community Revolution will take place on August 12th-14th at the Henry Ford Academy Alameda School for Art and Design located at 439 Arbor Place San Antonio, TX 78207.
We will focus on two tracks, Building Bridges and Community Revolution, where participants reflect on their roles in addressing issues affecting our communities and their contribution to collective solution building.
The Building Bridges track involves sharing our stories and making connections to one another. It also allows for sharing our visions for social change. Over the years we have had many victories and challenges and its important to share these with each other in order to build stronger alliances. The track also aims to build a bridge between different social justice issues and address the need for multi-issue alliances.
The community revolution track is based on building a movement of critical consciousness along side our bridge building, in order to bring youth together as one to see true leadership and change.
Throughout the weekend we will engage a multitude of issues through various popular education workshops. The goal of the summit is to have participants learn about issues, build solutions and build allies in the process.
SWU will be offering solidarity housing, limited transportation and food for the events. Solidarity housing will be with SWU staff, leaders and members. If you prefer a hotel, we will provide a list of recommended hotels but will not be able to cover the expenses. SWU will also provide and coordinate transportation to and from the airport and during your stay in San Antonio. We look forward to your presence at the Youth Summit!!
Please contact Monica or Sandra at 210.299.2666 for more information.
Director, Southwest Workers Union