Theory of Change
Building on the rich history of the youth movement, YEP creates a unique space to equip young people with organizing skills to meet the urgent challenges of our time. Through an intentional community of practice supported by experienced coaches, we build the foundation for the next generation of leaders to sharpen their craft of organizing and learn to teach others to do the same. We form deep and meaningful partnerships with schools, colleges, and organizations directly connected to youth leaders around the country. This cultivates new pipelines for youth leaders who may feel isolated or are unaffiliated with a larger network or organization. This leadership pathway is bolstered by the presence of youth who do affiliate with existing organizations that want to explore new approaches. In this way, we reach across many communities to build a holistic and representative youth movement which is anchored and sustainable.
In year one, YEP grew a community of practice with over 100 youth leaders from 16 states, 9 universities, and 9 organizations recruited from diverse schools, community organizations and national networks. We launch year two in collaboration with Democracy House—a project of the Foundation for Civil Leadership working to inspire rising generations to defend, strengthen, and improve democracy. We are currently seeking additional partners with interest in sustained leadership development through organizing.
Increasing the power of youth voices is essential as 2024 approaches—a pivotal time in our country’s democracy. In August 2023, YEP will launch the next youth leadership cohort with a multi-day in-person training in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Each participating organization or school is encouraged to recruit a team of 5-10 youth with a potential organizing project. Leading up the in-person regional Winter Summits in January 2024, youth gather online in the Fall to support their recruitment efforts and build community. Youth then launch campaigns they design at the summit with continued coaching support.