Youth-Led Social Activism
The Freechild Project has found that
young people across the nation are leading their communities in
activism for social change.
Point to Ponder
"Never doubt that a small group of
thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the
only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
The following are websites, organizations and
publications that share the power and purpose of youth-led social activism.
There are several types of resources listed, including organizations,
databases, publications, and other resources.
These are all progressive youth-led or youth-focused activism organizations,
websites, and resources that conduct or promote youth activism for broad
Youth-led Social Activism
Empowerment Center (Oakland, CA) -
This is the youth empowerment center website with information about several
Bay Area youth organizing groups.
(Los Angeles, CA) - A non-profit dedicated to positive organizing
among Latino youth gangs. The site includes useful research and other related
Youth Activists/Youth Allies
(New York, NY) - A NY citywide network of young activists, their adult
allies & established youth programs.
We are anti-racist, anti-sexist allies
with the LGBTQ community. We are an activist organization staffed by
youth 15-19, primarily youth of color. We organize around the issues
that impact on the quality of life of young people in NYC with a
particular focus on counter-military recruiting and the links
between militarism and other social justice issues.
Refuse & Resist
(New York, NY) - A national youth activist network organizing around a
range of issues, including Mumia Abu-Jamal's incarceration, reproductive
freedom, immigrant rights, privacy and police brutality.
(Oakland, CA) - The Ruckus Society provides training in the skills of
non-violent civil disobedience to help environmental and human
rights organizations achieve their goals. The site offers training
manuals for non-violent protest and information about action camps.
Global Youth Connect
(Mountain View, CA) - Our mission is to build and support a
community of youth working to defend human rights and social justice
and to inspire and empower a new generation of youth to act for
meaningful social change.
The Young & the Restless - Highlander
Center (New Market, TN) -
Offers the democratic space and the skills for youth aged 15-21 to
find their own voices and leadership. The program works with young
people in a number of ways, including extensive outreach, field
visits, and ongoing backup to support youth activists in their
communities; and an intensive, youth-led camp called Seeds of Fire
that gathers 20-25 young activists and provides them with peer-based
training and experiences that open up the concepts of youth power,
critical thinking about organizing, and ownership of their own
projects and organizations.
The Center for Teen Empowerment
(Boston, MA) - The mission of the Center for Teen Empowerment is to
realize the potential of inner-city youth to build healthier and
safer communities and schools. Teen Empowerment hires and trains
urban youth, including at risk youth, to be community organizers.
Our programs are based on the belief that urban youth represent a
valuable, untapped resource and can significantly contribute to the
rejuvenation of neighborhoods and local institutions.
Seattle Young People's Project
(Seattle, WA) - Seattle Young People's Project is a youth-led youth
empowerment organization set up to provide young people with a voice to
effect social change.
Youth Struggling for Survival
(Chicago, IL) - YSS is a youth-driven and youth-directed social action
group that aims to bring youth together along their common interest,
and to help divert often violent energies toward self empowerment,
social change, and unity."
Just Act! for Human Rights
(Washington, DC) - Changing young people's lives by helping them develop the
leadership and vision necessary to advocate for meaningful change in their
(San Francisco, CA) - Building and nurturing the next generation of
leaders through the written and spoken word. Our innovative
programs nurture and develop the youth voice and promote positive
social dialogue across boundaries of age, race, class, gender,
culture, and sexual orientation. Throughout each facet of the
organization, Youth Speak encourages active literacy, honest
writing, and critical thought.
Mobilizing America's Youth
(Berkley, CA) - An all-partisan network dedicated to educating,
empowering, and energizing young people to increase our civic
engagement and political participation.
Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice
Founded in 1994, YMPJ works in the Bronx River, Bruckner and
Soundview neighborhoods in the South Bronx. YMPJ is a center for
urban ministry dedicated to fostering peace and justice through
youth and community organization and development.
Collections of Youth Activism
Youth Action Net
The stories of young people from around the world who are fighting for
social justice, opportunity, and equality in their cities and nations, and
What Kids Can Do
This popular website features voices and work from the next
generation in news stories from across the US, highlighting the
ability of students to plan, deliver, and learn from serving their
communities. Includes an extensive link collection and online
Youth Activist Project
Youth advocate Wendy Lesko has collected dozens of success stories from
youth activists across the nation. The stories focus on dozens of different
Examples of powerful youth activism from around the world, particularly focused
on anti-globalization and racism.
TakingITGlobal (TIG) is an international organization, led by youth, empowered
by technology. TIG brings together young people in more than 190 countries
within international networks to collaborate on concrete projects addressing
global problems and creating positive change.
Idealist - Organizations Started by Kids & Teens
Organizations around the world that were started and are run by young people.
Freechild Reading List on Social Change
Freechild Reading List on Tools for
Other Resources for Youth
The Rosenberg Fund for Children
Established to provide for the educational and emotional needs of children whose
parents have suffered because of their progressive activities and who, therefore
are no longer able to provide fully for their children. The RFC also provides
grants for the educational and emotional needs of targeted activist youth.
Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing
Foundations that specifically support youth activism, particularly focusing on
The Freechild Project Funds for Youth Activism page
(Website) - Includes grants specifically for young people (12-30)
engaging in activist work, as well as a useful listing of
foundations renowned for their support of youth activists.
The Freechild Project Resources for the
Hands, the Heart, and the Soul
(Website) - This page has resources about community-oriented
organizations and media that promotes social justice throughout the
Democracy Now Democracy Now! is a national, daily,
independent, award-winning news program airing on over 450 stations
in North America. It is excellent, with host Amy Goodman providing a
powerful, insightful and just perspective on the news. DN frequently
covers social justice, globalization and even youth activist news.
YoungerWorld.org for the latest news, tools
and ideas behind The Freechild Project!