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Thursday, August 19, 2021, | The Youth Power Project and partners took to the streets to continue demanding of the Clark County School District to reallocate funds from the CCSDPD back into the education of our students and the hiring of mental health professionals, counselors, school nurses, and college advisors who are in desperate need on our campuses. At the action, we heard heartbreaking testimonies from both folks present, and those who unfortunately live in fear on account of police presence on their campuses.

Our young people have drafted a plan for the reallocation of funds, but the School District has ignored them and their suggestions even when they attend board meetings. Our young folks are met with racist, xenophobic, homophobic, hecklers at board meetings and on top of being exposed to this hatred, they are pushed to the very limit of the meeting, if they are ever acknowledged by the board at all. Although they have been unable to be heard at board meetings, they are regaining control with the help of their community and parents.

These young folks are our future and they are shaping it to their liking.

Our role as adults, their allies, is to listen to them, to push them forward when they are pushed back, and to help amplify their voices loud enough so that those in power can’t ignore them. Join the youth in their efforts to shape the future of their education, not only for themselves but for every student who comes after them. Join the fight to create a better educational experience for your own children. 

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The Youth Power Project is a group of politically active youth who fight for issues that impact youth in our state. It is youth led and youth organized, given this they are the best voices to speak out about anything educational justice. Currently, they have been joining forces with other youth leaders across the state to make their demands of a diverse education a reality. 

 

Our children have the right to an education. The education should consist of a broad spectrum of topics that discuss the contributions and history of Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) communities. Unfortunately, this is not the education our students are receiving. The education they receive is hyperfocused on the White influences, White figures, and if the topic of BIPOC communities is discussed the conversation is about the oppressions and injustices they have experienced. A state-wide fight is underway being led by the youth of our state from different counties to mandate an inclusive education model that discusses the contributions of and the importance of BIPOC figures. In educating our children about courageous people they can identify with. We open the doors to bigger dreams in our students, higher achievements, and a potential increase in the interest of students in school. 

 

We all want to be represented. Our students want to be able to see themselves in their textbooks and learn about their heritages without having to dig so deep into history. MRNV’s Youth Power Project has taken on the challenge to change this frame of education that too often bypasses the stories of BIPOC folk. Their work has just begun, but their power is undeniable.

 

To learn more about the Youth Power Project visit oue werbsite here.

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On April 7th, the Youth Power Project and Make the Road took the Clark County District Building to rally for police-free schools. Led by the powerful voices of directly impacted youth, the message was clear; “We are directly affected by the police presence on campus. Schools are a place of learning, not a place for the police” (Ivana, YPP). 

 

Tensions rose with the increasing heat fueled by the importance of the message and the courage of those who spoke out. Students used their resources and platforms to bring a difficult conversation to the District’s doorstep that serves them. Their voices chanted Education NOT Incarceration, and their chants hit heavy against the windows of the District Building as onlookers listened from inside. Receiving offensive efforts from counter-protestors, our youth stood their ground and demanded to be heard with courage and power. 

 

Here’s the issue | The latest available budget data shows that CCSD spent $18.4 million on salaries and benefits for members of the district’s police department in 2018–2019.35 While the district has 161 sworn law enforcement officers and 41 civilian officers, they are vastly under-staffed when it comes to nurses, social workers, psychologists, and school counselors. Aside from the monetary strain, the CCSD Police puts on our education system, the repeated violent offenses that police do to children ranging in age from Elementary school to High school need to end. 

 

Read the full report here.

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