Youth Organizing

Youth Cultural Organizing Institute from Voices for Racial Justice on Vimeo.

Our youth organizing program supports the development of strategies and infrastructure that center the voices of youth of color and opens spaces that prioritize their growth, leadership and organizing.

The Youth Cultural Organizing Institute (YCOI)

The Youth Cultural Organizing Institute (YCOI) centers cultural strategy in an organizing training for youth of color ages 14-18. We prioritize cultural strategy with the understanding that arts and culture must be at the center of organizing and movement building with our communities of color. The training team is made up of organizers, artists and culture makers from our larger network, some of which serve as summer mentors for youth participants.

YCOI 2017 has passed. Please check back in spring 2018 for applications.

Want to know more? Check out our blog

Keep a look out for Youth Organizer Spotlights.

The Youth Leadership Team (YLT) is a group of youth of color that lead base building with youth and participate in strategy development, organizing, and community based research at Voices. This team also works to make sure Voices is accountable to the voices of youth across our work.  The YLT plan monthly gatherings that facilitate dialogues around racial justice and trainings to support young activists, organizers and artists of color in the twin cities.

Amir Khadar is a Queer, West-African, poet, visual artist, activist and youth organizer at Voices For Racial Justice. They are also on the Intermedia arts Youth council, and was on the 2016 Beheard Slam Team. Amir is a Senior at Fridley High School, and resides in Brooklyn Center.

Ar’tesha Saballos. Scorpio. Wise Woman. Doing this work because it demands love and respect and all she wants to receive and give.

Yumnah Youngmark is a 17 year old student and community organizer from Fridley. In the Summer of 2016 she was part of the Youth Cultural Organizing Training and since then she’s been a member of the Youth Organizing Network. She also has been on the Teen Art Council at the Walker Art Center for the past two years, this experience gives her a more prominent perspective of the intersections of activism and art.

Alumni Group

Creates spaces for continuous engagement, networking, support and community building with YCOI alumni. Organizes quarterly meetings, youth-led panels, and dialogue-based open mics.

Are you interested in future trainings and/or looking to get connected to Youth Organizing?  Email Gabriella Anais, Director of Youth Organizing at