Two of the young leaders from the Youth Environmental Justice Alliance (YEJA) are heading to a Youth Organizing training this week with the SOUL (School of Unity and Liberation) Training Institute. Below, read the youth in their own words about how important this opportunity is to them. Ramon and Mayleena are hoping to raise money to cover some of the costs of travel and training fees. Can you give today to support them?
Mayleena Robinson: “Participating in the 2017 SOUL training would allow me to bring back powerful and useful organizing skills to YEJA. Here at YEJA we are very passionate about leaders building leaders, so since not all of our youth can attend the training, I am excited to share what I learned with my community of leaders. In political moments like this I believe youth organizing is crucial. With people like Betsy Devos making decisions about our education and our future, youth need to know how to use our voice and fight back. I’m interested to meet other youth who have different organizing experiences and exchange strategies. Your support to our training costs means you’re directly investing in young people’s ability to lead in the community, and the next generation of organizers of color!”
Ramon J Luevano: I’m Ramon, I’m 14 and a freshman at Madison High School. I have been involved with YEJA since I was in the 8th grade. As a Mexican, gay, genderfluid person, knowing how to fight any type of oppression is important to me. I am super thrilled to go to SOUL to learn skills from other youth organizers from all over the country and to help other youth in Portland to become leaders themselves. Because of what our government leaders are planning and willing to do, it is important for youth to know how to speak up against those people. This training will help me help other youth know how to fight against these issues. I know that I am capable, responsible and committed to bring these new skills back to our community in Portland and our movement.”