Creating systems that support youth leadership and voice is essential to building an equitable community where our young people and their families thrive. It’s notably critical to create these pathways and supports as young people face systemic challenges such as the public health crisis of racism and the ongoing pandemic.
We’re excited to announce the awardee of the Community Well-Being Youth Led Communications Project RFP: Creative Justice.
The Work Ahead
This funding opportunity was created with a vision to support a peer-to-peer messaging project to connect young people to mental health resources.
Young people are confronting extraordinary challenges in their community and telling leaders they need mental health supports. These challenges are even greater for young people who are rarely reached by traditional communications campaigns: including young people who are LGBTQ+, BIPOC, immigrants, in multilingual families, who have disabilities, and who face severe systemic challenges.
When young people are given the supports, they need to effectively lead a project, they have an opportunity to reach peers who wouldn’t be reached by traditional communications efforts. Peer-to-peer messaging is a strategy that recognizes that people are experts in their communities’ experience and communication styles. This project can support young people in a leadership role while also tapping into their on-the-ground expertise to build connections to other young people who need mental health supports.
Our Community Partner
Creative Justice is working with Converge Media to support a cohort of young people’s efforts to build a mental health communications project. Young people who are on the Creative Justice Youth Leadership Board shared their responses to leading the Youth Led Communications Project:
“I’m excited to be working on our podcasts and new projects and funding events and being in ‘Heal’ and possibly becoming a PMA [Peer Mentor Artist] in January so yea I’m very excited for the coming year yes maam🙌🏾🙏🏾,” shared a Youth Leadership Board member.
Another Youth Leadership Board member said, “I’m looking forward to getting to express surprised feelings or emotions into writing, our podcast episodes or anything else creative.”
In Creative Justice’s application the organization shared: “As an arts-based healing and restorative justice organization, we believe arts and culture is key for mental health, wellness, and healing. Across all programming, we work to create a safe and nurturing space for dialogue, reflection, creation, and joy where we can deeply focus on healing, connections, arts & culture, restoration, and accountability. [Creative Justice’s] original mandate was as an arts- and culture-based alternative to incarceration. We cannot prevent harm if we do not first heal generational trauma and heal harm or interpersonal violence when it occurs.”