From September 2014 to June 2017, Peace in Action (PIA) was a paid training program that we hosted in collaboration with Urban Peace Movement (UPM), recruiting high-school aged youth in a two-tiered level of leadership. Through arts and political education, we developed the leadership and professionalism of youth who have been impacted by systemic violence so that they may become agents of social change on the personal, interpersonal, communal and statewide levels. Youth Organizers in PIA were trained to facilitate weekly workshops for Youth Members in artistic resistance (Cultural Team), direct action (Campaign team) and community organizing (Program team). Each team played a particular role in solidifying our collective presence throughout the community! PIA Youth Organizers participated in several campaigns including advocating for Proposition 57, No Coal in Oakland, OUSD Sanctuary, Free bus passes for youth and more!
In the 2017-2018 school year, UPM and BAY-Peace will continue our collaboration in a different capacity. UPM and BAY-Peace will run similar but separate youth programs that will collaborate every other month through youth-led community gatherings. We hope that these youth gatherings will provide a space for youth from both organizations to build community with each other, while also rehearsing their facilitation. Additionally, we hope that these gatherings will better support both Urban Peace Movement in their new campaigns related to the criminalization of youth and mass incarceration, and BAY-Peace in their focus to utilize arts and organizing to address the broader issue of structural violence. If you know of a youth program, or host a youth program in Oakland we are interested in building relationships with you to help build the youth justice movement. Contact us!