Global Kids Is Helping to Empower Thousands of Youth to Advocate for Change!
Global Kids is wrapping up an incredible 2017-2018 academic year in which we worked with over 3000 youth leaders in New York City and Washington, DC! As an organization, we are committed to educating, activating, and inspiring youth from underserved communities to take action on critical issues facing our world today. For nearly 30 years, Global Kids has reached more than 150,000 young people and educators, harnessing and empowering leaders to demonstrate the values and attitudes of global citizens and to make change locally. We run after-school programs, push in to classrooms to conduct residencies during the school-day in our partner schools, and serve as the lead community-based organization in a wide range of public middle schools, high schools and community schools across these two major metropolitan areas.
Global Kids uses an approach to positive youth development that incorporates dynamic, interactive, culturally-relevant and inquiry-oriented workshops that meet young people where they are at and works with them to cultivate their knowledge of domestic and international politics, to strengthen their leadership skills and to increase their civic engagement. Topics covered across our programs this year included women’s rights, global health, gun violence, LGBTQIA+ rights, race issues and more, through numerous engagement strategies including critical service learning, policy advocacy and human rights activism. Additionally, we brought together nearly 500 youth for our Annual Youth Conference at Baruch College which was focused on Environmental Justice this year. This student-led conference is the culmination of months of Global Kids students’ work on the issue of environmental and climate justice. Many Global Kids students live in underserved communities that lack green spaces, have high rates of asthma and, in some cases, were devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Having had these experiences, it's not a surprise that they view climate change through a social justice lens.
One major victory this year occurred when one of our community schools successfully engaged our youngest students in participatory budgeting. Global Kids youth leaders at PS 96 in East Harlem took their civic responsibilities seriously and their hard work paid off. During this year's New York City Council participatory budgeting process, student council members proposed projects in their districts, got them on the ballot, managed the voting table, and mobilized over 100 peers to vote. As a result of their efforts, upgraded water fountains and bottle filling stations will be installed at PS 96 and at eight other East Harlem schools. As a best practice, Global Kids staff always introduce content to young people that connects the global to the local, to understand topics such as access to clean water as an issue that affects communities around the world. Check out our Spring 2018 Newsletter to read more about this and other exciting work this year!
One of the most exciting illustrations of the type of youth empowerment work that we have been doing for nearly three decades occurred earlier this spring when we participated in the March for Our Lives in Washington DC. Over 100 Global Kids youth and staff filled three buses to travel to DC to march alongside, have their voices heard, and show solidarity with the students from Parkland, Florida. They joined students from around the country who are organizing to advocate for stronger gun reform laws to keep their schools and communities safe. We were joined by a videographer from the Financial Times who accompanied us on the bus ride and reported on our journey which received national press coverage. A video link of the coverage from the Financial Times is available on our YouTube channel.
As we close out this academic year, we are gearing up for the start of our summer programming. One program that Global Kids runs during July is the “U.S. in the World” Summer Institute at the Council on Foreign Relations, the world’s leading international affairs think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy. Global Kids is the only youth organization that the CFR partners with and they graciously host more than two dozen of our high school students each summer to attend a 3-week intensive institute. Youth participants attend full days of workshops led by Global Kids staff, hear from guest speakers and experts on topics of foreign policy and international affairs, and take field trips to a range of institutions including the United Nations, the New York Times, the Clinton Foundation, and more. It promises to be an exciting summer!
Global Kids empowers students to take action on critical issues facing their communities and our world. For more information about Global Kids, check out our website, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Want to learn more? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org