Youth Momentum 2018

August 9-12, 2018
Ohio

Young people 25 and under are among the most politically vulnerable in our society. Those in elementary, middle, and high school are legally required to attend schools every day, in buildings that are crumbling, with middling social services, punitive police presence, and often outdated curricula. At the college level, millions are attending campuses with astronomical tuition costs, low student wages, unaddressed violence against women, and daily discrimination against students of color. In today’s political context, both high school and college students face threats from Washington in the form of budget cuts, a weakening of the Office for Civil Rights, changes to national policy (e.g., ending DACA, rollbacks in access to healthcare, reduced protections for LGBTQ students), and more. These challenges only look likely to increase in the coming years, as income inequality, white supremacist ideology, threats to undocumented youth, the school-to-prison pipeline, and legal threats to unions persist and grow.

In spite of these challenges, we remain hopeful, because young people have again and again proven themselves as the primary drivers of liberatory social change. We know from experience that youth organizations across the country repeatedly demonstrate students’ ability to win significant policy concessions and be primary drivers of education reform. In times of crisis, youth have unleashed the power of spontaneous mass protest: behind Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, Standing Rock and countless local uprisings is often a group of young people -- often younger than college-age -- rallying their friends to take to the streets and communicating through decentralized networks.

These moments have demonstrated our collective potential and raised national consciousness, but have not translated into long-term political power to win demands for young people. The groups that have been trying to build that political power for years often operate in structures that simply do not engage young people -- like traditional political parties and unions. Meanwhile, local youth organizing groups that have been working for years to advocate for changes in their cities have struggled to protect their victories. Now more than ever, we need to find a way for young people across the country to combine the energy of mass protest with the focus of structure-based organizing. Youth Momentum plans to build on this already robust youth organizing sector by equipping the nation’s leading youth organizers with new strategies, approaches, and tools to greet the coming challenges.

Sign up to get the application when it's released >>

If you're interested in supporting this training, we're looking for financial support. Please be in touch if you are interested in offering sponsorship or funding support. You can email us at team@momentumcommunity.org.

 

Meet the Youth Momentum team

 Prentiss Haney is a trainer with Momentum. He also is the Executive Director of the Ohio Student Association. Prentiss has worked to continue to strengthen and build youth power in OSA over the year, playing roles ranging from training coordinator, regional team lead, to communication director. He has developed campus teams, trained hundreds of leaders and led racial justice and higher education campaigns.

Prentiss Haney is a trainer with Momentum. He also is the Executive Director of the Ohio Student Association. Prentiss has worked to continue to strengthen and build youth power in OSA over the year, playing roles ranging from training coordinator, regional team lead, to communication director. He has developed campus teams, trained hundreds of leaders and led racial justice and higher education campaigns.

 Alexandra Flores-Quilty is a Lead Trainer with Momentum. AFQ is a Chicana from Oregon who got her start in organizing at the University of Oregon in 2011 fighting the privatization of her university and militarization of campus security. As a leader in the Oregon Student Association (OSA) and Oregon Students of Color Coalition (OSCC) she was a part of building the electoral program and passing tuition equity. She later served as the elected President of the U.S. Student Association (USSA), the largest and oldest national student membership organization where she organized for education justice. Recently, she co-founded #AllofUs - an independent political organization fighting the corrupt political establishment while putting forth a vision for America that centers racial and economic justice. She is also an ongoing trainer in the UK with NEON’s Movement Builders course.

Alexandra Flores-Quilty is a Lead Trainer with Momentum. AFQ is a Chicana from Oregon who got her start in organizing at the University of Oregon in 2011 fighting the privatization of her university and militarization of campus security. As a leader in the Oregon Student Association (OSA) and Oregon Students of Color Coalition (OSCC) she was a part of building the electoral program and passing tuition equity. She later served as the elected President of the U.S. Student Association (USSA), the largest and oldest national student membership organization where she organized for education justice. Recently, she co-founded #AllofUs - an independent political organization fighting the corrupt political establishment while putting forth a vision for America that centers racial and economic justice. She is also an ongoing trainer in the UK with NEON’s Movement Builders course.

 Amber Evans began mobilizing students in 2011 with a coalition to Occupy Ohio State University, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2013, Amber was part of an OSA team that prevented a state takeover of the Columbus City School Board and secured the rights of Columbus families to vote for their elected officials. Presently, Amber serves as the Director of Organizing and Policy with the Juvenile Justice Coalition where she coaches youth organizers directly-affected by school-to-prison pipeline issues in Voices of the Unheard, a leadership greenhouse for emerging organizers and advocates. She is also the Co-Director of People’s Justice Project (PJP), organizing formerly incarcerated individuals, people of color, families, and low-wage workers to lead the fight against police violence and mass incarceration.

Amber Evans began mobilizing students in 2011 with a coalition to Occupy Ohio State University, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2013, Amber was part of an OSA team that prevented a state takeover of the Columbus City School Board and secured the rights of Columbus families to vote for their elected officials. Presently, Amber serves as the Director of Organizing and Policy with the Juvenile Justice Coalition where she coaches youth organizers directly-affected by school-to-prison pipeline issues in Voices of the Unheard, a leadership greenhouse for emerging organizers and advocates. She is also the Co-Director of People’s Justice Project (PJP), organizing formerly incarcerated individuals, people of color, families, and low-wage workers to lead the fight against police violence and mass incarceration.

 Kevin O’Donnell is the training coordinator, comes to the Ohio Student Association from four years of student organizing, most recently in the Harvard Dining Hall strike and the Cosecha Allies resistance circles. He now coordinates trainings for OSA and is building the FLAME program to coach student groups that want to take on local organizing campaigns. He is currently organizing organizing for OSA’s ballot initiative to address mass incarceration in Ohio.

Kevin O’Donnell is the training coordinator, comes to the Ohio Student Association from four years of student organizing, most recently in the Harvard Dining Hall strike and the Cosecha Allies resistance circles. He now coordinates trainings for OSA and is building the FLAME program to coach student groups that want to take on local organizing campaigns. He is currently organizing organizing for OSA’s ballot initiative to address mass incarceration in Ohio.