During the summer of 2020, GRCB piloted a youth driven, youth leadership program, which the pilot cohort has named Youth Activism Project or YAP! 12 youth leaders, ages 13-17 met twice weekly for 6 weeks, via zoom, in July-August.
YAP uses research to build leadership skills because knowledge is power. By building the skills necessary to conduct their own research (thinking critically about the reliability of information sources, creating meaning from data, sharing their thoughts, conclusions, and opinions, and formulating an action plan based on evidence) the youth in YAP are collaboratively strengthening their access to knowledge, and thus, power.
This summer, YAP focused on the question: How does representation in the media affect the mental health of young women and gender non-confirming youth?
YAP has focused on three areas of research, each supported by an adult mentor: Existing Data, building skills in areas of online research, critical thinking, and determining reliable sources, this group is finding and analyzing pre existing data; New Data: this group, focused on gathering and analyzing new data specific to their research question, has built and distributed a survey to other girls and GNC youth, ages 13-17; and Power Structures: utilizing both modalities of research, this group is focused on exploring where they can most effectively create change around this issue.
At the end of six weeks, participants shared their process and presented their project to the community via YouTube LIVE in a culminating event that they designed to educate the GRCB community about the issue with actionable steps forward to create change. Check it out: