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Youth and Community Program

National Community Scholars Program

The purpose of the National Community Scholars Program is to prepare professionals for enabling young people and adult allies to create community change.

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The Michigan Youth and Community Program enables young people to create community change, especially in economically dis-invested and racially segregated areas.

We work with young people and adult allies to build capacity and create change through research, evaluation, teaching, and training. We collaborate with community partners, formulate best practices, facilitate training workshops, and publish practical workbooks and scholarly papers.

We work in the South Bronx, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Mississippi Delta, Appalachia, Albuquerque, East Oakland, and other areas. In Michigan, we work in the rural Upper Peninsula, small towns, and suburbs and neighborhoods of metropolitan Detroit.

Our projects include:

  • Youth organizing and community change;
  • Youth participation in public policy;
  • Youth dialogues on race and ethnicity; and
  • Community-based participatory research and evaluation.

We believe that young people are competent citizens; that community is a unit of solution; that community change is possible; and that adults are allies to young people.

Program Core Staff

National Trainers

  • Rebecca O'Doherty, Appalshop, Whitesburg, Kentucky
  • Maureen Sedonean, Youth Leadership Institute, San Francisco
  • Nsombi Lambright, Mississippi ACLU, Jackson, Mississippi

Founders

Our work has been supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Council of Michigan Foundations, Skillman Foundation, Centers for Disease Control, Time-Warner Foundation, Michigan Office of the Surgeon General, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Corporation for National Service, Highfield Foundation, Mott Foundation, University of Michigan, and other institutions.

Education and Training Workshops

Education and training is a core component of the Michigan Youth and Community Program.

We facilitate workshops that build the capacity of young people and adult allies to participate in addressing community issues that impact their lives.

We have facilitated local, regional, and national workshops with media groups, municipal agencies, neighborhood agencies, community foundations, and national organizations, in Mississippi.

Our Process

Our workshops engage teams of young people and adults. Teams come to workshops with ideas in mind and leave with plans in place for implementation upon return home. We provide technical assistance and support to teams to share their projects and lessons learned with one another.

Workshops are developed in collaboration with the community, build on local examples, and engage young people as peer trainers.

We prepare materials for capacity building including training curricula, experiential exercises, workbooks and resource packets, written case studies, and popular and peer-reviewed materials.

Community Collaborators

We start by building relationships with community collaborators. We work with partners to develop curricula responsive to them, hold community-based planning meetings, and are available for assistance and support.

  • ACLU of Mississippi
  • Activists With a Purpose (Mississippi)
  • Alternatives for Girls (Detroit)
  • Ann Arbor Teen Center
  • Appalshop/Appalachian Media Institute (Kentucky)
  • Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (Dearborn)
  • Center for Community Change (Washington, DC)
  • Center for Urban Research and Learning (Chicago)
  • Citizens for Quality Education (Mississippi)
  • Coleman Advocates/Youth Making a Change (San Francisco)
  • Farmington Hills Public Schools (Michigan)
  • Mayor's Youth Council (Farmington Hills)
  • Michigan Department of Civil Rights
  • Michigan Office of the Surgeon General
  • Mosaic Youth Theatre (Detroit)
  • Rosedale Park Baptist Church (Detroit)
  • San Francisco Youth Commission
  • Southern Echo (Mississippi)
  • Southwest Organizing Project (Albuquerque)
  • What Kids Can Do (Providence)
  • Youth Build USA (Massachusetts)
  • Youth Force (South Bronx)
  • Youth Leadership Institute (San Francisco)
  • Youth on Board (Boston)
  • Youthville Detroit
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