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Check out all the incredible workshops scheduled throughout the Youth Activist Institute!

This is a working document, with links and descriptions to be added as they become available.

If you are attending the YAI and aren’t sure how to access your sessions, contact your program coordinator.


At A Glance

Friday | Saturday | Sunday | Monday

Participants must participate in all sessions. All times Eastern. All Zoom links coming soon!

Friday, September 17

Opening Session | 5pm-8:10pm | Zoom link

Featured Speaker:  Rep. Park Cannon

Rep. Park Cannon is a Georgia State Representative, one of two openly queer lawmakers in the Georgia General Assembly and its youngest. She represents House District 58 which encompasses a diverse cross-section of Atlanta.

The Democratic lawmaker recently made national headlines when she was unlawfully arrested and removed from the Georgia Capitol after she knocked on the door to the Republican governor’s office during his signing of SB 202, a restrictive law that limits voting rights in the state. Republicans rushed the bill through both chambers of the legislature a few hours before he signed it into law. It has been harshly criticized nationwide for disenfranchising Black voters, is being challenged in court and is being dubbed Jim Crow 2.0.

Rep. Cannon champions a range of social justice causes and her legislative efforts focus on education, jobs, and health care. Rep. Cannon seeks to stop the erosion of affordability for basic needs which she believes are the foundations of social stability. She also devotes her legislative work to protecting Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens: women and children, the elderly and the LGBTQ+ community. She has worked to address maternal mortality rates and the HIV epidemic in Georgia, housing affordability and extending protections to victims of family violence and sexual assault.

Rep. Cannon attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Hispanic Linguistics and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, and minored in Women’s and Gender Studies. During her time at UNC Chapel Hill, Rep. Cannon was named a Camões Award Recipient and inducted into the Order of The Old Well. She also participated in the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education State and Local Government program. She was named by the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) as a Bohnett LGBTQ Leaders Fellow and studied police accountability.

Rep. Cannon has been honored for her service to numerous organizations including SisterSong, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, NOBEL Women, the League of Women Voters, National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), and the Atlanta NAACP. She was named a CALS Fellow and Henry Toll Fellow by the Council of State Governments and also participated in the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Leadership Institute.

Sign up here to receive a copy of Park Cannon’s The Universal Guide to Running for Office (limited copies available).

 

Opening Youth Panel

Facilitator – Ponny White (she/her), MN
Panelists – Palvasha Khan, (she/her), NY; Audin Leung (they/them), CA ; Kayla Quimbly (she/her), GA

 

 

Saturday, September 18

Grounding Activity | 2:30-2:45 | Zoom link

Individual Council Trainings | 2:45pm-4:15 PM

30 Minute Break | 4:15pm -4:45pm | Optional Meditation with Brianna | Zoom link

Choice of Workshops | 4:45pm-6pm

Workshop 1: Care not Cages: Organizing to Divest from Policing and Invest in Reproductive Justice – Kinjo Kiema | Zoom link

 

We know that cops in schools are more likely to target Black young people and push them into a school-to-prison pipeline. Plus, schools are spending precious resources contracting with local police departments for these dangerous officers. In this workshop, learn about organizing efforts to defund police in schools, and reinvest in sexual and reproductive healthcare and education.

Kinjo Kiema is the Associate Director of Youth Organizing, where she works to expand, engage, and mobilize Advocates’ vast Youth Activist Network. She also manages the Young Womxn of Color for Reproductive Justice Leadership Council, a group of 14-24 year old young womxn of color who are working to organize around issues impacting their community through a reproductive justice lens. Her activist expertise was developed at George Washington University where she received a BA in American Studies and led successful on-campus campaigns as a leader in two progressive student organizations, the Roosevelt Institute and Students for Justice in Palestine. Prior to working at Advocates, she was an Organizer at Service Employees International Union (SEIU), where she organized workers to take collective action and form a union.

Workshop 2: Protest, healing, and community care – Haize | Zoom link

Protest is a method of disruption that we use in our fight for a better world, but it is also a radical way of taking space in a world that constantly denies our existence. Oftentimes, though, participating in protest, as well as living as a marginalized person, can result in trauma and feelings of disconnection from our surroundings. Join Haize, a DC community organizer, in learning about harnessing the power of protest, healing from pain and trauma, and developing methods of community care. This workshop will involve an open discussion of connecting to your personal faith, protecting + cleansing yourself spiritually when dealing with so many emotionally charged situations and people, connecting to your community by deepening your connection to self, the beautiful role healing plays in our lives and a guided meditation to help us connect to our bodies. Feel free to bring your own questions regarding healing, grief and spirituality!


Haize (she/her) is a 28 year old Black, Cuban, Argentinian queer community organizer in Washington DC. She organizes around racial justice, queer justice, spiritual evolution, prison abolition and does so on the foundation of Black liberation above all else. Haize believes freeing your mind and spirit of the chains of colonialism and white supremacy is key to freeing our bodies and communities and passionately pours her knowledge into her community whenever possible. She acts as an independent concerned citizen and intentionally does not attach herself to any organizations so she can move freely and help her community with zero confines. At her core, Haize stands for radical love, self expression, connection to self, Spirit and ancestors, unconventional learning and unity amongst Black, brown, indigenous, LAGBTQQAIPNB2S people for a better future for us all.

Workshop 3: Gender Expansive Communities and Abortion – Noor ZK | POSTPONED

In this workshop, we will begin by examining and breaking down social constructs of gender, and commonly gendered terms and experiences in the medical industrial complex. Participants will be given opportunities to practice using different pronouns in the context of navigating healthcare, share strategies to intervene when encountering cis-centric doctors or facilities, and learn the basics of how to advocate for self and others in a gendered setting. All participants will have opportunities to co-learn about and share examples of successful (or unsuccesful) methods of disclosure, safety, and navigating abortion and healthcare as gender expansive people.

All participants are encouraged to talk and share mindfully during breakout groups, however participation in larger group discussions may be limited to those who openly identify as trans, non-binary, intersex, agender, or otherwise gender-diverse / non-cis. Unless stated otherwise, cis attendees are requested to submit questions to the speaker in writing only, and to “step back” or limit vocal participation (while actively listening, learning, and practicing) during small and large groups to facilitate an environment that centers the lived experiences and safety of trans and gender diverse individuals. We recognize that not all individuals are comfortable being “out” in front of their peers, and encourage those of you who do not want to be outed to participate at whatever level is comfortable for you. We will not be policing anyone’s identity or appearance – these guidelines are entirely self-enforced; if you know you are cis, please be mindful of leaving space for trans and gender diverse people to discuss and share, while also valuing the experience of getting to witness and learn from hearing the perspectives of your gender expansive peers. We welcome and encourage trans and gender diverse individuals to openly share your questions and thoughts, but be cautious that there are cis attendees who will be watching, listening, and learning, so only share what you are comfortable being heard saying in an audience with varying gender identities. No oppressive speech or behavior will be tolerated in this space.

Noor ZK is a passionate lifelong community organizer, dedicated to creating and practicing strategies for resistance, survival, accountability, and joy.  They are a disabled queer and trans activist, educator, artist, and sex worker of South Asian descent. In 2013 they co-founded Cicada Collective, a QTPOC-centered reproductive justice organization that helps reduce the barriers to reproductive care for all by providing abortion access support, doula trainings, trans community networks, and comprehensive sex & gender education in North Texas and beyond. They are a leader of the Sex Workers Outreach Project in Austin, where they help cultivate safer spaces and redistribute resources for sex workers in need, and a coordinator at Inside Books Project Archive, where they help manage a collection of art and writing submitted by incarcerated individuals across the U.S.A. They also volunteer their free time at Buckle Bunnies Fund, an autonomous abortion fund and access portal created by a group of young queer Texans. They are an abortion doula, but also have experience providing doula support through general medical experiences, grief/loss, gender affirming procedures,  and other circumstances requiring companion care.

Workshop 4: From States to SCOTUS: How the courts have been rigged to limit progressive power and what activists can do to reclaim the courts – Sage Carson | Zoom link

For decades, conservatives have been working to rig the courts to limit the progress of the progressive movement. Thanks to court packing and gerrymandering, courts have become policy making bodies aimed at furthering conservative causes that lack constituent support. Join us to demystify the judiciary and learn about how the courts have been rigged against us and what young activists can do to reclaim the courts.

Sage Carson is the manager of Know Your IX, a youth and survivor lead program that aims to empower students to end gender violence in their schools. KYIX trains students about their legal rights, teaches students how to engage in activism and organizing, and advocates for policy changes at the campus, state, and federal levels. She began working with KYIX in 2015 to successfully defeat a mandatory police referral bill in Delaware. She has worked and volunteered as an advocate for survivors of gender violence in the criminal legal system, on campus, and in her community. She was the Delaware State Organizer for Rise, a survivor lead organization that was responsible for passing the national Survivor’s Bill of Rights. She previously worked as the campaign coordinator for She Decide Delaware, where she successfully passed a bill that codified Roe v. Wade into the Delaware state code. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware where she studied Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies with a concentration in Domestic Violence Prevention and Services.

Individual Council Trainings | 6:15pm-7:30 PM

Social Event:  Trivia and Raffle; Project Runway | 7:30-8:45 PM EST | Zoom link

Sunday, September 13

Individual Council Training | 1:30pm-3:15pm EST

30 Minute Break | 3:15-3:45 | Optional Meditation with Brianna | Zoom link

From Margin to Center: Bringing community solidarity to the forefront through mutual aid | 3:45pm-5:15pm | Zoom link

Pearl Ricks is a whole person with many skills and hobbies. In this arena, we’ll know them as a social change writer, Louisiana community member, and the Executive Director and  founding member of what is now the Reproductive Justice Action Collective or ReJAC. Being a Black, trans/gender expansive person, they have experienced the joys, triumphs, beauties, and complexities of their identities; as well as the discrimination, harassment, and violence that stemmed from being Black, fat, queer, trans, nonbinary, etc. Seeking empowerment in those experiences, Pearl works at the intersections Reproductive Justice, strategic communications, and community collaborations to create, support, or maintain meaningful action and change.

LaKia Williams is a recent May 2021 college graduate with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Africana Studies, she is the Digital Organizer for SisterSong where she oversees many of the social media and digital organizing efforts as well as the youth outreach initiatives.

LaKia created a sexual and reproductive health mutual aid program, Big Easy EC, providing free Plan B, condoms, and pregnancy tests to students at two universities.  LaKia is also the host of the Black Feminist Rants Podcasts that cover topics relating to Black Feminism and Reproductive Justice through the experiences of young Black feminists. LaKia has been featured in Ms. Magazine and Mashable for her Reproductive Justice activism and organizing.

Nicholas L Hatcher (he/they) is a writer and artist passionate about building infrastructure for people of color with intersectional identities. They founded Triple Threat Strategies to provide strategic communications and messaging support to those working to advance social justice. They also organized with Ward 1 Mutual Aid in Washington, DC for over a year and helped convene a city-wide summit to discuss mutual aid efforts one-year pandemic lockdowns began in the city. Nick is an alum of the Rising Organizers Fellowship and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where they received the Walter S. Spearman Award.

Makayla Montoya Frazier is a community sexual health specialist and reproductive justice organizer in San Antonio TX. She is fighting for the decriminalization & liberation of bodies through mutual aid. Co-founder of Buckle Bunnies Fund, Makayla funds abortions across Texas alongside other volunteers.

Ja’Loni Owens is an essayist, reproductive justice organizer, and a third-year law student. Ja’Loni’s work has been published in BlackYouthProject, RaceBaitr and Refinery29 and explores topics like anti-Black racism and misogynoir. In March of 2020, Ja’Loni established the Fill the Gap Project, formerly known as the COVID-19 Reproductive Justice Mutual Aid Fund. Fill the Gap is a resource distribution and reproductive education network that provides free emergency contraception, period supplies, pregnancy tests, and condoms to persons experiencing access barriers.

Centering our Voices, Reclaiming our Power through Lobbying | 5:30-7:30 pm | Zoom link

 

Monday September 14

Youth activists will be holding virtual meetings, in the morning and early afternoon, with their Congressional offices to lobby for passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) and the Equality Act. You will be grouped with others from your same state and districts, and you can access your schedule and all materials in this folder.
  • Need help, or just want to chat?  Visit the Lobby Day Help Room, starting at
    9:30am – 3:00pm EST | Zoom link
  • Meetings will occur between 10am – 2pm EST. Go to this link and find your folder to see your schedule (which includes separate zoom links). Everyone’s schedule will look different this morning, depending on when we could get your congressional meetings scheduled. Please be sure to find time to eat, rest, and hydrate between meetings and the YAI Closing at 3:30pm EST.

Lobby Day Debrief and Closing | 3:30-5pm | Zoom link

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