At The Gathering for Justice, our team comes from the communities we serve. While our mission is to end the practice of child incarceration, we know how young people who become system-involved are also affected by many intersecting systems of oppression. Poverty, violence, homelessness and a profound lack of supportive resources disproportionately affect young people who are Black, Brown and Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, disabled, immigrants and other marginalized identities.
We are convening young leaders who are closest to the problem, and thus closest to the solution, to produce our first entirely youth-led intersectional policy platform. Building a powerful movement of thousands of youth supporters, the Youth Policy Roundtable will deliver these meaningful, concrete policy demands to key decision-makers in New York, California and in the U.S. Congress.
Below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions from our info-session in July 2022. If you’re interested in joining the Youth Policy Roundtable, apply here!
Q1. How much experience does a young person need in the field?
A1: Our review of ‘experience’ is based on both lived and learned. We are flexible and do not have a quantifying amount of experience requirement at this time. If you meet the criteria and are ready to get to do the work, we’re looking for you!
Q2: What is the expected time commitment?
A2: Participants will convene 6–8 hours on a monthly basis. Meetings will be hosted via virtual settings like Zoom. We are not requiring folks to come into an office or travel to any place outside of their comfort. We will also make sure to host meetings at times that are realistic for young people as we are working with different schedules.
Q3: Will the Youth Policy Roundtable develop or champion one piece of legislation that addresses all of these issues?
A3: No. It will be a set of policies, known as a policy agenda.
Q4: How will those convened be specifically focused on issues that affect youth, or will there be different groups?
A4: We want young people to bring that knowledge to the issue area that you may have most expertise in. We want those convened to work on policy to address what is missing or needed for young people in New York or in California. If you see a specific issue area that you’re an expert in, we want you to feel best equipped to address that issue.
Q5: How will those convened for the roundtable focus on specific issue areas when there is so much ground to cover?
A5: We are convening young people who have a range of experiences that can join the roundtable with unique perspectives, lending their expertise on issue areas to inform the policy championed around those specific issue areas, e.g., a young person who has organized in response to police brutality or has been impacted in any way by police violence will likely specifically advise on decisions related to police accountability and/or racial justice. Although they may be familiar with other issue areas or have lived experiences that relate to other issue areas — they will be asked to prioritize and focus on what they’re most informed about.
Q6: Are family rights something the roundtable will consider? E.g.: Children whose parents / caretakers / close relatives have been deported or incarcerated.
A6: Family separation and unification is certainly one of the things we considered and is currently subcategorized under various issue areas including Immigrant Rights and Criminal Justice. With that in mind, there’s an opportunity to tweak the language used, add additional issue areas, etc. What’s being presented now is not the end-all-be-all. Instead, it’s a starting point and really we’re looking to develop this into something that’s reflective of all of our communities and experiences.
Q7: Also, will there be a linguistically appropriate way to hold meetings for indigenous languages?
A7: We are open to exploring ways for indigenous languages to be included. We want to make sure that we’re creating a program that’s inclusive of folks that may not speak English.
Q8: How will the Youth Policy Roundtable become a bigger campaign to End the War on Children? What will it entail and consist of?
A8: The Youth Policy Roundtable will set the table for the second phase, which is to raise awareness for the policies in the children’s agenda. Those that we convene will bring their expertise and champion their issue area and we want everyone to show up with that expertise.
The campaign to End the War on Children is a visionary campaign that models the work of our elders, as well as more recently, the work that was done after the Women’s March on Washington to create a unified Women’s Agenda. This will be an opportunity to invite young people as stakeholders to lead on a solutions-oriented process to the framework, storytelling and organizing around policy.
Q9: Can young people outside of California or New York apply?
A9: Unfortunately, applications for the roundtable are currently limited to young people residing in California or New York. Opportunities for engagement will open up to young people in other regions in the coming months.
Q10: Will those who participate in roundtable discussions have support for travel and hospitality?
A10: Yes! We will always make sure that young people have support for travel and hospitality.
Are you ready to apply? Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis through September 2022. Submit yours now and share this post with friends!