By Luis Hernandez
I want to talk to you about the power of investing in young people.
I first heard of Justice League NYC in 2017 when they helped free my brother Pedro from wrongful incarceration. I was 14 at the time and I was blown away by the power of organized activism. My mother had struggled for justice for almost a year without success, but after a week of Justice League NYC organizing a campaign, Pedro was released from Rikers. I became the youngest member of Justice League NYC after that.
Now, I’m proud to be the Youth Leadership and Engagement Coordinator at The Gathering for Justice. In this role, I’ve been able to organize the 2019 Gathering of the Youth in Harlem, the Our Voice, Our Power digital town hall series, mobilize my peers to participate in A Calling: The Civil Right of Education, We Are the Movement, and I’ve participated in trainings on Kingian Nonviolence, Organizing 101, Direct Action and Political Advocacy. All in addition to the mentorship and support of Carmen Perez-Jordan and the whole team at The Gathering.
In the past year, The Gathering for Justice has reached 8,700 young people.
This organization means so much to me, because we are making a difference in the lives of Black and Brown youth. That’s why I’m writing today to ask for your support.
Will you chip in $5 to help us meet our May Fund Drive goals? The global pandemic hasn’t slowed down our movement, but it has affected our fundraising. With your support, we can fund the Youth Leadership Development series that The Gathering has given me the space and mentorship to lead.
If you aren’t able to give at this time, you can still help us meet our goal by becoming a fundraiser yourself. Soon, we’ll be launching a platform that enables individuals to create profiles and become fundraisers for The Gathering for Justice. Fill out this form to join the team when we launch!
Young people have always been at the forefront of movements for change. My mentor Carmen got involved in activism at 17 and her mentor, Mr. Belafonte, became involved in the Civil Rights movement as a young man, long before his career as an artist took off. I’m proud to be part of this lineage and my generation’s wave of new leaders.