North Star Fund made a $2,000 Rapid Response grant to Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC) for a youth-centered town hall in May, 2018.
Who is Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC)?
A coalition of youth organizing groups who work in some of NYC’s most marginalized neighborhoods carrying out strategic citywide campaigns for education reform.
There are more police officers in schools than guidance counselors and social workers combined. That means some young people are not receiving the academic, social and emotional support they need to thrive. UYC is organizing for city and statewide school discipline reforms, advocating for ending the use of punitive discipline and expanding the use of restorative justice and trauma-informed practices in schools. These youth leaders are developing strategies to shape the public discourse around the criminalization of youth of color.
In response to the growing national dialogue on how to prevent school shootings, Mayor de Blasio, the school chancellor, and other public leaders are pushing to increase the presence of “school safety agents” and installing even more metal detectors in schools. Earlier this spring the mayor held a town hall that diminished the concerns of the youth of color who called out the overpolicing in their schools.
UYC was organizing ensure youth voices were involved in decisions about school safety. These students want to prevent changes that would further criminalize black and brown youth by putting more cops in schools.