Philadelphia 2019 Convening: Takeaways by Kimberly Pham

Sent as a newsletter from The Aspen Institute:

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Aspen Institute

For our next and final post-convening reflection, we have collaborated with Kimberly Pham, a national activist and youth leader with Philadelphia-based Project U-Turn, and a member of Opportunity Youth United. Read below for her reflections and experience of the Opportunity Youth Forum 2019 Philadelphia Spring Convening, which took place last month from April 23-25.

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Participants of the electrifying youth organizing and advocacy breakout session at the OYF Philly convening.

You were one of the moderators for the Philly youth advocacy and organizing session. What was your biggest takeaway during this session?

Kimberly: The energy in the room was vibrating, loving, and soulful. Soulful in the way that you just felt the energy in your soul. It was moving, inspiring, and authentic. The biggest takeaway from the session was seeing people engage with one another, learning new rituals to use in community, and seeing organizers begin to see the intersectionality in the issues they advocate and resist against. The idea and practice of liberation and freedom and how it shows up for us all through the different ways we activate our community is vital, relevant, and critical.

How did it feel for you to have the convening in your hometown of Philly? What did you want attendees to experience?

Kimberly: It felt like a long time coming. The great part about the OYF spring convening is that we are in community. Members of the collective get to be on the ground where action takes place, and it was exciting to have the collective in Philly, the place I call home. The OYF movement gives members the opportunity to learn and share directly our challenges, our practices, and opportunity to create solutions together while in community. I get to see the collective move as allies in other communities. It’s important not only that we convene, but we see how we support each other while we are together.

Aspen Institute

Kimberly Pham (right) with Yelena Nemoy of the Forum for Community Solutions.

What were the big themes that stood out to you during this convening?

Kimberly: A big theme for me that stood out was systems-reform and how does equity and justice show up in these efforts to reform systems that are damaged, drained, and disconnected. Philadelphia had the opportunity to showcase efforts in shifting culture with connecting systems of education, workforce, and criminal justice. It is important that these systems and individuals who have power over these systems understand that the common goal is to ensure that our Philadelphia youth are successful and can be contributors to this society, aside from falling short to disheartening statistics that these systems are all familiar with.

Aspen Institute

Youth leaders getting to work at the OYF convening.

Talk about a plenary or breakout session that inspired you.

Kimberly: A session that I was inspired by was the one that was led by Everyday Democracy. The session was deep! It gave you an opportunity to learn about how to move dialogue to action. We had the opportunity to actually practice this exercise on site. It can be very uncomfortable to have race-relation dialogues especially with people you never met before, but it gave me hope to see that we are willing to get uncomfortable. It means expressing we have privilege, even when we don’t want to acknowledge it. Sitting there and listening to someone without judging is important for us to be able to work in a movement that is trying to change the odds for our young people, families, friends, and community.

What are next steps for you after this convening?

Kimberly: Next steps for me are following up with organizers from my session to see how we can support each other’s efforts. Taking a moment to reflect on the journey to prepare for a new season with new reasons to go harder in the movement. Looking forward to building connections and relationships with OYF youth leaders and supporting their journey in this OY movement. Continuing the efforts of supporting the OYU & OYF partnership.

Thank you, Kimberly for your thoughtful answers!

We hope to see everyone at the Opportunity Youth Forum 2019 Aspen Fall Convening, which will take place October 28-30 in Aspen, Colorado.

 

OYUnited: Gearing Up for 2020!

OYUnited: Gearing Up for 2020!

“As part of planning for 2020, we started the process of revising our “Recommendations to Increase Opportunity and Decrease Poverty in America,” which will include input from the OYUnited Community Action Teams and Community Leaders.”

This issue of OYUnited’s e-newsletter highlights the National Council Annual Retreat in Puerto Rico, the new Politics Leadership Academy’s first national convening and OYUnited Leaders joining CLASP to improve systems for Opportunity Youth. Additionally, this newsletter includes an application to become a Young People For (YP4) Fellow! For those who are passionate about making change on their campus or in their community, we encourage YOU to apply!

Read the full archived November 4 newsletter here.

OYUnited: Gearing Up for 2020!

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OYUnited Summer Action!

OYUnited: Summer Action!

On July 24, 2019,  OYUnited Leaders Jamiel Alexander, Ryan Dalton, Shanice Turner, Lena McKnight and Yocasta Jimenez, presented at the JobsFirst NYC “Adapting to the Future of Work – Raising Youth Voices” event.

This issue of OYUnited’s e-newsletter provides more information on the “Raising Youth Voices” event, the latest OYUSpeaks podcast, local action from a few of our Community Action Teams and an upcoming creative contest for youth 13-24 hosted by Youth Engaged for Change (YE4C).

Read the full archived August 26 newsletter here.

OYUnited Summer Action!

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OYUnited: WE NEED YOUR VOICE!

OYUnited: WE NEED YOUR VOICE!

The National Council of Young Leaders of OYUnited developed the Recommendations for Increasing Opportunity and Decreasing Poverty in America as the basis for our movement.We are preparing to update the Recommendations for 2020. We are inviting input from all our members who are current or former Opportunity Youth.

This issue of OYUnited’s e-newsletter encourages YOU to send in your ideas on what needs to be added, changed, subtracted or emphasized in the 2020 Recommendations.

Read the full archived July 30 newsletter here.

OYUnited: WE NEED YOUR VOICE!

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OYUnited: Building Power Across the Nation!

OYUnited: Building Power Across the Nation!

“Eleven members of OYUnited’s National Council and local leaders met on May 8 with Commissioners Alan Khazei and Steve Barton of the National Commission for Military, National, and Public Service to present our recommendations on how to expand and improve national service for opportunity youth, and how to create innovative community-based initiatives within national service.”

This issue of OYUnited’s e-newsletter includes latest news on OYU leaders, staff, National Council Members, partners and young people of several OYUnited Community Action Teams (CATs) in action.  Two recent events highlighted were the Spring Convening event in Philadelphia, PA and a two day design event in Boston, MA. Additionally, we are updated on local action in OYUnited’s NYC CAT and Sacramento CAT. Read the full newsletter for more information, tools and resources.

Read the full archived June 6 newsletter here.

OYUnited: Building Power Across the Nation!

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National Youth Hiring Day

OYUnited: Opportunity Alert!

“With unemployment at record lows, American companies are looking for new ways to find and hire great talent. Meanwhile, there are more than 4.5 million young people in America who are out of school and unemployed—or roughly one in nine youth who are disconnected from our economy.”

This issue of OYU’s e-newsletter includes information on the National Youth Hiring Day! The National Youth Hiring day will provide tools such as; common inquiry forms, video résumés, virtual employer spotlights, one-on -one career coaching, and access to on-the-ground events.

Read the full archived May 10 newsletter here to learn more about OYU’s National Youth Hiring Day.

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oyu Spring updates

OYUnited: Spring Updates!

We are excited to announce that 23 OYUnited members have stepped up to become local Team Leaders for the Reconnecting Youth Campaign (RYC). The exciting news is not over- find out how YOU can become a part of the second cohort by clicking our full e-newsletter.

This issue of OYUnited’s e-newsletter gives us insight on events within our local Community Action Teams including; the 2019 Sacramento CAT kick-off and Columbus CAT’s meeting to develop innovative community projects, obtain civic engagement education, and get connected to employment opportunities. For those interested in policy creation, we have provided a toolkit to help guide efforts to long-term change.

Read the full archived April 22 newsletter here

oyu Spring updates

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Local Team Leaders

OYUnited: WE NEED TEAM LEADERS

This is an invitation to take local leadership to get our government to invest in opportunities for youth for education, employment, and community service.

This issue of OYUnited’s e-newsletter invites YOU to become a Local Team Leader in efforts to get congress to support the Reconnecting Youth Campaign (RYC) and increase federal investment in opportunities for low-income young people. 

Read the full archived March 6 newsletter here to learn more about RYC and how to become a Local Team Leader.

 

OYUnited: Preparing for Another Impactful Year!

OYUnited: Preparing for Another Impactful Year!

“In December, 70 leaders, staff, and youth from all 17 OYUnited Community Action Teams gathered in Washington DC for the 2nd Annual National CAT Convening. Over the three days, CAT leaders debriefed and shared their successful 2018 voter engagement campaigns and started their plans for 2019.”

This issue of OYUnited’s e-newsletter reveals an exciting kick off to the new year with motion in The Reconnecting Youth Campaign, a service project in Houston led by the National Council of Young Leaders (NCYL) and exciting steps within local OYU CAT organizations in Seattle and the City of Columbus. Additionally, this issue includes a video link of OYUnited Community Leader, Maya Burrell convening with political activist, Angela Davis and American rapper, Common for the 2nd Annual Social Justice Conversation in Los Angeles, CA.

Read the full archived February 22 newsletter here.

OYUnited: Preparing for Another Impactful Year!

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I Voted

OYUnited: WE MADE HISTORY!

Last week, we all witnessed a historic election and young people played a critical role – SHOWING UP in record numbers! We showed the world the power of young people and the power of our communities.

This issue of OYUnited’s e-newsletter includes highlights of the 2018 midterm elections and a blog from OYUnited leader and founding member – Adam Strong, who goes in-depth about the greatest historical turnout among youth since 1966. Go youth!

Read the full archived November 16 newsletter here.

I Voted

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