Youth Organizer Summit
The AYEA 2020 Youth Organizing Summit will be held online this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sessions will take place after school on six days from Sept. 30 – Oct. 8. Applications are due Sept. 15.
YO SUMMIT APPLICATIONS ARE open – due sept 15
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A YOUTH ORGANIZER?
Being a Youth Organizer (YO) means committing to work collaboratively with other young people across the state to fight for a common goal while developing skills that you will use your entire life. Sometimes youth organizers focus on climate justice and building a sustainable future. Other times they focus on issues like banning plastic bags. Every two years, the youth organizers decide what campaign to run and how to do it. Throughout the school year, you will attend regular conference calls, participate in skill training, and lead campaign actions in your community! YOs are the main point of contact for AYEA’s statewide campaign in their community, and they take the lead in pushing for change. Read more below!
Attend the Youth Organizer Summit
This year’s summit will all take place online and you are asked to attend all six sessions. The first two training sessions are open to all AYEA members and other youth who are interested in learning more.
- Learning about Just Transition – Wed., Sept. 30, 4-6 pm. This session talks about how we move from an extractive economy that hurts the planet and only helps some people to a regenerative economy that is sustainable and equitable.
- Untangling Colonialism – Thurs., Oct. 1, 4-6 pm. A discussion of the long-term effects of colonization on Alaska and the people who live here, and what we can do about it.
- Training and Campaign Planning – The next four sessions are only for YO Summit participants. You will work in small groups with young people and mentors from across the state to develop skills to advocate for climate justice. Together you’ll develop a youth-led, strategic plan to reach statewide campaign goals. Those sessions will be: Mon., Oct. 5 through Thurs., Oct 8 from 4-6 pm each day
Lead campaign actions each month
- The actions will be decided by the youth at the summit. Examples include creating radio shows or podcasts, asking people to sign a petition, recruiting volunteers, making phone calls and sending letters to politicians, crafting social media posts, speaking in front of groups, and planning rallies.
- Each YO will have specific objectives to meet monthly, like collect X petitions or contact a certain leader. You’ll work together to determine these goals.
- YOs will attend monthly conference calls with the mentors and youth they worked with during the summit. They’ll report on their activities and support each other’s actions.
- Note: We understand factors like participating in subsistence activities and variable internet/telephone connectivity could affect youth availability each month. Your mentors will work with you to make sure you stay connected.
Support each other
- Communicate regularly with the other YOs, sharing ideas, and asking each other for support and guidance for our monthly actions.
- Communicate via email, social media, Slack, teleconferences, one-on-one phone calls, etc.
Recruit other youth to join AYEA
- You must nominate another teen to attend AYEA’s Civics & Conservation Summit, which typically includes five days in Juneau each March.
- You are encouraged to attend AYEA’s Civics & Conservation
Summit, but it’s not required. If that event takes place in person, attendees of the online YO Summit will get priority.
Document your work & report to other YOs and staff
- You will be required to keep track of and report the details of each action (e.g. names and contact info for everyone who participated in that action, number of postcards collected, number of social media posts, etc.)
- Share monthly reports with AYEA staff and the group. That means two sentences about your work and photos when possible.
- Complete the online project evaluation survey when your project is completed.
- Participate in a group debrief teleconference in May.
A diverse support network of youth from across Alaska
YOs build relationships with teens from diverse backgrounds and from all regions of the state, developing cross-cultural understanding and joining a network of passionate youth advocates.
You will gain experience with community and grassroots organizing, and develop the skills necessary to advocate for any issue you care about. These skills include analyzing and understanding controversial issues, having productive conversations with people who have different viewpoints, public speaking, working with the media, using different online and in-person tools to advocate for social change, and recruiting volunteers.
Opportunities to attend and lead future AYEA Trainings
AYEA’s Civics & Conservation Summit, normally held in Juneau in March, includes sessions to learn more about Alaska’s political system, influencing legislation, messaging, and meeting with legislators.
- YO Summit participants will work in small groups and develop relationships with AYEA alum from their regions. These young adult mentors will help guide the YOs and help ensure their campaigns fit with their communities. It’s an opportunity to build relationships that can last a lifetime.
- AYEA staff and other volunteer adult mentors will provide individual and group support for YOs.
- YOs will build relationships with advocates and conservation professionals while getting a first-hand look at the behind-the-scenes work of environmental and social justice careers.
Letters of recommendation, award nomination, job recommendations
- AYEA staff and volunteer adult mentors will nominate select leaders among the YOs for prestigious statewide and national award recognition.
- Staff will provide letters of recommendation for jobs, colleges, scholarships, and other programs.
The knowledge that you make a difference
You have the opportunity to help shape the future of Alaska and build a more equitable, sustainable community. Stand up, speak up, and join us. Your voice can make a difference!