The City of South Bend’s Youth Task Force (SBYTF) gives the youth of South Bend an opportunity to participate in city government and make an impact in their community.
Members of the Youth Task Force get to design and drive an advocacy program that targets issues that specifically affect the youth in the community. SBYTF members are offered the opportunity to volunteer in their community and give public officials constructive feedback and recommendations. It is a community-based group open to all South Bend residents in grades 9th through 12th who attends a school in city limits.
“Youth need both educational and rhetorical spaces (see Roberts et al. 2008) that give them the ability to engage in critical, creative analyses of their lived experiences, while also resisting others’ constructions of who they are. These spaces, we think, are educational opportunity zones and we can find them in conversation on sidewalks, in public parks, really anywhere youth are engaged in discussions about what they value and where they find inspiration and truth.”
The purpose of the Engaging Youth, Engaging Neighborhoods (EYEN) Youth Council of South Bend to build strong youth civic leaders (grades 9-12) prepared to effectively organize, lead and catalyze change in their community. Youth have a tremendous amount of convening power and the unique ability to engage and impact persons cross-generationally, as well as, across other identity and socio-political barriers that hamper diverse representations of civic voice. We believe our youth can inspire and promote impactful civic engagement across the city.
Prepare the next generation of servant and civic leaders
Incentivize youth participation in meaningful civic leadership activities
Champion the conveying power of youth to increase city-wide participation in civic engagement activity and neighborhood association capacity building
Youth Advisory Council Curriculum
Over the course of the school year, EYEN Youth Advisory Council meetings will be structured into five curriculum modules: Civic Leadership, Arts in Civic Voice & Activism, Community Organizing & Civic Engagement, Policy Research & Writing, and finally, Leadership Exploration. The EYEN Youth Advisory Council will engage in self-reflection activities, arts and community-based research to identify concerns, assets or opportunities related to a community issue. Then, advisory council participants engage directly with Council, other elected officials, city employees and other community stakeholders to learn and implement the policy-making process.
Arts & Civic Voice in Activism
Community Organizing, Civic Engagement and & Consensus Building
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