Picture this: a group of passionate young activists leading climate strikes, advocating for environmental justice, and demanding equitable policies around the world. Youth n’ Power creates moments like these, where youth take center stage, making their voices heard and inspiring meaningful action.
In our rapidly changing world, the youth face a myriad of challenges, including climate change, social inequity, and a lack of representation. These obstacles hinder their ability to address urgent issues and contribute to a better world.
Youth n’ Power recognizes the immense potential of young people as change-makers. Through their dynamic programs and initiatives, they provide a platform for youth to develop leadership skills, deepen their understanding of systemic issues, and actively participate in building sustainable communities.
I caught up with one of the current co-directors of Youth N’ Power, Traiveon Dunlap, to learn more about this transformative work. Youth N’ Power was founded by Traiveon and co-director Analyah Schlaeger dos Santos as a collaboration between MNIPL (Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light) and RCFL (Redeemer Center for Life). Over the years, Youth n’ Power has engaged over 5,000 young individuals, equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to become change agents. Through their initiatives, they have influenced policy decisions at local, regional, and national levels, driving positive change in areas such as renewable energy, environmental justice, and sustainable transportation.
Today, Youth N’ Power is taking on new life and entering into a new era, seeking to create an even greater impact in the lives of young people and in our communities through music, art, environmental justice organizing, and regenerative agriculture.
“The Peace N’ Power Garden, that’s a big project of ours. We’re trying to get in there and be intentional with what we’re planting in hopes that during the fall, [what we plant] can be harvested and preserved for the neighborhood through the winter. We’re partnering with Sovereign Starts in hopes of building this sort of Northside hub, where we’re harvesting from the gardens that we have access to and building up our resources.”
Our neighbor in North Minneapolis, we’ve collaborated with Youth N’ Power over the years through our shared connection to youth, food, and agriculture. This summer, we’re keeping that connection alive by collaborating in gardens, kitchens, and by simply being there for one another – keeping a village concept of community building front and center in North Minneapolis.
“The most important thing of community is connection. You know, whether it’s connecting in space, having fellowship. Not necessarily knowing all your neighbors, but knowing them well enough to care for their being. Picking up the trash in front of your area, or even your next door area, and not saying that “that’s their problem.” Sharing all the problems, sharing all the issues. Many voices into one voice, if you will.”
We’re proud to be in community with Youth N’ Power and all of the other organizations, residents, and most importantly, youth, who are investing in a brighter and more sustainable future for everyone.
The future belongs to the youth, a generation brimming with passion, creativity, and a burning desire to shape the world. Together, let’s amplify the voices of young change-makers, foster a culture of sustainability, and create a world where youth are active leaders in shaping our future.
We invite you to support our cause. Your contribution will enable us to expand our reach, provide more opportunities for youth engagement, and foster the next generation of leaders dedicated to creating a just and sustainable future.
Hope to see some donations soon!
Pedro A. Bayón